September 4, 2009

Plaster Plaster Everywhere

We have a house full of plaster walls to tear out. Even just one room part way torn out can create a gigantic mess.

In order to get the plaster cleaned up I had to start by spending some time gathering the lath and sorting it into different piles. The lath are thin, lightweight wood boards you see in both pictures. Most of the time I'm able to pop the lath off in one piece while tearing out the wall, but occasionally breaking was necessary.

All lath was sorted into a pile by size- Long, Medium or Short. Once most of the wood was sorted I used our work buckets as a guide for bundling everything up. Bundles of lath are way easier to dispose of at the dump than a million tiny little sticks. (Bonus, all the lath eventually gets recycled at dump!)

After bundling the lath it came time to cleaning the plaster bits up. Plaster is two things at this stage of the game, very tedious to clean up and seriously heavy. The original method for getting the plaster out of the house was:

  • shovel plaster

  • dump in bucket

  • carry bucket outside

  • dump into plastic trash bag

With that tedious process it wasn't surprising that I reached my tolerance limit after two trash bags full of plaster. Then a metal bit poked its way through the second bag and caused it to split open. When that bag tore open I gave up on the whole process and sat down in the shade with some water. I said to myself "Self, if we use this method for the whole house it will take us forever to get all the plaster out. There just has got to be a better way."

Enter my flash of inspiration- buckets. Big, 5 gallon, heavy duty work buckets. Enough to hold a rooms worth of plaster bits. Enough buckets to honeycomb the trailor so we could skip the bagging part for disposal. The only problem holding us back from purchasing a large quantity of buckets was Budget. To buy about 75 new work buckets was going to add up fast, even if we managed to find a store with that many in stock. Here is where Craigslist came to the rescue. A little bit of searching reaveled someone who had a huge stock of buckets with the bargain basement price of $1 each.

Now we have 67 buckets just waiting to be filled with plaster bits. Yay for craigslist, helping us renovate on the cheap(er)!

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