A Safe Landing

The sub-flooring on the west landing is now complete. You can see the oak finished flooring at the bottom of the image.


The sub-flooring on the north landing is now complete.


And the sub-flooring on the east landing is now complete. SQUEE!!!!!!!! When I finished I had a mound of debris on the landing. I felt queasy at the thought of hauling all this down the stairs. Then my inner child had a very wicked idea…


…which effortlessly resolved the problem. And the process was quite fun!


Twenty minutes later. The end of a long day. And every bone in Adult Ross felt brutalized.


Since November, I have been on a process of, it’s hard to explain, making the Cross House not so pulled apart. Not so damaged. Not quite so ravaged.

To this end I have repaired termite-damaged flooring in the pantry. Doors that never quite closed or latched now close and latch (fabulous!). A highly damaged wall in the round bedroom (the Worst Wall) has been repaired. The staircase balustrade has largely been reconstructed. All the bits-o-trim in the basement Aladdin’s Cave have been reinstalled in their original locations. A subfloor was installed in the floorless servant’s hall. All the AC ductwork was finally finished. Every room was scoured of stuff just sitting around, and most of the rooms in the house are now deliciously, Zen-like empty. A hot water heater was installed!!!!!!!! Hot water, at last! Missing pieces of the house have been returned. A intensely ruined door was magically restored. And, OMG OMG OMG, the radiator system is up and running!

And now, the stair landings, which for four years have been dangerous to walk across (with missing sections of floor, and temporary patches) are 100% solid and safe and ready for the finished floor.




  1. B. Davis on February 17, 2018 at 10:30 am

    WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!! This is getting really really exciting! Like the last mile of a marathon! You’re awesome!

    • Ross on February 17, 2018 at 12:02 pm

      Hi, B!

      Last mile?

      I wish!

      I feel like I am on mile 6 of a 100 mile marathon! But 6 miles is better than 0 miles!

      • john feuchtenberger on February 17, 2018 at 4:20 pm

        Il faut imaginer Sisyphe heureux!

  2. Carla on February 17, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Fabulous! Just fabulous!

  3. Kelly P. on February 17, 2018 at 11:17 am

    I can understand your excitement. Yesterday we reached an electrical milestone, the baths now have lights and GFI outlets. No more going in the dark. Yay for all of us !!!!!!

    • Ross on February 17, 2018 at 12:02 pm

      Lights! Outlets! Oh my!

  4. Julie C. on February 17, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Ditto on the WOWS!!! You have so much to be proud of.

  5. Nikki on February 17, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Sounds like move-in day is inching closer!

  6. Annette on February 17, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Amazing, I know there’s still a long way to go but gosh you have come a long way!

  7. Stewart McLean on February 17, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    I am glad for you, but fear something that didn’t occur to me until seeing the pictures in this post. I hope that I am totally wrong. My fear is that the expansion and contraction in such wide boards may cause cupping, or worse, have them literally rip apart along the areas where the screws are placed. The boards appear to be placed too close together to allow for their expansion and contraction with changes in the weather.
    -Even if you plan to keep the space conditioned at all times, which would be likely to prevent this problem from occurring, any extended power outage during the hot, humid days of summer could result in such an outcome. You may have already taken this into consideration in a way that i am not seeing. If haven’t, I don’t want you to have to make a repair after the finish floors have been laid.
    -One solution could be to cut each wide board into three separate equally wide board by setting a circular saw to a depth that is as close to the thickness of the wood as possible and adding sufficient nails or screws so that each new board still has two per joist. This would also create sufficient room for their expansion.
    – One additional caution— I have had experience with this type of process when I was taking up floors that had been lain over period floors. The the thumb screws on depth stops that come on circular saws, no matter how tightly I have tried to secure them, always tend to work themselves loose relatively quickly. If the thumbscrews on them do not have very good washers and lock washers on them, you should add them. Even so, you should have a scrap of wood the same thickness as your proposed cutting depth with you as you operate, so you can regularly check that the depth of the cut is not increasing as you work. I prefer to warn you to be overly cautious than to have you share my experience of damaging the thing that I was working so hard to preserve.

    • Ross on February 18, 2018 at 12:33 am

      Hi, Stewart!

      I am unconcerned.

      The boards are new. They will shrink soon.

      Over the decades I have done many such sub-floors, and with no later issues.

  8. tiffaney jewel on February 17, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    It must feel soooo nice to have the stairway area back to where it’s supposed to be. No more kitchens and Mamie-pink bathrooms in the stairway!

  9. Beth on February 17, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Can’t wait to see this hall complete! It is beautiful now but I know you will make it so much better! Hard work but so worth it!

  10. Cody H on February 18, 2018 at 1:45 am

    This is the one space in the house that I am most looking forward to seeing completed. I feel that it will have the biggest visual/mental impact upon completion. Once you move in, you aren’t going to want the biggest part of the house to be a continual construction zone. Being able to confine the flotsams and whatnots to their in-progress rooms will be a blessing. I’m also in the “period correct” decor camp (albeit not entirely, I like to take some creative liberties myself), so I’m very much looking forward to seeing that KILLER 1890’s wallpaper ensemble back on the walls, baby! Once the parlor is *DONE* done, which space will you be moving on to? I’ve tried to stay a step ahead here, guessing as to which room you’ll tackle next, but you’re all over the place, dude! (In a way that we all love)

    • Cody H on February 18, 2018 at 1:47 am

      And speaking of the business of moving in, what items are on the must-have-done list, before that can happen? I enjoy picking your brain from afar!

      • Arkay on February 18, 2018 at 9:52 am

        Seems to me that when the south side and remaining windows are repaired, the fundamentals are pretty much complete.

        After that, Ross would only need one fully functional bathroom, a refrigerator and microwave, and he could move right in.

        Well, he really does need a hot tub, for all those sore muscles…but where to put it? Basement? Back yard (which side is the back these days)? Our hot tub has saved our old muscles more than once as we continuously work on our unique fixer upper.

        The Cross House is slowly but surely coming back to life. Great work, Ross.

  11. Leigh on February 18, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Hi Ross. My inner child waves to your inner child. Excellent results.

  12. Kay on February 19, 2018 at 6:37 am

    Hi Ross the hall is looking great, I can’t wait to see it finished.

    I though you might like this!


  13. Dawn Rocco on February 20, 2018 at 4:42 am

    Oh my gosh I just feel in love ! I love old homes and all that lovely wood and the windows. I love what your doing ! Do you feel like your house is alive in a way and it’s thanking you for making it beautiful again? Sounds crazy doesn’t it. I rented an old small boarding house for about five years and fixed it up a bit, nothing like your doing but my landlord was real happy and I always had this feeling that the house loved me. I sure loved it.

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