Scary Stairs

 

When someone builds a house, or remodels it their marks can be seen long after their work has ended, leaving their legacy mark on the house. In the past I have captured some of the horrors that the previous owner of this house left behind in work that looked pretty till you scraped the surface. The stairway that was taken out as a part of Replacing One Wall: Surprise Yeah Right was one such example. The stringers of the old stair case were built out of 2×8’s, which meant that by the time they were notched for the treads there was only a little over an inch of material tying the whole thing together. It was no wonder that no mater what we did these stairs were noisy. They have now been replaced with 2×12 stringers.

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Just a little bit better right. I was unfortunately not around for most of this process, but each of those notches had to be marked and cut by hand. I am sorry but I don’t have that kind of stability when I cut.

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Between the new stringers going into place and the new treads being installed there was a day or so, but after not being able to get upstairs for a week there were a few items that we needed from our bedroom and the full bathroom upstairs. We started a game of climbing up and down the 1.5″ edge of the stringers and holding onto the stud wall for support. 145.jpg

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The new treads are 2x as opposed to the old 1x so they are much more sturdy as well as being just a little bit deeper. Now our absurdly steep staircase is just a little over code steep. The treads are installed upside down and unfinished without risers for the time being until we are able to finish a couple of big projects upstairs. Then we will be without stairs for a little while again the treads are stained and finished. We are looking to go with a dark stain and light grey risers when it is all said and done.

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Replacing One Wall: Surprise Yeah Right

Christmas time brings a two week vacation from work some years, and for Christopher this year was one of them. We agreed that the downstairs bedroom was so close to being finished that he would take down the old lath and plaster on the west wall to finish that room, and build our under stair closet. True to form out 100 year old house had just a few surprises tucked up her skirt for us. Opening up the bedroom wall showed us that some studs were missing, bent or in other ways buggered up. The old original oak was still there in places so it was a pain to get that hardwood out where it had been messed up. We got to see old classic construction with hand chiseled beams, old cut 2×4’s that are actually 2”x4” and handmade square nails. Once we get past reconstruction we have discussed turning some of those old beams into shelves for pictures and finding a way to show off some of those crazy old nails.

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Christopher continued to take apart the walls of the stairway that you walk under to get to the bedroom the real horrors started to show up. The stairs turned out to be horribly under built. Where a 2×12 stringer should have been present only a 2×8 was found. It was quickly obvious why the stairs were so loud and the treads kept cracking on us. Rebuilding the stairs became the top priority. That took tearing down one wall to multiple walls that were in one way or another connected to putting in new stairs. By the time that the dust settled on demolition related to putting the new staircase in the stairs were down with the adjacent walls in both the upstairs and downstairs bedrooms.

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Half of the wall that separates the dining and living rooms revealing more cut beams and sagging in the walls.

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The flooring down to the joists in the area where the stairs would go back in.

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This one project has kicked off work in 5 different rooms of the house so there will be lots of adventures to come.