Today it warmed up to 19 degrees. We have been in a wicked cold snap here in Minnesota so to us, 19 degrees felt downright balmy! We took advantage of the warmer day and started reno on Alice. Side note, if you are new to this blog don’t worry you haven’t missed much. Basically all that has happened so far is we decided that we wanted to buy an Airstream. We did a bit of planning and chose what kind of Airstream layout would best fit our family. We met Al and we bought his Airstream. We decided to name her Alice. We parked her at a storage lot. We hired a crew to install a parking pad next to our garage. It took forever to get the parking pad in and then we waited even longer for the asphalt to cure. Then finally we brought Alice home. She has been sitting on her parking pad next to our garage since mid October being ignored because, my family wears a lot of socks and I LOVE HOLIDAYS! Now that the house and garage have been cleared out a bit and the holidays are over, we are finally ready to start renovations!
All of that brings us to today. Our first day of demo happened just six short months after we paid Al in the form of a cashier’s check for Alice, our 1984, 31 foot long, rear bedroom Airstream Excella.
I suited up the kids in their cold weather gear while Tim laid out the Bagster in the garage and set up a small ceramic space heater in Alice. Tim’s job was easier. Next time I will remember to call dibs on setting up the space heater because gearing up kids for 19 degree weather sucks.
We decided to kick off the demoing with the couch. As sad as it is to see the beautiful pink and baby blue floral pattern that is accented with dying brown leaves and blue diamonds from the 80s go, it needed to be done. The couch smelled, there was some mildew/mold growing under the cushions and the springs were starting to rust. Not a pretty sight even if it was was wrapped in this beautiful textile.
Because this was the first thing we demoed in the Airstream, we had no idea what we were getting into. Would it be fastened directly to the under carriage with large bolts? Would it somehow be connected to the walls in a way that we would have to be careful about not ruining the interior skin? Would I find a dead mouse under the cushions?
I tried to research the best way to remove the couch ahead of time but I couldn’t find much of anything beyond before: couch installed and after: couch removed photos. All the before and after photos showed us was that we are not even the close to the first set of DIYers to do this so that gave us hope but not a lot of how to.
This is how we removed the couch. We are in no way experts but we got the couch out and didn’t damage anything so I can say with confidence, we know how to get it done.
First Tim removed the arm rests which, because they are the “lids” to a storage compartment, they came off easily.
Tim decided to then put the couch back into seat position and remove the bolts that attached the large hinge that attach the back and seat of the couch. He removed the bolts from the seat of the couch on both sides and then was able to lift the back of the couch off. The bolts were not stripped but they were thin, in a tight spot and hard to remove but they did come off without having to be hacked or sawed off.
Next we discovered even more treasures that Airstream Al had left behind. Score! Looks like our local thrift shop will be getting a new, still in original package, Corningware dish complete with baby blue floral prints. For being a single guy he sure knew how to pick a theme and run with it!
The seat of the couch was more complicated to remove. Tip, wear gloves. The metal is sharp! Tim removed the bolts on the hinge and then wiggled the seat enough to be able to remove bolt that connected the seat to the metal brace. He did this on both sides and was able to remove the couch seat.
This is what remained. Tim and I were both excited and relieved that there wasn’t a whole lot to removing the remainder of the couch.
The best way to break down this next part is this, it was a lot of muscling, some screw removal, unsnapping the baby blue fabric and some more muscling. It all came out relatively easy.
What we were left with was mouse droppings, mold and the confirmation that there was a very good chance that we will have to replace the subfloor.
And our after photo!
I wanted nothing more than to start ripping out the carpet then and there but one, we were not masked or in the right gloves and that is very important to me and two, the kids were suspiciously quiet. Anyone with kids knows that no noise can mean that your children are sweetly playing together or more likely, they are jumping off the couch into a pile of cracker crumbs, Legos and pillows. In our case it was the latter.