Tuesday, February 28, 2012

And then the house fell down

Kev had a dream last night. He dreamed that he removed the "old" stairs, and then the house fell down.

Makes one have confidence, doesn't it!

Actually, he knows they weren't structural, we knew that before we started this project, but still the dream illustrates how this project is constantly on his mind.

His goal this past weekend was to get the staircase down and fill in the floor joists.

I helped him take down the banister and pull the wiring that we were going to reroute back to the wall.  It took longer than we anticipated, with a few obstacles that we were able to solve without much problem.  Then Kev moved on to the joists.

 The staircase is still attached, and it was a handy "ladder" to stand on.  He got all the joists attached and last night...
 We moved the couch back.
 Temporary carpet until we decide what we want, and when we have the cash in hand.  Kev re-routed two outlets into the wall, so we didn't lose any of our electricity in the living room.  I'll move one of the end tables beside the couch tonight. Kev thinks we now have room for a coffee table and he's planning on building one...after we finish this project.  (And he mentioned remodeling the fireplace mantle and...) sigh...

We did have one unforeseen complication...

The dogs refused to use the new stairs.  Yep, they were scared to death.  We finally coaxed Midnight down them, and then he was fine.  Fletch however is a dog of a different mettle...we coaxed, and bribed, and pleaded, and carried, but he just would not go down those stairs!  Finally, after 24 hours, he went down them on his own.  The winning motivation was his supper.  He couldn't eat unless he went downstairs, so he finally gave it a try and now I know he's saying to himself, "Now why on earth did I think I couldn't do that!"

This last shot is of our new banister.  The brown behind it is the love seat, but here's our rail.  We still need to put the top cap on, and when it is, the banister will be done.  Kev built it all from the same lumber as the steps.  Well, not exactly.  The wide rails are from wood he bought.  But the supports and the top and bottom rails he cut, sanded, stained, and put together himself.
It's coming together, but we still have a ways to go!

I can't say that I like the new stairs--their location anyway.

This morning, I went to set something on the banister...there wasn't a banister where I expected it to be.  When we start out the door in the morning, we automatically turn to go down the stairs, only to realize that they are no longer there!  We can't peek downstairs and see if Kat's light is on in the morning.  We can't hear her move around.  We have a lot of adapting to do...us and the dogs!

Next step, to get the old staircase down.  I'll be sure to let  you know if the house falls down.

Monday, February 13, 2012


 Those look like Stairs!

We're getting closer to actually being able to USE the new stairs.  Kev and I ran to Wichita last weekend and bought some lumber for the trim and the landing.  We literally stumbled on some Pine Car Siding (what it has to do with cars, I do not know.) We liked it enough that we decided to put it on the landing. We also picked up some tile to put by the front door and under the pellet stove and got some stain for the pine.  We stained it all a light walnut using stain in a Danish oil, which we hope will be sufficient as the finish.  We really don't want to put Poly on stairs.
 On Sunday Morning, as he put up the first stringer, Kev said "Darlin', we'll have stairs by the end of the day."  I didn't believe him, because nothing ever goes according to plan...  But, he proved me wrong.

We had stairs by the end of the day and even walked up and down them a couple of times.  The treads aren't attached yet, as we have a little trimming and fitting to do to make them set well against the stringers.  Then Kev will screw them to the stringers and we'll start using them.
 This is the birds eye view of the landing with it's "Car Siding".
 Closer view.  It is tongue and groove.  Right now, I like the small cracks where they fit together.  We'll see how I like it when those grooves are full of dirt, dust, and dog hair!

Most people, when picking pine boards, avoid knots and "imperfections".  Us?  That's what we choose!
The house is still a mess, but we're getting there!