The Stairs Are Out!

The hubs and I are living the dream over here in our vintage house. This dream:

The Money Pit

About a year ago, we started looking for a contractor who could rebuild these things:

The stairs leading to our front porch.

We’ve had a number of people out to look at them over the months. Some bigger outfits thought the job was too small to be worthwhile. Some handyperson types told us the job was too big for them to take on. A few contractors said they’d get back to us with an estimate and then ghosted us. We had begun to despair of ever finding anyone to tackle the project.

But a coworker’s husband who does various home repairs (and had told us the job was too big for him) was assisting a concrete and foundation guy on a job in our neighborhood a few weeks back and brought him by to show him the stairs. Turns out foundation guy was between big jobs and looking for small jobs to fill in while waiting for some paperwork to go through on a project with the city. He said he’d do it!

All we had to do was give him half of all the money we owned to start and then the other half of all our money when he finished. I exaggerate, but not by much. At this point, hearing similar stories from friends, we figure the contractors can set their prices for whatever. The stairs needed to be rebuilt before someone was injured on them. I myself nearly took a tumble one day when a chunk broke under my foot.

We wrote him an enormous check and he began demolishing the old stairs the very next day. That was…a while ago.

Chunks of concrete in trailer
The remnants of our crumbling concrete stairs

The hard part is done — taking out and hauling away the old stairs. It was loud and our cat was terrorized. But we celebrate every inch of progress. When it happens. I keep saying, “The trailer is still in our yard. He has to come back at least once, right?”

Of course, this being the lower Midwest, the weather isn’t exactly stable. We’ve had repeated cycles of 60-degree days followed by snow storms. So that’s slowed the work down. But during our last unseasonably warm day, some forms got built. We now have a hint of stairs to come.

Wood forms built for new stairs

And there it sits while we wait for the latest snow to melt.

About five more inches fell after this picture was taken.

Good thing we have two other doors in and out of the house. Surely this will be done before summer. Right? Someone tell me I’m right! I’m already planning to use some vacay time from work to repaint all this. I have a vision of stairs that are both safe and spiffy.