I hope you all had a great weekend! Last weekend, we had a horrific Sunday morning. It involved moving the wood burning stove out of the basement. This post is written by Aaron from his perspective. Anything in red is my thoughts added. Enjoy this moving exposé on how NOT to move a wood burning stove.
Hey, Aaron here. Here we go… Our basement remodel has grown, morphed, and shifted several times. As part of the changes to our original plans we decided that we wanted to get rid of our wood burning stove. I know, I know, we’re missing out on heating our home over the winter with it. In all honesty though… I doubt we would ever light a fire in it to heat our house. In cases of emergency we have other plans in place too, so fear not. (And it took up a lot of room. It was sticking out about a foot from the wall. Wasted space.)
In place of our wood burning stove we’re going to do a really cool set of built in shelves. It’s also the final resting place for our old school tv. But this isn’t a post about what we’re doing in place of the wood burning stove, it’s the story of how we got it out with the worlds’ biggest idiot. So without further adieu, here is that story.
It started out one Saturday night when we made the decision to get rid of the stove. Kenz posted it on KSL right away thinking it might take a couple of days to hear about it. The very next day, before our alarms even went off, we started getting calls about it. The first guy hummed and hawed around and said he would call back. The next was a guy who said he would come look at it later that evening.
Wouldn’t you know the next person who called was actually the first guy calling back? He said he was coming to get it right away. We said sure, anything to make the sale and have someone come get it out for us. Before he hung up though he asked “Do you have some guys there that could help out?” Kenz said sure. This was the first indicator that I wasn’t going to like this guy, but I didn’t realize it then. (I made sure to specify it was IN THE BASEMENT! It should not have been a surprise to him that he would need to figure out a way to transfer it up a flight of stairs.)
It took him about 45 minutes to get to our place. When he arrived I answered the door. I welcomed him, and asked if he had a piano dolly, or a heaven duty hand truck (tools I thought would be a no brainer to bring when moving a wood burning stove). He said no. I knew right then this was going to get interesting.
Now, before I go any further I want to tell you about this wood burning stove. It was BIG. SO BIG. It was solid cast iron. It weighed about 450 lbs. Now, my buddy and tenant “Big” Matt Baugh can lift 450 raw of the deck, but the thing about this stove is that it was awkward. There wasn’t anywhere to hold onto it easily, and it was pretty large.
We went down to the basement and just start looking at this thing. We had already moved the couch out of the way and both Matt and Karl had agreed to help move it. They tried lifting it and moving it a couple inches. It was HARD. The guy who came to pick it up proclaimed “I have an idea, you’re going to love this.”
He proceeded to go out to his truck and came back with several large tie-down straps. He started rigging the stove up and we just watched him get crazy with it. After a couple of minutes he pointed to Matt and Karl (they are the strongest guys there by far) and said “Put this around your neck and shoulders”, indicating a couple of loops on either end of the stove. “Then you can just stand up and carry it!”
Matt and Karl where like “WTF?” but complied, figuring they’d give it a shot. They lifted, but it wasn’t as easy as the guy told us it would be. I got on one side and helped and we managed to get it to the bottom on the stairs, and even up a couple of them. However, we got to a point where there was no way we could keep going, nor could we go back. We were stuck.
This guy was like “Oh, no worries, I have an idea. You’re going to love this.” I can tell you that I already wasn’t looking forward to his next idea after how badly his first one sucked. I’m not sure why but we went along for the ride.
During this time Kenz was apologizing profusely. She stood at the top of the stairs with a look that could melt anyone’s heart. We weren’t mad at her at all, but she felt SO bad for volunteering our help to this chode. (That is an understatement. I stood at the top of the stairs in complete fear that one of them would die. I visioned the stove falling backward and pinning Matt at the bottom of the stairs. I was a mess watching them. I was so frazzled that I didn’t even think to take pictures. I was more concerned with their lives, honestly. It was a horrific scene. I’ve never heard so much grunting… and I lived in a college dorm with bedrooms above AND below mine.)
When he came back he had a 2×6 and a floor jack. Before we knew it the stove was resting on a 2×6 and he was trying to lift it up stair by stair using the jack. It OBVIOUSLY didn’t work. At which point he said (I bet you can guess) “I have an idea. You’re going to love this.“
He returned with ANOTHER 2×6, a chain, and a cincher. He put the 2×6 across the top of the stairs, above where we had the stove positioned. He put the chain around the board and then started trying to lift the stove by rigging the stove to the chain and using the cincher to lift it. This wasn’t working, and even if it did what would we do next? It would be swinging by a 2×6 (that may not even be able to support the weight of the stove) above our heads.
Meanwhile Kenz was pacing back and forth upstairs, worried out of her mind. She would come to the top of the stairs, look at us with her puppy dog eyes, and walk away. She did that during the whole 30 minutes that this crazy guy came up with one complicated and dangerous idea after another. (I was helpless. I wanted to help so bad. There was absolutely nothing I could do other than watch them suffer, and it was my fault. It was the guiltiest I have felt since accidentally stealing the canister from the drive through at the bank.)
I should clarify some thing here though. During the 30 minutes that this guy was trying all sorts of crazy ideas that could have gotten us killed Matt was holding 450 lbs of stove while it was precariously perched on the stairs. I could tell he was getting pretty tired. I had had enough at this point. Before this guy had a chance to have another great idea I said “No, let’s just LIFT it.” I took one of the 2×6′s and used it as a lever at the bottom while Matt and Karl used their raw strength to lift this stove up, stair-by-stair, to the top and all the way to the front door.
In a final act of stupidity this guy decided he was going to back his trailer up as close to the front steps as possible. In doing so he back RIGHT over my rose bushes. I fluffing hate that guy.
After all was said and done we had money in hand and he was gone. Kenz was feeling worse than ever before as Matt, Karl, and I nursed sore muscles. I think her exact words where “You guys keep the money… Do whatever you want with it.” She was so sad we had to work so hard to get that stove gone. Isn’t she such a sweetheart?
Since there are no pictures of the action. Here’s the afterthought. Messy hand prints all over the walls. Chewed up carpet.
Take a second, and try and pictures 4 big guys and a huge stove in this small stairwell. It is a death-recipe.
I think built-in shelving will look really nice there. Please don’t hate on us for getting rid of the stove.
In the meantime, we’re keeping this beauty here.
What do you think?
Let this be a lesson to all: When posting ads for HEAVY THINGS on the classifieds, specify that THEY are responsible for moving it (with people & equipment). I still feel horrible that I put Aaron, Matt & Karl through that. My man-babies deserve way better. I have tried to pamper them this week. Many dinner dates were involved. My guilt runs deep. I hope they forgive me!