Friday, November 13, 2015

My Old House: Stairs Project Continues

Years ago before the trendy HGTB fixer upper house and decorating shows, I watched This Old House on the public TV channel 6, always fascinated by the projects. I have also watched my husband's Uncle Don work his magic on our many old house projects. Even in our newest home built in 1994, walls are uneven, floors don't have the perfect surfaces, and I am sure that the window frames aren't exact.

So why would my Blue Farm House probably 20 years old or more be any different? It isn't. Installing the Hobby Lobby stair kit proved to be quite a challenge. I remarked to my husband that nothing fits in this old house built out of heavy, thick ply woods and other odd woods and because the house not a kit house windows and some doors are not standard measurement,  and since I think it passed through more than one set of working hands, it has certain structural problems. The two openings for the stairs are not the same size. One is too large to accommodate the stair kit and the other is too narrow. So I spent hours days trying to get the stair case in place. 


The stairs on the first floor are now installed. They required a lot of work, but I think they turned out really well.


I use a lot of blue painter's tape to hold pieces in place as I test them to see just how they will fit.



Upstairs I had to fill in the opening to narrow it up some. The piece fits, looks added on, but I will camouflage it when I put in the stair rail.



Another problem needed to be accommodated, too, the gap between floors. As I said the walls were uneven, so the wall paper didn't exactly fit.


So I added some added a strip of wall paper and trim to cover the gap.



Assembling the upstairs railing took a lot of planning. The hand rails and slats came with the kit, but the edging that I wanted to add to the floor to give it the finished look came from my stash, the same trim that I used for the window casings. I laid the pieces out on rough sandpaper, hoping to keep them from scooting around too much as I tried to get them glued into place. 




Ready to glue together, I made another trip to the house to make sure that it was going to fit and that I had pieces where I wanted them.



I liked the way this project turned out. There is still one more set of stairs to install, and they will be  a greater challenge because this set will be installed in the opposite direction. 


The bathroom presents a problem, too. I had great visions of adding architectural interest to the large room. 


 Once I got the wall built and put in place, it didn't fit. And it closes off the bathroom too much, so I have abandoned the architectural interest wall for the time being, anyway. I can always add the wall later, but for now I will leave the bathroom as it is. 



Tool of the month: the heat gun. Have I shared it with you before? For rebuilding chores it is a must. I use it to dissolve old glue when I want to deconstruct something, like removing old glue from the door jambs in the house, or removing the small items from the top of this old fireplace or even removing  this clock face that was glued on slightly off center.



So the work continues on this old house. Retrofitting every kit piece is just part of the challenge and the satisfaction that I get when the project turns out decently.


 Despite the rough edges, I am loving how the house is coming together. Here is a little tour:


I would live in this living room. I want to add some area rugs to make it feel more homey. The tea cart is a really sweet piece that I ordered from Superior.  The little tea set was a surprise find at a local garden center in its fairy garden collection.



I made the lamp and ordered the phone from Superior and found the ship at the miniature show in Denver. 


I decided to put hardwood in the bedroom because the carpet didn't fit the best. I am going take the carpet that I purchased for the room and cut it down to make an area rug.


The kitchen is just so cute. The sink does not match the stove and refrigerator that I purchased at Norm's Dollhouse store in Denver. The sink that goes with the set was out and has not come back into stock yet. Right now I am using a sink that came in the stash of miniature stuff that I bought from the junk man last summer. It does not have faucets, so if I keep it I will add the hardware. I have not yet painted the baking center. I will either stain it or maybe even leave it bare. The cabinet in the back corner is supposed to go on the wall, but I am having a hard time fitting it in a corner. The two windows take up a lot of wall space, making the kitchen layout hard. 

I found a great website that has such good stuff and unusual items: Minimumworld. I placed an order not realizing that it would come from England, so it was long 2 weeks before the order arrived.


But such good stuff. I am going to use the little skates to decorate a mini sled for Christmas. I don't think I will go to a lot of work to decorate the house for Christmas, but I won't be able to resist making it a little festive.


I showed my daughter the spinning wheel and she shouts, "oh I must have one." Hmmm. I will stain the side table using the same honey colored stain that I have used for all of the other pieces and place it in the downstairs hall. 

So there you have it. I will put work on the farm house on hold now until after the first of the year. I'll be back then as I tackle the second stair case, already stained and ready to install. I will be working on the 3rd floor to create the nursery, nanny's room, and the man cave--is there a Man of the House?  

Thanks for taking the time to visit. See you soon.