Skip to main content

Stairwell Before and After

Once upon a time our stairwell was narrow, dark and fully walled off from the rest of the house.
When we gutted the upstairs last summer we ripped out the walls surrounding the stairs and built a new, wider set of stairs.  The temporary stair rail has served its purpose since August, but with the rest of the first floor finished it was time for something a little more elaborate.
We don't like the more ornate turned balusters and newel posts that are readily available from the big box stores.  And the maple ones I could custom order were over our budget.  So Luke and I figured out what materials we would need and I picked up a couple 12' 6/4 boards to work with.
I usually assist Luke with this kind of project.  He has much more experience and I'm happy to just be his helper, but that weekend he was busy designing our sprinkler system (and watching march madness) so I ended up trying most of this on my own. I was able to lam the boards together without too much trouble but using the router table to create the flutes and rounded edges was stressful.  I haven't done a lot of router work and one mistake could mean having to start over.
The new railing is both sturdier and looks nicer than the 2x4's.  The balusters are powder coated aluminum intended for outdoor use, but we like the clean look they give the interior of the house.
As a finishing touch I finally installed the tread lights that were roughed in last summer.
Obviously they won't be completely finished until we carpet the basement but they're good enough for now.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Laundry Room Before & After

Three years ago the laundry room was just a messy corner of the basement. We turned one wall into a large utility closet which made for a smaller laundry room, but left it looking cleaner. Eventually the little room got a new window, lights and insulation. A few weeks later the room was finished.  The floor tile was a clearance find for $.57 per sq ft.  We bought it three years ago and have moved the boxes at least a dozen times over the last three years.
 Last year I debated buying a premade laundry room sink and cabinet from Costco but balked at the $299 price tag.  Instead we bought cherry cabinets from craigslist, a sink and faucet from Restore and I built the countertop out of sheetformica.  Total cost $245.
The pattern on the formica can hide just about anything. That $245 price tag also includes the cabinet on the other side of the room over the freezer.  I had LED undercabinet lighting leftover from the kitchen.  I had to buy an $8 power supply from Amazon but it was worth it …

Family Room Before and After

When we bought the house the basement was classified as unfinished. The previous owners had made a haphazard effort to convert some of it into living space, but the carpentry was so bad that you would have to be drunk to consider it livable. From what we have heard about the previous owners drunk was probably how the work was done. Anyway, this space at the bottom of the stairs was used as two bedrooms; one directly in front of you and the other through the door to the left. We moved the bedrooms to the far corner of the basement so they could share an egress window well and used the two bedrooms as one large media room. The tray ceiling hides the pipes for the radiant floor heat and also distracts the eye from the beam running down the middle of the room. While we needed the tray in in one spot for practical reasons running it all the way around the room created a nice visual effect. The basement stays comfortably warm from the radiant heat for the 1st floor but we also added a ga…

Our New House - It Might Just Be Home

I recently announced that we had sold our home in Helena and will be moving to my hometown in July.  We did some house-hunting over Easter weekend and I'm please to report success.  We are in the process of buying our latest home: I know you can't see it well behind the trees.  I'm so excited to have actual trees on the property.  The house itself is nestled against the base of a hill which will block our views of the sunset but the east-facing front porch should offer some wonderful sunrises.  And here's a sneak peek of our view.
I won't be posting any more photos until we've actually closed on the house.  Closing is still two months away and a lot could change before then.  Still, I look forward to sharing our latest project.