A lot of work has happened this week at Lafayette Flats. Unfortunately most of it is not terribly photogenic and so you’ll have to take out word for how impressive it all is.
First, rough plumbing is all done. Those of you who have followed us since the beginning understand how big of a deal that this is. It has been the single largest task and the cause of most of our headaches. It would take much more time than we have to type and much more space than this blog affords to adequately communicate how difficult it has been to adapt this old building with two new bathrooms, three new kitchens and to tie everything to a 109 year-old plumbing system. There are three main reasons it has been so hard – concrete, plaster and oak: every piece of pipe had go through all of these materials at least once as it traveled through the building. An uncountable number of saw blades and drill bits were worn out, and an equally countless number of cuts and abrasions suffered by everyone involved made this part expensive and painful. Add to that the endless number of trips up and down the 51 stair steps from the basement to the third floor, and yeah, you might say that we’re elated that plumbing is done. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Porter Jarrard and Megan Houk for their amazing work in getting it all done.
Second, we have reinstalled nearly all of the beautiful old trim that we removed in the first days of construction – all of it, that is, that can be reinstalled. We are awaiting an order from Appalachian Millwork in Beckley for the new wood that we had to buy to supplement the old.
Flooring is being delivered on Saturday and the installation will begin next week. This means we have to work furiously over the next few days to get as much cleaning and painting done as possible lest we muss up our beautiful new floors after they are laid.
The stair railing to the third floor that had been so abused when it was covered by a wall many years ago is being rebuilt. We found an old piece of white oak in the attic and were able to cut enough balusters from it to replace those that were missing. We have removed, stripped and sanded the balusters that remained and they are nearly ready to be reinstalled. We still have to rebuild the old newel post at the bottom of the stairs, but we should have enough old wood to do that fairly easily.
Next week’s update should have many more photos as we get more and more finish work done. Stay tuned!