Sunday, August 15, 2010

Home Tour Wannabe

In 2008 I won the Eureka Heritage Society's Residential Preservation award. This was mostly for the preservation of the outside, because the inside could have hardly been considered to be in any state of preservation. As is the tradition, the people who win the different preservation awards for the year are asked to be on the home tour for that year.

Home tours are popular in many cities. People with fabulous homes open there homes to strangers so they can show off all of the work they've done. At the time I won the award The Petch House still had a strong feculent quality to it. I was in the midst of the butler's pantry project and the place was in no condition to have people traipse through what was at that time little more than a construction zone. Really, the only rooms that would have been available for the tour would have been the kitchen, downstairs bath and mudroom.

The tour this year will be in about 6 weeks and I've been asked again to be on it. I think it would be a lot of fun. Who doesn't like showing off their home when they've put so much in to it? I've said that if I can get the foyer finished in time I will do it this year. If I finish the foyer, the only downstairs rooms not finished will be the 2 parlors. The upstairs would be off limits, but I could show off the foyer, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, mudroom, butler's pantry, and laundry room. All but two rooms.

That is, IF I can finish the foyer.

At this point in the project that is a very big “If”. I do have 6 weeks, but I would need to commit to the tour in two weeks. The project is stressful enough and I'm not sure I need the added weight of an official dead-line.

Here is what is left to do:

1) Finish stripping the shellac off the stairs.
2) Strip the shellac off the baseboards in the stairwell and foyer.
3) Strip the shellac off 3 doors and the casing around 4 doorways
4) Paint the walls in the foyer
5) Hang picture rail in the foyer
6) Trim out the pocket doors
7) Install the mill work I had made for the missing stair parts
8) Oil and shellac all of the woodwork – stairs, doors, baseboards, picture rail
9) Sand, oil, and shellac the stair treads and foyer floor
10) Install a carpet runner on the stairs and buy rugs for the foyer
11) Hang the light fixture in the foyer
12) Install the antique, cast bronze mail slot in the front door
13) Paint the outside of the front door
14) Buy and install a new old lockset for the front door.
15) Clean, clean, clean, clean, clean
16) I would also want to re-upohlster the chair seat of the desk chair in the kitchen

Just looking at that list that seems like I could maybe do that in 6 weeks if I really hustle. If it weren't for items 2 and 3 I would say it would be no problem finishing in 6 weeks. Is it worth it though, to rush and kill myself just for the home tour? There will be other home tours. If I were working on the parlors right now, I could rope them off like a crime scene and show off the rest of the house. That would be hard to do with the foyer unless I had everyone enter through the window off the porch.

So we'll see. I said I would give a thumbs up or down by August 29th. That is 2 weeks from today. Odds are it will be a thumbs down on the 29th.

As for the stairs, I have finished stripping the shellac. A gallon and a half of stripper, 3 pairs of gloves, 5 packages of steel wool and 18 rolls of paper towels later, the stairs are officially stripped. Whew! I do need to go over them again to get the little spots here and there where there is some gummy residue. I also need to deal with the carvings on the second flight. After that, I'm not sure what to do next. I should begin stripping the shellac off the baseboards, but I'm a little burned-out on shellac stripping right now.

Maybe I'll take next weekend off. Is there any football on?


St. Blogwen said...

Well, you are pretty fast . . . and it'd be cool to show the completed work with the parlors unfinished, so people can get an idea of what you've been dealing with. And a deadline might be a good thing.

On the other hand, you have to consider what items on your list might be more complicated than planned and take tons more time than you have available.

And you don't want to be so knackered on the day of the tour that you don't enjoy the visitors.

I dunno. Would they be willing to ask again for next year if it's not feasible this?

Kate H.

Greg said...

I'm sure they would ask again.


St. Blogwen said...

Right. Well, I'm sure there's football on TV somewhere this weekend!

Kate H.

Jamie said...

I wouldn't rush it. It would be terrible to put in all that work, but it to be rushed and not up to a standard you are happy with.
See what you can do well over the next two weeks, but don't commit at that point unless you are convinced you can do that job you want in the time left.

Love your work.

Greg said...

Thanks Jamie. That is pretty much how I feel about it.