Demolishing an Apartment Complex

For wasps, that is.

We inherited this junky old shed with the property. The doors were broken, it looked like someone backed into it, and maybe a branch had fallen on top.

When we first toured the property, it was filled with a bunch of old tires and other junk, most of which was hauled away before closing. We never planned on using it for storage, because the property has a lot of outbuilding space, and we can’t lock up the shed. The roofing screws had plastic washers, which had degraded in the sunlight and sprung a few leaks.

Taking it apart was a challenge, mostly due to the wasps that called it home. When I first came up to it around 9am, the shed looked empty. As I worked on unscrewing the panels, I noticed one hanging out around a nest. I would grab the wasp spray, kill them, and avoid the inside of the shed for a bit since the spray is nasty stuff. I was moving along in the roof disassembly when I saw three in a corner, looking like they had just popped out. My guess is that either the noise or the remaining aerosol had irritated them into emerging.

The other fun part of this is that the roof is pretty heavy, and has a few points where one person would need to hold a nut while the other would unscrew the bolt. This would stick one person hanging out in the spray with some upset wasps. I was able to get most of those difficult bolts out by angling the bolt with a flathead, and the ventilation was less of an issue as I removed roof panels.

There was also a sawzall, if all else failed.

Here’s the end result, looking like the big bad wolf came through:

The sawzall would have been quicker, but doing this over four hours meant that I have a lot of extra material to use. The corrugated sheet metal can be used for roofing our chicken and rabbit hutches, and most of the usable stuff was on the sides. With the weight of the roof, all those side panels would probably crunch up if I hadn’t removed the roof panels and beams. Those beams will probably make good project metal. The 8’x10′ base of this thing is also very heavy, and might make a nice base for a walk-in chicken coop/pen.

I did toss some of the metal panels above our raised garden yesterday, as we had a decent hailstorm.

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