Sunday, April 22, 2007


In connection with getting the rental ready to rent, we've also reconnected with our front hallway. Strangely enough, this is one of the first projects we started. We ended up stopping it when other projects had greater importance. (ie. getting working bathrooms and kitchens, creating a living space before we moved in, etc.)

Sort of funny, because the staircase is what drew us into the house in the firstplace. Sure, it was pulling away from the wall, was surrounded by tons of filth, many coats of paint, crumbling old tiles, but we knew that we could bring it back to life.

When we first got the house, we hired carpenters to straighten out our staircase. Photos failed to capture the effect, but they were crooked. We had to take out the plaster under the staircase (and remove molding) in order to do this. Then, the carpenters came up, and fixed the stairs. When the bannister was removed, it made it much easier to sand the treads and risers so we did that.

We spent hours upon hours stripping, sanding, etc. (I remember one day working 12 hours just on the stairs). At some point, I had enough, so went on to work on other areas of the house.

Then, at some point, we removed the flooring down to the subfloor, and installed tile. (I'm the tiler). We ended up hiring someone to put in drywall where the plaster was missing and later someone to paint the front hall. (boy, what a difference!)

The hallway was really looking snazzy (in our opinion) at that point so we were happy to leave the front hall to move onto the myriad of other projects becking at our feet. I think at that point, our primary mission was to get our first tenants in). Since the painting, back in 2005, we've done nothing in the hallway. (I think I patched some holes in walls that furniture/appliance delivery people made-but nothing significant). With tenants, working on the front hall is just too challenging. Then, they moved out, and we did the big flooring/garage/radiator stripping projects.

But, finally, we are getting back to our pet project. Last weekend we installed the missing door molding in front of the rental, and leading to the basement. We also installed some base molding under the stairs that was hiding out for some time but was refound over last summer. Because the stairs had to be raised (I assume) there's now a big gap on one end of the molding between the base molding and the stairs. We'll have to do something about that. Some other molding is just plain missing, so we'll need to figure something out with that. We also have some drywall repairs in the front hall and a bunch of other little things for the hall to be "done."

And, of course, finally, there are our beloved stairs which are on the short list of our to-dos. I got some estimates for finishing them. (over $2000!) But, this close to being done, it seemed like a cop out to just hire it out. Would be more satisfying to a the end of the day to say that we did them.

We've come a long way, but plenty to be done!



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