Anyone who read last week’s post knows that, to say the very least, life certainly has thrown a wrench into this project. However, we have continued to place one foot in front of another making progress along the way.
And today I am thrilled to say that the stairs and floors are done!!!
Last week was an extremely crazy week because with all the other personal things going on, we had the contractors scheduled (months ago) to come in and install the banister, railing, and lay the new floors. I debated trying to reschedule everything but I thought giving my parents back their space would help in alleviating some of the chaos, so we pushed on.
Let’s take a minute to remember ‘the before…’
Let’s just say the old stairs leave something to be desired.
…Now here’s the vision for what we wanted to achieve…
…the ‘dream stairs’ if you will…
Here’s where we stopped in our last project post…
You can see that the stairs are done but the banister is untouched.
Well here’s what they look like now…
We called in the crew from Best Carpentry, contractors we work with all the time, and Ian and his guy did a great job. Even though the guys did the actual install, we purchased all the materials and handled all of the prep work to get things set up.
To keep costs low we didn’t want to do anything too fancy, instead we just updated what was already there. No need to reinvent the wheel, right?!
Our process went something like this.
Before we could head to the store, we realized there would be some prep work involved. We needed to get a pattern for the balusters figured out, get measurements for the wood, and finalize color and layout for the floors.
For the railing, I wanted a more decorative pattern so we alternated balusters with “baskets” and balusters with “single twists.”
Our pattern went twist–twist–basket, twist–twist–basket…
Here’s a great shot where you can really see the pattern of balusters. I love the added visual interest the baskets add.
After getting it all figured out we popped over to Home Depot to shop for wood, railings, balusters, caps, and newel posts. All in, the cost was right around $600. Having measurements and a definitive plan beforehand will save you time and money.
After getting everything, it was time to get down to business! The first thing on the agenda was getting the stair track routed, stained, and finished. We took two 2ft x 8ft x 10ft pieces and cut them to sizes we needed.
We routed the wood to give it a decorative, finished edge, and then we sanded them to a smooth finish.
We used a router with a bit that would give us a single ogee edge finish. This comes down to personal preference, but I love this edge.
Here it is before sanding.
A light hand sanding block of 150 grit makes for a smooth finish.
After that it was all about staining….
…and more staining.
For color we used the left over stain from the stairs on the railings, bottom track, and trim.
Once all the prep work was complete, Ian and his crew did the rest.
It was so fun seeing it all come together!
Now for the floors!
The floor prep was somewhat involved but it was great because we did it over a course of weeks. Ripping it out was tedious but even moreso than that was reinforcing the creaky 30 year old sub-floor. The key to solid flooring is having a solid sub-floor. It acts as a foundation supporting the finished floor and is totally worth the extra effort to make sure it’s up to the task.
Full credit goes to Wendy on this. She put no less than 500 screws in all three spaces and she even replaced a few pieces where water had gotten in over the years. Now the floors are like walking on air. Unbelievably quiet and totally beautiful.
This board needed to be replaced. You can see on the left side that it’s rotted.
This is just one small example of a lot of behind the scenes work that Wendy did during this project. She crushed it!
For the finished flooring, we opted to go with a higher end click-in laminate floating floor because of the activity the house sees. Kids, grand-kids, pets, lots of holiday dinners, and impromptu barbecues with wet feet from the pool are things that we considered in our selection. Durability was factor numero uno!
Laminate is usually a great DIY job. However, for us, because there was so much square footage and we’d put in so much time on the stairs, we were happy to let the pro’s finish this one for us.
Here’s where we are now!
Now we’re sprinting toward the finish! Hang in there with us for a few more weeks, it’ll be totally worth it when we’re done!
Create. Innovate. Decorate!