February 7, 2016

New Stairs

The stairway in our house has been a discussion point over the past three years-- keep them, move them, repair them, open them, ignore them. We'd exhausted the topic.

When we decided to hire someone to refinish our floors, Walter suggested we get the crew to give us a quote on what it would cost to redo the stairs as well. We also had him tell us an estimate on repairing and refinishing them. The professional told us he could repair them, but, in his opinion, that would not be worth it. He suggested just rebuilding. The estimate he gave us was very reasonable.

We had grown fond of the old staircase, but we had to face the fact that they were in terrible condition  Walter always told me this, but I never really wanted to believe it because of the money and time it would cost us. (Yet, after three years, what's a few more months?) The thought of the new stairs looking oddly out of place among the rest of the house caused a bit of anxiety for both of us, but the thought of redoing the entire house only to repair the stairs in a few years persuaded us to take the plunge.

We're very proud of the decision. Since they were built and stained the week before Christmas, we considered them an early birthday present.

Here are the before and after shots.
You can see how they bow. Also, years of repairs had weakened the structure.
The door is open here, but you can see the door jamb.

New white oak treads and risers along with pine trim, all stained with the same 
Minwax  Walnut used on the floor. (Poor lighting here, sorry.)

Originally, the stairs were closed off from the downstairs level. You had to open a door and duck (if you were Walter's height) to reach the upper level.

When we began tearing out walls, I wanted to have the stairs open. It couldn't happen all the way up due to that wall being load bearing, but we opened it up enough for my liking. (The stairs were not stained here.)
They're covered in sawdust again, but you can see the color and detail a bit
more in this picture.
Now, they are sturdy, straight, and still look as if they belong with the house. We're happy with the work and that such a big project is complete!