Home Improvement Project - Staircase Reconstruction
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The Staircase at the Ranch was one of the least attractive features of the house when we moved in. Originally, the stairs were carpeted, turned a corner, and landed into the our already cramped living room. There was a 50's looking arched doorway over the landing. Here are the steps we took to straighten the staircase and move the landing to the dining room. Don't forget to check out the pictures of the project at the bottom of the page.
- Removed old carpet. This uncovered the oak hardwood treads and contrasting pine risers.
- Removed old wall paneling from staircase.
- Removed the wall plaster and lath between the staircase and dining room.
- Removed the landing and bottom step.
- Removed three wall studs.
- Added double 2x10 header and jack studs to create new doorway in the load bearing wall.
- Framed in new wall and window in place of the old arch-way.
- Moved the three-way light switch from living room into new staircase wall.
- Firred out new wall studs to match thickness of original plaster.
- Hung drywall on new staircase walls.
- Framed and sheeted temporary bottom steps.
- Leveled and sheeted floor at bottom of staircase.
- Removed wall paneling from old arch-way wall
- Hung, taped, and mudded drywall on old arch-way wall
- Removed old Hardwood flooring from staircase. This exposed the original pine treads. With 40-50 years of wear on these treads, they were warped and cupped beyond repair. I decided to remove the old pine treads and risers to replace them with oak.
- Removed old treads and risers. This exposed the original staircase framing. The old stairs were supported only by two (2) 1" thick stringers. Its no wonder that the old staircase bounced! I decided that this framing was weak, inadequate, and unsafe. I will remove the old framing and rebuild the staircase from scratch.
- Removed old staircase framing and closet interior under stairs, opening a hallway from the front of the house to the rear.
- Measured for new staircase Total Rise, Unit Rise, Total Run, and Unit Run.
- Laid out and cut three new 2x12 stringers. I took this opportunity to lengthen the staircase to fill the staircase opening and to bring the staircase up to standard building code.
- Set new stringers in place, attached the three stringers to each other, centered new framing in the staircase opening, and attached framing at 1st and 2nd floor. This created a "floating" frame for the new staircase.
- Installed 1/2" plywood risers with construction adhesive and screws. (These are really just backers for the 1/4" oak plywood risers to be installed later. They add rigidity to the oak risers and take the "bounce" out of the staircase by connecting the three stringers together.
- Installed 1/4" oak plywood risers. These are to add the look of oak without the expense.
- Installed 1-1/8" oak treads with construction adhesive and screws.
- Installed cove moulding to front edge of treads