Rebuilding the Stairway

Hi All! I’ve put up a few progress photos on my instagram account of the stairs, but have finally gotten a chance to sit down and show you what it’s all about! We still have work to do, so I have no final after picture, but the progress is astounding on it’s own.  There’s one or two areas in the works around the house at any given time, so things take time.

If you don’t recall our stair way as it was before, here she is in her mismatched glory.

Hall After

Stairs beforeWe needed more than just replacing the handrail, so let me explain a little. Obviously there’s the handrails and basic 4×4 newel posts that could be much improved. Instead of solid treads at the wedges, there was hardwood flooring laid – that’s not how it’s done, people. The risers put up were just flimsy pieces of 1/2″ plywood they stained to match the terrible orange color of the flooring. And see the weird way you can see the stair return heading up to the second story? It’s just awkward and a place for dust and dirt to get caught up. I don’t even have a photo of the second story to show you how awkward the extra newel posts and railings intercepted each other up there.

Stairs before

So, in comes Dad to the rescue! I’ve noted before what an amazing carpenter/builder/woodworker my father is and this was one project I would not have wanted anyone else to do. So much time, precision and skill is involved in building stairs and believe me this was a lot of work for him. Let’s just get right to it so I can show you.

He started with everyone’s favorite part.. demo! And low and behold the original stairs were still underneath our old ones! #notsurprisedonebit

STAIRS

STAIRS

Here’s a picture of the upper landing so you can see how that works out for us. That’s the guest room to to the right and the bathroom is on the left.

STAIRS

Birdie was kind enough to sit in for you. In this image the door on the left is the guest room, master bedroom, then the office to the right.  It’s not a very big landing up here but maximizes our bedroom spaces nicely.

STAIRS

I saw a big impact immediately when he built out that wall to close off the stairs at the upper level.  It made a huge difference in the feeling of the staircase both upstairs and down.  I kept saying, “It’s like a real staircase!”.  I didn’t know how else to say what I meant! My dad had a ton of work to do level all the treads and risers and installing them properly.

STAIRS

STAIRS

The old stairs made this hollow sound when you walked on them and creaked and groaned.  Not these… these don’t make a peep and are so solid.

STAIRS

STAIRS

STAIRS

I had visions of the newel post at the lower level…it’s going to be amazing! Just wait and see! More coming soon!

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Completed Window Trim

Last week I promised to show you how we completed the trim around the windows. It was nice and simple to add 1.25″ window/door stop trim around each edge and filled out the gap nicely.

 

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DSCN5189

Any of the other small gaps were easily filled with caulking and quickly forgiven.  🙂 Basically the right side of the window is what I’d do if the window where in the middle of the wall or around a door.  Overall, it was pretty easy, so long as you measure well.

DSCN5187_2

Since I also wrote about installing crown molding, here are a couple of pictures of it installed. #nightmares I’ve already wood filled and caulked the crown as well as primed the window trim and closet shelving.

Window Trim

Crown Molding

Closet Shelving

Crown Molding

And that’s about it for where we’re at! We have a light fixture but have yet to hang it and I’m leaving the space unfinished as my dad works his magic on the staircase and oh-my-goodness you should see it! It’s going to be AMAZING. He’s truly magnificent at his craft and I can’t wait to show you!

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Entryway Window Trim

I know…I’ve been MIA again. Let’s face it, I have no real blogging schedule and just need to do it when I feel like it. Work’s been killer lately and I’m getting burnt out with only that to think about so today I decided to take a time out and fuel my creativity and blog for a few minutes. So Friends, I feel like it. 🙂

First, a few updates: If you saw on Instagram or Facebook, my father is working on our next piece-de-resistance with our staircase! I’m so excited! It’s coming together beautifully so far and I can’t tout his talents enough! Finish carpentry work is amazing and as I challenge myself with doing a little more and a little more, I am continually impressed with all he knows. BUT we’ll do a stair update another day so I can share all we have planned and how amazing it is!

Since it’s way more critical to leave areas as open and non-disruptive for my Dad while he’s working, we’ve put on hold any more work in the Entryway (we’re now calling it an entryway vs. a mudroom… sounds more fancy, right?) but I did manage to get the window trimmed out and crown molding put up.  The Window I did pretty great on, if I do say so myself.  The crown molding… well, I’ll start by saying it’s THE HARDEST THING I’VE EVER DONE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. 

I ran out of stock. I cried twice. I’m never doing it again.

It’s done, though, and after pliable forgiveness (caulking) and some tips from Dad on minimizing scarf joints (I’ll explain later), I think it looks pretty nice. All in all, this room is one I’ve challenged myself with completing mostly everything on my own and I did it. Needless to say there’ll be no tips or tutorials from me. If you every plan on trying it. Best of luck to you.

Back to the window! We’ve got two windows opposite the closet and my goal was to trim them out as one opening. We’re matching the rest of the house’s new trim with farmhouse window trim, similar to what we had put around our new window openings.

Window Trim

Window Trim

I started with the sill and after measuring and cutting returns in the middle and at each end, I slipped it in for a dryfit. I used a 1×4 board here.

Window Trim

I had to notch out a portion of the board to raise over a little lip in our framing, so did so with my Dremel after marking down pencil lines. This would have been way faster with a table saw but I don’t have one so made due and it fit like a glove.

Window Trim

Window Trim

The next piece I put on was the 1×4 apron at the window base.

Window Trim

The the 3 vertical pieces went up, which would join to the header. On a standalone window this would be 1×4’s again, but since I had one end abutting a wall, a custom width in the middle, and a clear end I had to customize.  The far end of the window got a 1×2 board, the middle I had to trim down a 1×8 to match the wall width there, and then the end got a 1×4.

Window Trim

Now for the header – a tidy little sandwich of 1×2, 1×6, 1×2 to give it that clean craftsman/farmhouse look.

Window Trim

And that’s where I stopped for now. You can see that I still needed to trim out around the window itself.

Window Trim

I had about 1.75″ to cover and meet the new trim so needed to do some shopping for what worked. It was pretty simple and you’ll love the finished look as much as I do, I promise.  Next time…

All in all, this window took me about 3 hours worth of work, but I had the sill notching to do, plus the customized trim sizes on the end and middle and really this was 2 windows, not one, so that’s really not bad. I enjoyed myself and that’s all that matters!

For more indepth tutorials on this type of trim, you can check out my “Trim it Out” board on Pinterest! There are so many great tutorials and examples of how you can add to this trim or make it more simple as well.  My house will have a few variations of the same, but all in all they’ll all read very similar which will work from room to room.

Thanks for stopping in!

 

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