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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

ND Mill Werk expands

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nelda Werkmeister shows cupboards taken in various finishes whether it''s painted white or has a rich wood finish sitting right next to one. Notes are kept on everything they have in the warehouse. Photo by Nancy Hohbach
Denny and Nelda Werkmeister of Paullina have plans to expand their business, which began back in 2002. Paullina is Denny's hometown, which is what got them back to town after living 13 years in the Twin Cities. He wanted to get back to his roots.

Right after high school, Werkmeister worked three years as a carpenter, and always enjoyed working with wood. Nelda worked for city government and dealt with reduction of waste.

The couple just sort of fell into what they are doing now. They put a bid in to take down an old home, as they wanted to salvage every portion they could and then go to the Internet to sell it-piece by piece. Before they got one house done, they had a second opportunity. It was at this point they had to make a serious decision as to whether they really wanted to get into salvaging and sales.

"We concluded that we wanted to do it with homes that were built in the late 1800's to about 1920. We wanted the real nice, old homes. We go in and take off the doors with the door frame included. Cupboards are a priority. We also take out fireplace mantels, banisters, flooring, mop boards, crown molding, wainscoting, light fixtures, old fashion tubs on legs and, of course, the sinks. We love taking gorgeous wood walls that follow up the staircase. We take inside and outside doors, carriage house doors and doors off of very old business buildings," said Werkmeister. It's a lot of work, and it takes time and some knowledge of how it was put in.

Here are several doors with stained glass that came out a very old home. Even the latches and hinges are there if one wants to install as is. It takes quite a bit of time to reclaim these beauties for resale. Photo by Nancy Hohbach
The couple ships out to all areas of the country. This amounts to nearly 50 percent of their business.

"We also have a strong local business within the radius of 60 miles," added Werkmeister. "We have already expanded by adding warehouse space and then building on a connecting room from the warehouse to where we started for a work room and inventory storage. We are hoping to work out a deal on another building for a show room and set up some displays along the highway to get folk's attention."

The connecting room has neatly stacked boards marked for length and type.

Denny Werkmeister has found his work to be a lot of fun, as he preserves the many wonderful wood treasures so others can take build a home with wonderful treasures. Note the rows of woods arranged by lengths and types of wood - just like a new modern lumber yard. Photo by Nancy Hohbach
Nelda explained her role, "I stay busy keeping track of our inventory on the computer as well as help to get it marked and in it's proper place so we can go right to what is wanted by the customer. It really keeps us busy as folks who are remodeling or building new will contact us as they want to have vintage wood and building products that are genuine. It's a hobby for some and they take years getting just the right piece. It has become a hobby for some to get the house just right to step back in time. We may do some simple repairs but for the most part, we send products just the way they are."

They keep samples of milling designs whether it's molding for the ceiling or woodwork around windows and doors. The inventory is a big challenge.

They have a website set up up so you can see what they are all about. Go to www.oldwoodwork.com. They are located at 104 South Rutledge in Paullina. You may set an appointment with them by calling 949-9375 or 712-348-4137.

If one is thinking they may want a home torn down, one should call them a year in advance as sometimes they get booked up. It's good to get on the list and they will stay in contact with you. It just doesn't happen overnight.

The couple is very much aware of how vacated houses can be vandalized. Keep the home locked and stay in touch with professionals who know what they are doing.

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