Three Problems to Bring Back the Irishman

I’m still working on that banister, but there’s not much to see just yet. Luckily, there’ still plenty to plan.


It’s been a while since I’ve had the Irishman help me, maybe all the way back to drywalling. But now this summer he’ll be back to help me with finish carpentry! He’s not consistently available, but I’ve decided to keep just about every Saturday open. If he can’t come, I can sleep in till 8 and take breaks when I’m hungry. If we come, he works without stopping 7-3 on coffee and cigarettes alone. Though his coffee is like half milk so I guess there’s a little food value in it. As nice as it’s been to have only free labor these last few months, I have a few problems that will be a lot easier with a master carpenter’s help. I have them in order here, starting with the jobs I think are the most important.

The first is these doors. I need them cut down and re-mortised for hinges so I can move forward with the staining. Their sizes are all fine, but their previous owner was abusive. Abusive! One of them is going to need to be cut down about a half an inch! Luckily I don’t need to re-mortise any doors for the doorknobs. But more on this later.


Then, my parents definitely want the armoire lined with plywood and fitted out with adjustable shelves. While we’re at it, I need a new upper panel for the basement stairway door. The original one was busted out and replaced with subfloor grade plywood. At least it was better than OSB! I’m putting this second in importance, but it may not be second chronologically since we have to plan and buy materials.IMG_5386

Then there’s this big pile of trim. When the floor finishers come I have to find someplace else to put all this, and I’m tired of moving things around, so now the plan is to install as much as possible.


The door jambs and baseboards are going in after the floors are done. The finishers will charge less and do a better job with very little edging. But window sills and jambs, the bathroom door (!!!), and all the bathroom trim (!!!!!) can move forward right away. Paint may have to wait. My first plan was to do all the trim and doors with a sprayer, but now I just want to finish all the doors with a brush (some stained and some painted) and paint the trim at my own pace after I have furniture in the house (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

And finally, I can consider shelves in the closets and upper cabinets in the kitchen. I have a lot of nice shelves that my friend’s parents had left over and were gonna toss in the trash. You might remember some of the doors I hoarded for no good reason. The shelves are from the same basement. Along with a piece of plywood sheathing that went in around my back door. And maybe it makes sense to put in the upper kitchen cabinets since I already own them?


7 thoughts on “Three Problems to Bring Back the Irishman

  1. Mary E Lang

    Chad, Sounds like good plans.  I have a suggestion about the trim. It is so much easier to paint or stain when it is off the walls. What my DH and I do is to use a kind of assembly line system, in which I get started the day before sanding and painting the trim boards on a pair of saw horses. Then while he cuts that trim and installs it, I am working on the next batch. Then he sinks the finishing nails, uses a bit of wood putty and then and touches up any spots. That way it is guaranteed no paint will smear on the newly finished wood floors, the ceiling, etc.


    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      So maybe do jambs only and plan to cut and number the casings? I just think that could get overwhelming! Where’s door casing piece C-34? I’ll see what my neighbor thinks. I’ll consider myself lucky if we make a noticeable dent in this work in the first day.


  2. rhiannonrises

    I hate when people paint things they shouldn’t, so I feel your pain on trying to strip the banister. Last summer I spent many weeks stripping a small dry sink and wondering WHY someone felt the need to paint it. Hopefully you’re able to get through the job without swearing as much as I did. 🙂


  3. Jo

    I’m hoping to paint our trim before it goes in but I’ll be happy either way — just want it finished. The Irishman may not like old doors. Our contractor certainly didn’t. I only convinced his to use our original front door because I was adamant. He sent the door to the lumber mill and had it weather-stripped and prehung before installing it. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s