March 15, 2016

Pre-1940 Character Home Tear Down

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It's been a busy time at Wallmark! We have three homes close to finishing (pictures to come soon! Don't worry!!) and within the last three weeks we've had two demos.


Last week our team demoed a home in East Vancouver, and it was our longest and most difficult one yet. In fact, our director of construction, who has a whopping 41 years in construction (!), even said this was his most difficult demolition. All together this home took a whopping 7 hours to demo, and here's why: it's was built pre-1940 and extremely close to it's neighbours.


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Front of home after abatement

Why does a home that is pre-1940 make it a difficult demo? Well Back when this home was built, there were different building techniques employed than there are now. The home was framed as one whole structure, unlike the ones today which are framed level by level. Meaning when the bulldozer moved one wall, the whole home would move as well. An push and pull on the right would lead to the same movement on the left! One wrong move and the whole home could come down - likely on the neighbours homes... and that would be a tremendous disaster so we had to be extremely carefully. Now can you start seeing why this took so long?


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The home an hour after demolition started...


The second factor of the long demo was the proximity of it to it's neighbours. Unlike a lot of lots in Burnaby or North Vancouver, many lots in Vancouver are build right next to each other leaving maybe two or three meters between each home. Pre-1940's this part of Vancouver was actually the "ghetto" of the city and the lots were smaller to keep prices down. When the homes went up they went up close so homes were big enough to fit the families living there.

This home was built perfectly for its time and geographical situation but in 2016 it makes it quite difficult for a home owner to rebuild. Luckily, this custom home builder was up to the challenge! And though it too a long time, we were able to get this home in no time at all! This is what the home looks like today: 


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After the lot has been cleared


And if you want to check out the demolishing itself, just watch this video below!





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