A few weeks ago we started pointing bricks in the stairwell. This is one of those DIRTY projects that should have been done before we moved in, but logistically it had to wait.
This job is DIRTY. It involves scraping out mortar from between joints which creates a good deal of dust, even more sand and to do it right, lots of water is sprayed inside the house. Where does it all go? Down. All the way down both flights of stairs. This makes it pretty much impossible not to track it around the house. Iris also seems to need to go to the bathroom 10x more than normal when there is unavoidable sand on the stairs.
This job has gone smoothly so far, but I have barely made a dent in the 450 square foot wall. The house becomes an indoor beach complete with sand dunes on the stairs. I do the work in chunks because the clean up is so time consuming. It is impossible to leave it dirty when we have Iris or guests so there have been long gaps between working days while I wait for there to be no one around.
The single brick thick walls are taking priority. The century old mortar has long since turned to dust and gravity is the only thing holding up the wall. I’ve been able to replace mortar more than half the depth on most of these. One day I may try to hit them from the other side, but good mortar halfway though is enough to sure up the walls for more serious repairs to the wall above Siri’s office door. These bricks are literally falling out and will need to be removed and re-layed to do it right. Better hurry up though. Fall is already here and we can’t have a gaping hole in the side of the house much longer.
We had not planned on replacing the stairs, but after all this mess, I think the only way to get the area cleaned up when this is done is to rip out the old stairs and replace them. I plan on drawing this up in Sketchup in a few days. I’ll be sure to post my ideas.