Friday, January 6, 2012

The Giant Brick Ashtray...

During the Christmas break, we decided to take the plunge and start getting our school room/dining room ready for wood floors. We had new carpet installed in this home close to 10 years ago when we first purchased the home, but due to allergies and lots of wear and tear, we decided it was high time to make the change. 

We are still a ways off from actually installing the floors because there are things that need to be done to the room before the flooring can go down. The very first step was to tear down this strange brick wall structure. Through the years, we have used this as a planter for both real and fake plants. About 6-7 years ago, we built a cover for it and turned it into a fish tank holder. Not long after that, my husband covered it with a wood facing and put in a bench so our kids (just little tiny tots at the time) could stand up on the bench and see the fish. They loved those fishies!
The brick wall off to the left in the background when it was a planter

With the bench and fish tank

Last week, we relocated the fish, cleaned up and gave away the fish tank, and tore off all the wood facing. Now, for the fun part! Jason covered the entire thing with plastic to keep down the dust and the kids and Jason took turns whacking away at it. Slowly, we tore down the wall brick by brick. 

When we got down to the bottom, we found something totally unexpected and pretty disgusting...about a foot deep, 2 foot wide, and 4 feet long layer of cigarette butts and cigarette ashes. A giant brick ashtray...inside our house!!!
Sorry, I didn't even think to snap a picture of the disgusting mess BEFORE we cleaned it up. When Jason took the plastic off and we removed all the bricks down to the bottom, all we wanted to do was hurry up and get the mess out of our house!

As I wet down the ashes to keep from from getting everywhere, Jason was scooping us the nastiness in a dust pan. It stunk so bad!
The bags contained the cigarette ashes, cigarette and cigar butts, and brick fragments covered in cigarette ashes. 

Needless to say, I. WAS. MAD! Mad because we were lied to and this home was said to have never been smoked in or a smokers home, mad because I wonder if this mess has played a role in our allergies through the years, mad because we have smelled this musty smell on and off mainly when the house is closed up and we are out of town for several days at a time, and mad because of the disgusting mess WE had to clean up.

Ok, I'm over it now. 

On to step 2 - cleaning and de-cluttering the room. Now that this part is complete and our computer armoire/hutch has found a new home, we can start tearing off the baseboards. This is step 3 and the phase we are currently in. Since this is our school room, the next few weeks/months will be a little crazy as I don't do well when my school room is in disarray. But, I'm looking forward to the final product :)


  1. Funny how knocking down a little wall opens up the space so much! It already looks great. Can't wait to see the end result. - Danaly

  2. Ok, that was disgusting! I don't know about you, but it would make me want to call up the owner or real estate agent and give them a piece of my mind! Not that it would matter, but I would feel better after that!
    That could have definitely played a part in allergies.

    Well, now it's gone and you can rest assured that your house will be cig free:)

    Remodeling is tough when you're living there. You might have to spend some days in the backyard or at the library.

    Have a great weekend!


Thanks for taking the time to read this post and leave a comment :)