Box Canyon

In the last two months, it’s been a whirlwind of activity. December was the big push to get the certificate of occupancy and once that document was signed, we started moving in the same day.

We spent January moving stuff out of the old house and having a monumentous garage sale. Even with the sale, we ended up with a lot of boxes to move to the hotel.

The saloon looked almost as bad as when we bought the place but luckily, the smell was different. No more “essence of dog and cat wee”.

To back up a bit, the cert of occupancy required a few last tasks that I’d been procrastination over. The biggest one was actually the easiest since it was just a matter of writing a check. We hired a guy named Bob who owned a Bobcat to grade the back yard.

The next task was installing the wall vent for the range hood. It had been worrying me because it required drilling an eight inch diameter hole in the kitchen wall twelve feet above the ground. The contractor quotes were also quite high for the project so it was much cheaper to simply buy a rotary hammer and do it myself.

The installation proved to be a lot easier than expected. The old brick was so soft that I was able to drill a series of holes in an eight inch circle and then chip out the center with a chisel bit. The rest was simply securing the the vent with masonry screws and caulking. I also am the proud owner of a rotary hammer which may never get used again but it was still cheaper than hiring a contractor.

The final project was getting a code compliant banister on the stairs. The challenge was that we wanted to reuse the original banister but to get that to fit correctly, I had to build the newel post for it to secure to. Of course, the construction of the newel post required that I build the newel post lamp as well before I lost access to the wiring within.

The newel post lamp that I used came from an antique shop in Reno. It was a very early original with a socket that had mica as an insulator inside. Sadly, sockets this old are hard to reuse since the mica tends to degrade over the years thus leading to possible shorting so I found one in my stock of parts that looked just like the old one but without the mica.

The result was pretty attractive for both the lamp and the banister which, ironically, you can’t see in this picture. The banister that you can see, on the far wall, is original and still needs to be raised up to the code compliant height. It seems that we are much taller than the average person 150 years ago.

Of course, all this work meant nothing without cat approval. We had five to move, three of which went peacefully. I still have scars from the other two. Once they got to the hotel; however, all was well with the exception of the stairs. None of the kitties had encounter stairs before which led to a few instances of fuzzy tumbling but there were no injuries. Meanwhile, the kitchen provided more satisfaction including Wyatt showing us where he wanted us to store the cat food.

Now, once the boxes are unpacked, it will be time for interior millwork.

Author: Dusty

I'm a 5' 8" tall ape descendant with an interior design degree and a love for antiques and vintage architecture. I recently escaped from the IT world to follow my dreams and a beautiful damsel who shares my love of old buildings no matter how much dust is involved.