The Lane Lab Studio – Phase I

photoThis 3rd floor studio idea is actually why we bought this house. Not very often do you come across a home that has an entire floor you can dedicate to your business. The decision had been made to utilize the 3rd floor for Kylee’s work space in early 2012, but the project had stalled out somewhat due to a lack of funds and time. After the incredible amount of support for her indiegogo campaign and continued support through orders, it was time to make it a priority once again.

studio-7This is where we started out. Originally the 3rd floor was split so that 2/3 of it was one big room, while the other third was a small kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and a couple closets.




This tub was actually moved from the original bathroom on the west side of the 3rd floor, probably put in before the house was finished as it would be nigh impossible to get a cast iron tub up the winding narrow stairs…


When the house was converted to apartments in the 30’s or maybe early 40’s this big room was divided into several smaller ones, with another kitchen and bathroom added. For both practicality and restoration we decided to remove all the extra walls that were not original to the house.


Displaying my ladder collection.



The kids were a huge help, not very often does your parent give you a hammer and tell you to destroy the wall.




This work cost me several 2 liters of ginger ale. Next they’ll unionize and make more unreasonable demands.


The only good way to remove all the debris was to shovel it into a trash can and carry it down the stairs… My back hurts thinking about how many trips this required.


So many stairs…


The more material we removed I realized that this was also relieving a huge strain on the house. The amount of weight removed from the 3rd floor was equivalent to having a car parked up there.





Throughout the process I set aside salvageable trim and wall studs for future use. The kids got really good at pulling nails.



Already put some reclaimed lumber to use, one of the first things I did was make some sawhorses.



Also lots of not-so-salvageable material.

wpid-img_20140822_121800.jpg As the destruction progressed we got into somewhat of a routine. Tear down a wall, haul down the trash, tear down the next wall, haul down the trash…




This wall was separating one apartment from the next, and had wood fiber insulation woven between the wall studs probably for soundproofing.


Balsam Wool! Probably boasts an R value of about 2.


To remove the wall studs I found it most efficient to cut through them at the base, and then pull them side to side to get them loose from the ceiling.





The contractor must have used the last sheetrock on earth when they got to this point, using scraps to fill in at the bottom of this wall.


Quick! Slap a baseboard over that so nobody sees!


I am glad that wherever possible they built around the original stuff rather than cut into it. Almost like they knew someday it would all be put back…


Thanks goes out to those dead carpenters who had a little respect.


Not too pleased however at how they cut into floor joists for plumbing. Note the one right by that drain elbow.


May this carpenter be eternally shamed.

This was the bathroom sink drain. Somehow I think this was a drain in name only.

Any time you cut a drain line open be prepared for horrors.

Any time you cut a drain line open be prepared for horrors.

This cabinet turned out to be an original item that matches the upper cabinets in the maid’s kitchen. See the varnished oak peeking out on the side? These are solid oak including the top. Like the tub, they will be put back where they originated from on the west side.



This is the bottom of one of the drawers, designating which spot it goes in. The same handwriting I found on the silverware drawers in the built in hutch in the dining room. Why does nobody write like this anymore?


During this project great care was taken to not contaminate her workspace on the west side of the house.


Finally it was starting to feel like one room instead of several.



Well that’s it for now, there is ongoing progress with the electrical but that will be included with the Phase II post. From here on out will be less destruction and more construction. Feel free to leave comments and questions!

We are working on a full gallery for the hundreds of pictures we have taken! Let us know if there are any particular things you would like to see. 

-The Lanes

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