Chandelier Removal -

Chandelier Removal


It’s just fortunate I wasn’t sipping coffee or tea or Mountain Dew because I would have spit it directly into his pinched and smirking face.

I replayed the last 10 seconds of conversation in my mind to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.

“So how much would you charge to remove that chandelier,” I said hitching a thumb over my shoulder to the 12-armed behemoth that hung behind me.

The bald Turk eyed the monstrous thing. He had just listened to Handan outline her plans for the dining room columns and the walls we wanted to be built in their place, but he had seemed unimpressed by her vision. Still, he took his measurements in a desultory manner and said he would work up a quote by the weekend. The chandelier was an afterthought – something I appended onto the work. In for a penny, in for a pound, right? Besides, I couldn’t imagine how Handan and I would ever be able to remove such a calamity of curved and sharpened iron. My best estimate put the infernal thing at about 200 pounds. That would do some serious soft-tissue damage if it fell at the wrong time and onto the wrong body part.

I waited patiently as the Turk mentally took its measure.

“Eh, I need four, maybe five guys,” he said, half to himself, half to me. After another moment’s consideration, he said, “I take it down for an extra thousand.”

And there it was again. That word.


I desperately wished I had a banana cream pie handy to I could toss it in his face and put paid to this farce.

One Thousand Dollars? To remove a chandelier?

Okay, I get the chandelier is big – like has-its-own-zipcode big.

But a thousand bucks is big money. If I’m to pay a thousand dollars to remove a chandelier, I’d expect a live chamber orchestra serenading me during the proceedings, followed by a candlelit dinner of Beef Wellington served with an appropriately-aged Bordeaux.

Handan and I thanked the Turk and showed him the front door.

He has not returned.

When the echo of his obscene quote had quieted, my babes and I looked at each other and said, “we’ll do it ourselves.”

Greedy contractors got us into DIYing back in 2013, and they’re keeping us in it almost 10 years later.

But overpriced bald Turks aside, there was still the matter of just how on earth Handan and I would remove the two hundred pounds of bent and twisted metal that hung off-center in our dining room.

Chandelier Removal -

All we knew was that it was held up by a cable – a cable we couldn’t reach because the chandelier was too close to the ceiling.

And it was obvious that it was assembled in place – either that or the house was built around it. There just isn’t any logical explanation for the beastly thing’s existence. It doesn’t mesh with anything in the house, and it absolutely dwarfs the room over which it presides. When in the dining room, it takes a colossal force of will not to notice it, not to stare. It’s as out of place as a trout sandwich at a hamburger competition, and it has all the subtlety and grace of a horse fart in a funeral home.

With only the vague notion that it was assembled in place to go on, we approached it as if maybe it could be easily and conveniently dis-assembled in place. Figuring whatever misguided cretins who designed this monumental waste of iron ore and manpower may have at least had the sense to make it user-accessible, I started to twist the protuberance at the bottom. Perhaps it was a screw. Perhaps we could be done with this in five minutes.

Chandelier Removal -

Perhaps a trout sandwich could taste like a cheeseburger.

The good news is that we were right. The metallic undernipple was indeed a screw. When the screw released, so too did a heavy ornate bowl. Goody! More craft supplies!

Chandelier Removal -

Removing the ornate bowl revealed a cylinder – like an oversized can of tuna fish – with a long threaded rod protruding from it. My guess was that inside that cylinder were the keys to the castle – the way we would bring this shameful chapter in our house’s history to a rousing and victorious end.

As a precaution, we decided to lighten the load by removing all the dangling glass bits.

Chandelier Removal -

With the gaudy glass removed, it almost looked good enough to keep.

I’m kidding. I wouldn’t have kept it for all the monkeys in Siam, but it did look better.

There was a screw on the threaded rod, and after some doing, I managed to remove it and release the cylinder.

I was greeted with a riot of wires and confusion.

Excellent! This was the wiring hub. I must be getting close! I asked for scissors so I could snip those wires, just in case they were…I don’t know…load-bearing wires or something.

Hey, cut me some slack. This was uncharted territory for me. How would I know if wires could be load-bearing or not?

Anyway, once they wires were cut, we headed up to remove the lampshades.

Yes, lampshades. Our ridiculous Victorian nightmare had 24 small and very good quality lampshades.

Chandelier Removal -

I think the picture above perfectly shows just how massive this chandelier was. I could have nested up there quite comfortably for months.

Back down at the business end, I surmised the twelve twisted arms were held on by the twelve nuts attached to the metal plate that was exposed when the cylinder came free. I loosened and then removed each screw, thinking that when I got to the end…something would happen.

Chandelier Removal -


Seeing that all 12 arms convened at that point and carried on through the metal plate, I had no chance of removing them unless I could remove the metal plate.

I couldn’t. Nor could I budge the arms from their holes, nor could I find a solution by examining the upper connection point of the arms.

Only one avenue remained, and it was the one I feared (hoped?) from the very start. When diplomacy fails, the doors of destruction swing open. I tried the civilized way to remove this chandelier. It was time to go medieval on its ass.

Armed now with an angle grinder, I set to dismantling the wretched thing, arm-by-ornate-arm.

Chandelier Removal -
Chandelier Removal -

Our joy multiplied as each curvaceous arm came down in a furious maelstrom of glowing red sparks. We were doing it!

Chandelier Removal -

And then there were two where once hung twelve.

Chandelier Removal -
Chandelier Removal -

One down, one to go.

Chandelier Removal -
Chandelier Removal -

Victory! Well, partial victory. We still had the central shaft to contend with, but…Victory!

Chandelier Removal -

As were the arms before we found a solution, the central shaft proved to be a tough nut to crack.

Chandelier Removal -

We thought it would be as easy as propping it up and then cutting the cable that ran down from the ceiling.

But loosening that cable at the bottom did…well, nothing to be precise. It was clear that a cable running from up in the ceiling was holding the damn thing up, but when we removed the screw pin from the end of the cable…nothing.

But there was also a screw against a plate. So when all else fails, try to unscrew. It worked before!

Chandelier Removal -

Well, as it turned out, there was a cable that ran through it, but the cable held one section at a time, and only loosening the section screws would allow that section to be removed.

Chandelier Removal -

My babes figured that out. She’s good at figuring out puzzles like these.

Once again I snipped the electrical wires so just the cable was holding everything up.

Chandelier Removal -

One more section removed, one to go!

Chandelier Removal -

We raised the ladder and shimmed the remaining shell of a chandelier with wood blocks. Having this piece fall would be just as bad as the whole chandelier. It was smaller, but it was heavy and had some sharp points that could do a lot of damage.

Chandelier Removal -

Another cylinder to remove…

Chandelier Removal -

And it started to release…

Chandelier Removal -
Chandelier Removal -

Now I could reach the central cable and cut it!

Chandelier Removal -

Free at last!

Chandelier Removal -

The careful handoff to Baris. It was heavy!

Chandelier Removal -

The Happy Wife!

Chandelier Removal -

The High Five.

Chandelier Removal -

With the beast slain and out of our lives, I will need to fix the hole in the ceiling and cut another one that is actually centered for a new, more restrained chandelier. It was a full morning’s work, but we’re so glad we finally tackled this project and got it out of the way. That chandelier was a burden that’s been on the chopping block since before we closed on this house.

Good riddance to a garish eyesore!

Oh, and by the way – I weighed all the pieces, and I wasn’t far off from my estimate of 200 pounds. It weighed in at a respectable 185!

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  1. What a crazy project! Was there ever a point in time where you re-thought of paying the bald Turk the thousand dollars to get that thing out of your life? Maybe you could weld some of the pieces back together and make some sort of yard ornament. You know, just to memorialize the event. Okay. Maybe not. Thanks for sharing another epic adventure. Glad no one got hurt in the process.

  2. whew….but you did “cut the problem down to size” and that just goes to show that with some helping hands, you can take on the biggest problems, piece by piece…

  3. You guys should’ve painted it green, blue or pink, whatever matched the decor. You could’ve made your eyesore a focal point. No matter what you did, I hope you took that thousand dollars and treated yourselves at least a little. 😏

  4. Gotta ya, I choked when I read the $1000 quote!!! So glad you were able to get it down without damage to surrounds and or bodily harm. Did you wonder if the builder, or previous owner came by a hotel teardown and decided that monster would work in the house????

  5. I read the comments and all I have to say is…none of them offered a solution as to how to remove it. It’s your house, your problem and you handled it. Keep up the good work.

  6. Wow!! That was a major feat! I’m impressed! We have a micro version of yours, in our dining room. It’s pretty low on our list of priorities (rewiring the entire house, rebuilding the fireplace, and roof repairs have to come first) so it’s still up – but, we removed the glass & lamp shades, and… Well. It’s better than it was. But… Ugh.
    Anyway, I can’t wait to see what you do with the dining room, and now, I’m curious about what you’re going to do with all those cool elements from it. Congratulations on a job safely & well done!!

  7. Geez, what a pain to deal with. $185 lbs! Talk about faux Tuscan lighting overkill. But that hideous beast is finally relegated to the scrap heap where all 1980s home decor relics go to die. I can’t wait to see what goes up in its place.

  8. Holy crap, Batman! That was better than an episode of ‘Dateline’! I wonder how difficult it was to install that behemoth. Great job for the team!

  9. Yep, greedy contractors….that thing was massive. Good going to you all. Definitely a family project. Now to see how you use those pieces. Those lampshades aren’t cheap. You can probably sell them.

  10. Am I the only one who thought it was lovely, without the dangly bits and shades? Such a shame it had to be hacked up, surely someone could have used it in their huge southern mansion. It must have been worth a fortune, and not just to take it down!

  11. Congratulations! The Rebel Alliance (you, Handan, and Baris) has destroyed the evil Death Star (chandelier)! May “The Force” continue to be with you. 🙂

  12. Well done!! All sorts of interest bits and bobs left to go in the craft room for future projects! That was a monster of a chandelier!

  13. Wow, you did a great job tackling the “elephant in the room” but seriously you two could have played Tarzan and Jane and just swung on it until it came down. Option 2 was a good too, Hopefully you can upcycle some of the shades into something really cool. Good Job!

  14. You da man!!! Glad you got ‘er done! I think I would have tried to someone remove the beast in order to sell it. Could you have rigged up some kind of a trolley lift to remove it? Thinking like one husband rigged up to put on/off his truck cap in the garage – not exactly, but same concept? Maybe not. But glad you were able to rid yourself of that beast!

    1. We might have found someone to do it for cheaper (and not destroy it), but we wouldn’t be able to fit it out the front door even if we did!

  15. Congrats on removing that beast! I love the look on Handan’s face after it was safely down. Such a triumphant moment in home renovation! I have an image of you nesting up in that monstrosity now so thanks for that! Giving me a good laugh! 🙂

  16. Yay! The beast has been slayed!!! Bet the room feels bigger now. As usual, you had us cracking up!

    Greedy contractors are why all of us go into DIY mode. Looking forward to seeing/reading what comes next!

  17. I am so proud of you and your family. You work together and get any job done, no matter how big. The space looks better already.

  18. It’s been fun watching you and the family take this down. Eagerly awaiting what you replace it with.

    1. Wow! I’m impressed. Would never have attempted to take that monster down. The joy on Handan’s face was great to see as well as that if your handsome son. It’s great that you were able to make this work and save $1,000.

  19. Not gonna lie, I loved how that chandelier looked, especially without the lampshades or the glass bits, but I also understand why you wanted it gone. Just so sorry you literally had to cut it apart! Thanks for all the teamwork photos of everyone tackling the puzzle of getting it down. You all are so stinkin’ cute together!

    1. IF we had a MUCH bigger house, it may have fit, but it was just so absurdly big it dominated the entire room! We’re happier now that it’s gone. 🙂

  20. This is like the chandelier in the movie, “War of the Roses” but more intense! You guys are an inspiration!

  21. You and your Babes were so correct in wanting to get rid of that monstrosity! Wow!
    But there was definitely as $1000 worth of effort on your parts to get ‘er done! Well done!!

  22. I’ve learned a new expression reading about the chandelier take down. “…the grace of a horse fart in a funeral home”! Absolutely love it!

  23. Gosh guys, job well done! Greg I have to wonder if the original and/or previuos owner ever happen to read your blog?? Your views on their design choices & interior decorating style are brutal 😆 (yet sooo amusing to us hehe)

  24. Built the house around it 🤣🤣 This place had to be some Italian mobster’s place. It had to be! Great work. I like your approach – try to solve the puzzle with smarts, but if that doesn’t work then brute force is also acceptable.