At last, we’re wrapping up this project — tearing out the indoor stone planter that has plagued me since I bought my house! I tore the planter out as a part of my dining room makeover for Thanksgiving, and I thought some people might like to know exactly how I did it.
Though it seems daunting (which is why we put it off for so long), it turned out to be a fast and easy project. But a big portion of that was sheer luck. This planter really was built in a way that made it easy to get rid of it. I have no idea if that’s common or not, so it’s something to look at if you want to rip out one of your own.
That Last Row
Once we got all the main walls out, we ended up with one last row at the bottom that we couldn’t chisel out because the level of the mortar was under the level of the wood floor. Once we got there, we had to pound on the inside of the stone with the sledgehammer until they came loose.
Uhhh…. you’re not really supposed to work on projects like this in sock feet. So, you can pretend you didn’t see mine. Ooops.
Once we got that last row out, we had to work on the front of the fireplace, where the hearth is. I didn’t want to have a really sharp corner there, so we used the chisel to chip away some sections and make a “clipped” corner. (By “we” I mean “Mr. Magpie” as you can see.)
As we worked, we tried to knock all the mortar off the stones and then stack them up to be taken out to the garden and (hopefully) used for something out there.
Once all the stones are out, there’s nothing to do but start cleaning up the mess! With all the big hunks of debris, the easiest thing to do is use a flat shovel and literally shovel out your house!
We put it all in bags and then loaded it into the car and took it to the dump. Our local landfill takes “clean” debris such as rocks, bricks and mortar for free. Sadly, it can’t really be reused for anything. We salvaged all the stones, though, to be reused.
When we did finally get to the bottom, we found, to our extreme relief, a smooth, level, concrete area. It was leveled off exactly at the level of the sub-flooring. Again, I have to wonder if someone along the way knew this planter box was going to go away eventually. It’s set up perfectly for us to patch the floor and have a seamless end result.
There was some old splats (that’s a technical term (not really)) of mortar on it, but Mr. Magpie hit them with the chisel and they popped right up.
(That’s right, folks, I start the projects, he finishes them. Heh. I should probably be nicer to him, huh?)
After that and a quick vacuum, we had ourselves a nice, wide new place to walk through the middle of our house.
I think that says it all.
The funny part is that once we decided to actually start the demo, the whole project took about two hours, start to finish, including clean up. That’s it! After we were done, Mr. Magpie said, “I can’t believe we waited so long to do that, it was easy!”
You’d think he’d listen to me more. Hee hee.