Saturday, June 03, 2006

As the wood pile grows...

We have carefully been removing every stitch of wood trim from the 2nd floor apartment. Today was day two and I am pretty darn tired. There are two things that will get us through tomorrow, which should be the last day for trim removal: determination and extra strength Tylenol.

The photo at left was taken on Friday at the end of one days work. The next photo was taken today at about 6pm. Sorry, I was unable to smile for the photo (too tired).

We still have the window sills and jambs to remove and all the door jambs. For the door jambs, we will be using the sawzall to cut all the nails. I will be doing that job.

Steve will be removing the sills and window jambs by hand I think. We took photos of "how-to" and later on I hope to summon the strength to post them!

When we first started the job on Friday, after about one hour of breaking 10+ layer paint seals with a razor knife, I didn't think I was gonna make it, but once the pieces started coming off, hope returned!

We actually did extremely well I think as we had very few cracked boards. We also learned some things about how the 2nd floor was constructed a bit differently than the 1st. In some ways they cut a few corners using secondary wood in a few places and using shallower window sills etc... I could do an entire post dedicated to these differences and probably will at some point.

Maybe the 1st floor was always considered the "owner's unit" and therfore got better quality on a few things. Or else the worker's on the first floor knew more what they were doing when installing window jambs etc...We will be in some cases putting it back better than it was even originally.

The nightmare of it all (hear music from The Omen playing here) will be removing the coffered ceiling.

Steve started to this morning, but after cracking two boards (we can repair them- don't worry), we decided that we will wait until the ceiling it cut out so he can get up above them and pound them out that way. In our place, Steve stripped the coffered ceiling in place. It took him a whole summer basically working weekends.

Wish us luck finishing up tomorrow. I took Monday off to recuperate before going back to work. It's funny because this is about the most sore my muscles have been since we drywalled the kitchen 2 summers ago. I find if I keep moving I don't notice the pain as much. It's once you actually stop working, that it really hits you.

Tylenol and Gatorade are my friends (and you housebloggers too). I'm sure most other folks think us batty for this episode.

Oh, I forgot to mention we had the radiators pulled in the midst of this and thru a mishap(plumber's error) had water rain down into our unit in a few places. Not alot thankfully and no damage to see except for the rusty water that stained my expensive lampshade. Hopefully we can have it cleaned. Gary, I thought of you. Signing out!
(Steve can't believe I'm typing this much with my poor tired hands)


Emerld said...

My heart goes out to you. Both tenants are out in Cicero but one butthead broke 2 windows and left the place a greasy pigsty. Good News: All are rented for June. Bad news all the rent and sec dep are going into the repairs. We're now in 10K debt to fix up the bldg for the inspection. If this thing gets sold it'll be a miracle. What are you doing Sunday afternoon? Up for a visit? I"m coming there next weekend.

Ms. P in Jackson said...

An amazing lot of work you two have done! My muscles are sore just reading the post (I remember days like that). I am anxious to see the next steps and also the details in removing and reinstalling the trim (I know this is for much later but I'm trying to learn all I can).

Aunt Jo said...

It makes me tired just reading what you guys are doing. I can't wait to see what you do next.

Jocelyn said...

Thanks all :0)
I will definitely do some follow up posts on removing trim and more.

Jen- I'm sorry to hear about your building woes, but hopefully you'll sell it and come out ahead and free of the headaches. Next weekend might work for me- I'll email you this week.

Gary said...

Don't ask me to fix that plumbing!
He, he, he!

jm@houseinprogress said...

WOW! Amazing work! My muscles hurt just looking at your pictures!

It will look amazing.

allison said...

That is a TON of work. Hats off to your both. I hope I’m not too late on this tip, but did you somehow label all the wood so you’ll know where it goes when trying to put it back? It does make it a lot easier. We had a contractor once who said he was going to do that, then hauled all the trim down two flights of stairs and left it in a heap in our garage! Not a pretty sight when we got home that day. Anyway, you’re project should go more smoothly than that!

StuccoHouse said...

Wow, you accomplished more in one day than I will probably all summer :-) One little trick I learned (from bicycling) is to take an ibuprofen before you start anything. For some reason this stops the whole muscle pain thing before it even starts. Will be interested to follow your progress. How do you keep track of where the pieces go?

Rebecca said...

Wow! that's an amazing amount of work. On our last house I stripped a bunch of french doors which seemed endless until they were done and installed and gorgeous! One practical question though. Would you recommend the wood stripper you used? I live in chicago and need one but the photo of the corner could be almost anywhere!

I haven't got the hang of this blog thing though I love reading other peoples'. I've done a post-fire 1872 brick four-flat, a 1906 American vernacular single family, and am now doing a 1930 art deco/Tudor 13-flat, which should take a couple of years!.

Thanks for sharing your passion.

Jocelyn said...

Hi Rebecca and thanks for the comment. I would be glad to share our wood stripper's info if you want to email me at I will post his info after he finishes the job. So far, he is doing a fantastic job and his prices are very fair- a deal really compared to what you find in the yellow pages.