Behind the scenes, a warehouse strip out.

Facade retention project!!! (never fear… the exterior is being retained, the interior is being given a new lease of life!)

This last hot week for the boys, has been spent stripping out an 1800’s warehouse in West Melbourne that is a new project on the cards for a demolition company in Melbourne, who are ACTUALLY committed to salvage! It’s great for us to make contact with like minded professionals in the demo industry… who are happy to have us work around them and vice versa to pull out intensely beautiful materials like 600m2 of 30mm thick kauri pine flooring, that in this building from the 1800’s was cut from trees that have been dated at 3000 years old!!!

It’s also a win for the demo industry… on a number of fronts, they gain kudos for their recycling efforts, and save on tipping fees (which is no mean feat these days).

The focus this last week was the kauri flooring… hard to pull eyes away from the 40 super trusses, the jarrah stairs, ceiling lining, the list goes on on one level and everything that we need to organise to make that happen.

One aspect of lifting flooring to minimise damage to it, is having a decent lifting tool, and also dependent on the air moisture and the era it was laid, what the joists are etc. I’ve learnt one thing… that is, especially in the summer weather in Victoria, it is far smoother if the flooring is soaked (with water) a few days before the job is due to start… this swells and loosens the fixings, making it a bit more pliable and therefore not so susceptible to splintering.

So, when Mat turned up on day one to have a play with it, it was pretty brittle, and so we had to rethink the plan. He felt miserable, as this was a new relationship with a big company… and we are just small fry… it’s an ego bruiser to slink away from a job… only to feel like they won’t bother with us in the future!

This is the demoralising part of our job… we stand along side big demolition companies… big machines, tight schedules, sometimes bad attitudes towards us and our ‘do good’ approach to salvage and short attention spans… as well as having to understand the industry, we also need to be able to prove that we can ‘do the job’ quickly, without creating more work (ie, mess), take the bad with the good… and work around their time frames. So, to be faced with having to give up before we’ve even started is pretty crap!

So, with kids in tow… we cycled off to the pub through a cooling evening last week… and as Alby said ‘dad, want to have a game of pool?’, Mat responded with, ‘I know how I”m gonna do it!’. We all looked at him blankly for a sec, and then played pool!

Off they went, full crew on Monday… chainsawed the floor, joists and all into 1m sections and lifted the lot. We intend on knocking it apart here, and laying it on our new studio floor, short lengths, divided with timber strips…. a beautiful gridded pattern! So, when that happens, there will be pictures… and the building in West Melbourne? Well, there’s another 3 floors to come out still… stay tuned!!