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Woodwork Plans

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

Measuring the original spindles

We’re at a very exciting point in the project! Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to make some serious progress on finishes that we’re actually going to see rather than pipes and electrical that will be behind the walls. Bathroom tile, flooring, and woodwork will start going in! We’re currently trying to decide how much of the original baseboard we should keep and how much will need to be replaced.

Right now the place has about 30% of the original baseboard in place. Really just in the foyer up the stairs and also below and between the windows. Much of it is missing for various reasons (kitchens & bathrooms being moved...etc). We hoped that a local lumber supplier known for stocking typical Brooklyn wood molding supplies would have it. Our woodwork is all very common and typical in old Brooklyn houses. We also have a couple of missing spindles on our staircase railing that we hoped to find there too. Unfortunately we struck out on all of them. But we have a plan!

Mismatched spindle that we need to have a reproduction made.

We were told about a carpenter that can make us new spindles by copying one of the existing ones. The cost is about $100 each so an acceptable fix since we’re only missing two. We think they are mahogany, and we just match the wood as best as we can. We think two new spindles will look beautiful matching the existing ones and certainly much better than the completely mismatched ones that are there now.

The baseboards are a different story. Since they no longer stock our baseboard (although the gentleman at the store said that people have come in looking for it hundreds of times) our only option would be to have it custom made. We only have about 30% of the original baseboard so that means we would be making quite a lot of it. Probably 250 feet. It will cost thousands of dollars. Alternatively, we could buy all new solid oak baseboards for a few hundred dollars. We have made our best effort every step of the way to retain original features even when it was considerably more expensive than replacing it. This time though we are leaning toward the latter. Since there is so little of the original baseboard left, and the cost is so much more to reproduce the missing sections, it just seems to make more sense to replace it all.

The original baseboards between the two master bedroom windows.

Master bathroom window casings stripped and showing their original beauty.

Right now we are thinking that there are a couple of places where we’ll keep the original. Especially up the staircase. We’re going to wait until the new baseboard is in to make the call when we see what it looks like with the original next to it.

We visited a local lumbar supply shop with hopes to find a replacement.

The good news is that no matter what we decide to do with the baseboards we’re absolutely keeping all of the window casings, door frames, shutters, and the OG banister! They are still in the process of being stripped and coming out beautifully!

It’s hard to believe that finishes are being installed and it’s making us really excited that we are so close to the end!

The shutters have been stripped and dipped. We couldn't be happier with the outcome!

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