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Stair Mastery

Oh my stairs, how do I loath thee? Let me count the ways.
Your wooden steps are slippery and poorly installed, your railing is uglee, rusting, and barely waist high (more than a foot shorter than modern railing!), making you a serious stresser to this new baby toting mommy. Not to mention the perfect size for little arms, legs, and heads to become stuck (thankfully that's never happened yet!). Did I mention you are ugleeee?

Well, I've been railing on about my stairs for some time now (get it?hmm?:). And now the time has finally come when we are doing something about it. And checking a major To Do off my Resolution List! Me and Jason ran through quite a few options before landing on the right look for the right price.
<<brace yourself for my mad Paint skills>>

We decided to go with Option #6. Mostly due to cost, it would have added a third to the budget to do railing. But it actually works out better. While I like the look of railing, it still wasn't the safest option for us. (Picture my 3 year old nephews climbing up the outside of those nice looking railings. Oh yeah, its totally already happened with our current set up.) The half walls will be super sturdy, safe, and high! And I think will best fit a more modern look.

Last week the dust began to fly. We hired a pro to tackle this iron maiden, and it all went so fast! I could get used to having home projects tackled not by me! haha.  In two days the transformation was complete. The old railing was cut up and hauled out toot sweet. Might want to get the kids out of the room,  these are some naked stairs here. Try not to stare. (Get it? get it, stare, stair?... never mind)
 eek!  avert thine eyes.

Then steps prepped, new walls framed, and dry walled, sanded and textured.

Hand rails added.

*insert forehead smack for not taking a pic before I started priming, doh!

 Meanwhile, the rest of the house looked like a scene from Outbreak. Plastic tarps everywhere! It was a good thing too, cause even with the protective measures, the drywall sanding left a thin layer of white dust on everything. Yeah, that's not setting off my OCD.

I was pretty much trapped upstairs for the duration. And oddly enough my car was in the shop at the time too, so I got a bit stir crazy (I'd say stair crazy, but that might just push the limit for cheesy stair jokes per blog. Maybe I should take a step back... just sayin'.)

New boards placed on top of the walls, and a column added for extra strength.

So here we are! We are really happy with the change thus far. It does look more modern and substantial. Not to mention way more private upstairs. Before you could see straight into our bedroom from the down stairs couch. Now, according to my husband, we could walk around naked up there and no one would even know. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

This is the first official home improvement project we've hired a contractor for. It was a great experience overall, but I've learned a few things. The biggest lesson: Be incredibly specific with your contractor! While nothing went terribly wrong, a bunch of little things turned out differently than I imagined. The half walls are about a foot higher than I expected, I thought the wall topper would overhang the wall more on each side, and I thought we would have molding all along under the stair topper. My fault for not making very detailed plans, and communicating more with my guy beforehand what exactly was included in the estimate. Live and learn!

Here's the list of tasks needed to wrap up this project:
  • Carpet stairs
  • Install baseboard
  • Finish priming
  • Paint walls, column, wall topper, hand rails
  • Rehang art downstairs, rethink stairway art

Do you have any big projects going in your house right now? Any lessons you've learned from past experiences?
<3 Alyssa
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