Stair Progress

The front stairs are almost entirely finished at this point.

Front stairs with handrail

The new treads look great, with added center blocking they feel strong and solid, and you can hardly tell that so much rework was done on them.

Top of the front stairs

At the top of the stairs the handrail is back in place.

Tightened up handrail

The joints in the handrail were originally made with metal bolts that had loosened over time, so the carpenters replaced the bolts and tightened everything up. The wood had expanded and contracted on either side of the joint as well, so they sanded it smooth.

Hallway edge

What you can't see here is the added height in the floor in the hallway. I think it is very clever how they concealed it behind that upper band of trim. If you didn't have the original to compare it to you really would not know we'd added height to the floor at all.

Missing baluster

One thing we do still have is one missing baluster. This was missing when we bought the house, and I asked the carpenters to fabricate a replacement. Even though this was always Mr Kitty's favourite place to stick his head out and watch people go by in the hallway.

Side of handrail with baluster transitions

Because the floor height changed, and every riser height changed, we needed to add a little bit of wood to the bottom of every baluster in the handrail to even things out. Once the pink is gone and these are painted (black!), you won't be able to see the added wood.

With the front steps mostly done (apart from that missing baluster), they've moved on to the back steps.

This is the run of stairs from the back entry to the kitchen. The treads here are a slightly more durable and less expensive white oak that has been stained dark to look like the flooring.

Back stairs going in

As they install the final treads for each step the stairs firm up nicely, so this staircase is a real transitional experience: the construction steps of loose plywood, then thunk you are on a nice solid staircase that feels really substantial.

Back stairs mid-installation

The treads are in place for most of the back stairs from the kitchen to the second floor. They've taped paper over them to protect the surface during construction.

Top of the back stairs

It looks like they will start installing the handrail here soon. The upper landing edge needs to go in -- it's being stained to match the flooring which is a little tedious and annoying, but worth it.

We ordered a bunch of prefabricated stair parts, and I'm looking forward to seeing how those work out. The contractor was very impressed by the prices for unfinished balusters and so forth, so either it's going to be great or a total disaster.

posted by ayse on 06/04/17