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.
"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.
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.