OK – so it’s been a while since I’ve posted a new ambitious construction project on this old house. Lot’s of things are going on – I’m working every day on some less than photogenic elements – like insulating knee walls in the second floor utility room. I have unfinished projects on every floor, so I’m giving up on trying to post in a chronological order. I though we could start on a project that was one of the elements that changed this house from a renovation to a total rebuild. It’s not finished yet, like everything else, but it’s getting there.
Let’s take a trip back in time, shall we?
We took possession of this house in August of 2009….so long ago. We haven’t moved in yet…I’m working on it. So how could it take 3 years and counting to renovate? Misadventures my friend – check out the title of my blog. This is what happens when you freestyle everything and make house renovations a hobby.
Here’s how a renovation takes so long— you change your mind.
So this was the original idea for the first floor bedroom that we will make into my office. The wall was humpy due to being plaster lath. My first thought was that I’d just smooth it out with a little ‘hot mud’. A type of drywall compound that sets by chemical reaction (like plaster of Paris) instead of the pre-mixed air dry stuff.
So I poped together a little cabinet and painted it all up… of course this all takes time. This photo was taken in the kitchen… see the little Styrofoam cups pretending to be pendant lights? And the cardboard cabinets mocked up for space planning. Don’t worry – I won’t use any of those designs when I reconfigure the kitchen for the third time. Besides, this was before I decided to tear out that far wall and make a sun-room.
So we’re finally getting to the stair part of this post. The previous photos are important because it will prove positive that I’m nuts. You’ll see. This stair is positioned on the other side of that wall we just put that nifty bookcase in.This is the stair case leading up to the second floor. Typical for an old house. Tread width about 8 1/2″ with a rise nearly to match – so nearly a 45 degree angle going up those stairs. This will never do.
Time to spring into action….
Lots of things wrong with this staircase. You can see that originally there was a door here leading up to the unfinished attic. One of the previous owners just finished this off with casement trim and called it a day.
Let’s tear it out.
And here’s why. One, I want a clean wall transition around the ceiling, the corner and up the stairs. It’s not pictured, but the handrail had to stop 3 feet from the bottom due to the door casing being in the way. Second there’s no header over the door. Can you say levitating ceiling? Those floor joists are just kinda hanging out.
Here is the removal of the header – actually just a 2 X 4. Not doing a thing. I’ve gotten rid of all the door structure so that I can make a smooth uninterrupted wall surface up the stairs. So let’s add some support for those poor floor joists.
Hang in there fellow renovators – I’ll be posting how you can tame that steep staircase and make one more civilized.
It won’t be easy – but it’ll be fun.