Aug 302015
 August 30, 2015  Uncategorized 5 Responses »
Refinishing the Stairwell Floors: Part 2

Before we began renovating the stairwell, I had an abstract idea of how the finished project would look – refinished wide-plank pine floors, a level staircase with dark-stained treads, a slightly raised handrail, white balusters and white trim, smooth, flat walls and so on. Even so, it was hard to picture just how all of continue reading

Aug 242015
 August 24, 2015  Uncategorized 4 Responses »
Refinishing the Stairwell Floors: Part 1

Refinishing floors is almost always a logistical nightmare. It involves completely emptying a portion of your home and agreeing not to enter the area for at least two or three days. Things get even more complicated if the area to be refinished happens to include the primary entryway and common laundry for four condos. So continue reading

Jul 272015
 July 27, 2015  Uncategorized 9 Responses »
Rebuilding the Stairwell: Part 4

Over the past few weeks, our contractor, Gregg, has finished the bulk of the repair work on the stairs. He’s almost ready to begin reinstalling the original newel post and handrail. But all of this progress has reminded me just how much work I have left to do in the stairwell. Once Gregg is done, continue reading

Jun 282015
 June 28, 2015  Uncategorized 6 Responses »
Rebuilding the Stairwell: Part 3

The original newel posts and handrail might be the most impressive part of the stairwell. They’re constructed from tightly-grained, solid walnut. The handrail twists and winds its way up a curved flight of stairs and across a landing before doubling back and climbing a second flight of tightly curved stairs, terminating at a small newel continue reading

Jun 072015
 June 7, 2015  Uncategorized 7 Responses »
Rebuilding the Stairwell: Part 2

The finished staircase came into focus this week as our contractor, Gregg, finished installing new treads and risers on the first flight of stairs. Gregg spent most of last week custom milling curved treads for the first five steps. But things went more quickly this week as he moved on to a straight run of continue reading

May 312015
 May 31, 2015  Uncategorized 8 Responses »
Rebuilding the Stairwell: Part 1

Over the past two weeks, the stairwell has been reduced to a grimy construction site. But somehow, each day that I came home this week and walked through the front door, I thought that the space looked better than I’ve ever seen it. The stairwell has been stripped back to its bare bones. The dingy continue reading

May 222015
 May 22, 2015  Uncategorized 10 Responses »
Taking the Stairwell Apart

Renovation work on the stairwell kicked off this week, and I think it’s safe to say we’ve officially reached the point of no return. The old entranceway floor is gone, the stair railing is down, and the stairs are pretty thoroughly torn up. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s where we started a week continue reading

Apr 262015
 April 26, 2015  Uncategorized 2 Responses »
Spring is Here and the Chandelier is Done

It’s been over two months since my last post, and you may be wondering, ‘what ever happened to that stairwell renovation?’ The short answer is, winter happened. Boston shut down for most of February as consecutive snow storms dropped a historically unprecedented amount of snow on the city. The public transit system was effectively unusable continue reading

Feb 092015
 February 9, 2015  Uncategorized 11 Responses »
The Joys of Plaster Ceiling Repair

A week and a half ago, I had just started repairing the plaster ceiling in my building’s common laundry area on the ground floor of the stairwell, and things weren’t going well. After drilling a dozen holes in the ceiling, I hadn’t found a joist. Each new hole I drilled created a little cascade of continue reading