The Stair Makeover

Man, what a project.  We couldn't easily find anyone to do this so I did it myself.  Now I know why it was hard to find someone.  It was a lot of work.  This took over a month.  It was well worth it though.  I got away with carpeting for 18 years.  It looked pretty bad.  Materials for this job were on the order of $2000 but a good part of that was the flooring for the landings and upper hallway.  Below is the story.

Not a great picture but the only "BEFORE" picture I could find.  I always forget the before pictures.

Here is the first surprise.  This is what you find underneath the carpet.  This is the first indication the job is much bigger than you thought.

The first mistake.  Had to take it right back off and figure out another plan of attack.  The plan....re-build all the treads.

I started on the upper section so I could have my mistakes here.  I re-built all the upper treads and installed the treads and risers.

Same section, different view.

The risers are set and screwed in.

Here the lower treads have been rebuilt.  There was so much plaster and paint on the old treads it would have taken longer to clean them than to replace them.  Also, the treads were loose and squeaky so they had to be taken off anyway.  Most were warped......REPLACE THE TREADS.

The lower section, treads and risers in place.

Progress is made.  Another view of the treads and risers in place but not installed.

The lower risers are installed and painted.  The treads are still not fastened.  You can't do that till the very end.  They have to be stained and urethaned.  Suzanne did that.

Suzanne applying one of the coats of urethane.  The tread process took a week.  Three coats of stain to try to match the new floor color and four coats of urethane.

Here is the start of the landings.  The sub-floor was pathetic so it had to be replaced.  I couldn't get it to stop squeaking.

Fun place to work.  Note the top treads are off again.  On and off many many times.

The lower middle landing sub-floor is done.

The upper middle landing sub-floor would not come out easily so I sanded it with the belt sander, and then secured it with many screws.

The middle landings with the new engineered oak flooring installed.

Another picture of the lower middle landing.  Those transition pieces for the front bull nose edge were not cheap.  They were also the wrong color and had to be stripped, re-stained and urethaned.

Almost finished views.  This was the first time it looked like we were going to finish and the new look of the stairs was apparent.

Almost finished.

Note the starting step at the bottom of the picture.  I still didn't have the tread for this one yet.  Didn't have a plan either.

Yep, the starting step was a project in itself.  Took a week.  Had to build the box around the base and rip off the old newels and molding without destroying them.  Disassembly took an evening.  I chose not to use a rounded starting step because of cost.  A complete step would have cost almost $200 and would have been a bigger job to install.

Side view of the starting step installation.

After a month and a half, many injuries, a lot of trim and detailing and a very sore back, the stairs are finished.  What a difference.  It took a while to set in having looked at all the stages for 6 weeks.

The starting step only cost about $100 for the tread and the wood to build the box.  Much cheaper.

Kinda cool!

Looking down at the landings and lower treads.

The upper section.


See the Hallway Project to view the upper landing.  Click below:  



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Revised: 24 Mar 2014 12:37:45 -0700 .