Stairs. A utilitarian way to move from one level of a home to another without the use of a “Little House on the Prairie" style ladder. While stairs are a useful tool to gain access to upper and lower floors with ease, current society has deemed the home staircase and railings a focal point and selling feature of the home.
As mentioned in a previous post, "DEMO DAY IS HERE", the stairs in our current renovation project were built with a short wall and flat wooden hand rail near the landing. Immediately upon surveying the home, we found the short wall cumbersome and unattractive. This would be our first construction project in the house. We conducted a brainstorming session and drew some ideas for the new railings on the existing wall.
With a hammer and small saw we removed the structure near the landing and the existing bottom four stairs. For the new design to work, the length of the last four stairs needed to be extended. We created two new risers to replace the older ones and used a template we created to cut out the pieces.
We used a level to ensure the horizontal platform for the run of the stairs would be as level as possible. The wood we used for the stairs themselves was purchased at the local hardware store pre-cut with the curved edge. After measuring, we cut the boards all equal lengths to fit across the risers and drilled holes in the boards for the spindle installation.
Some other pre-cut pieces we purchased were the spindles, hand rail and trim pieces for the new starting newel or landing post. With some good carpentry skills and precise cutting the railings and landing post can be created as a DIY project. Below are some up close photos of the work.
We have some caulking and painting to do, but the main structure is complete. Looking at the before and after pictures below, it is easy to see the impact the new stairs have on the aesthetics and flow of the room.
April Holtzclaw is a Real Estate Agent and 30 year resident of Metro Atlanta. When not working, she enjoys camping, traveling with her family and mountain biking with her husband on the trails in the Atlanta area. Her favorite way to finish the day is with an “al fresco” dinner at one of the many great restaurants in town.