Sunday, April 19, 2015

Falling Up The Stairs.

I fully admit to skipping around in the project mania that is taking place in the Tremayne home the last couple weeks--
 
what I mean is, I've taken on half a dozen projects all at once, and we aren't chatting about them in chronological order, and I'm okay with that, if you're okay with that. 
 
I just really want to talk about this huge undertaking that I never want to do again, because it truly involved blood, sweat, and tears, and it was a disastrous mess.
 
Also totally worth it.
 
But backing up. Three and a half years ago, and I can't believe it's been that long,
 
 
I had this totally nasty carpet on my stairs. Now, this picture makes it look a ton worse, but it was still nasty, believe dat.
 
Does everyone have a space in their house that is like, the armpit of the house? I used to call this the armpit of my house. That is an understatement.
 
My stairs have always been the crotch of the house.
 
And long story short (too late), I did something about it.
 
 
And you're like, "Did she. . . yeah I think she pulled up her carpet and painted the particle board treads. What the?"
 
Oh yes I dit-id. And it looked a lot cleaner, but still ghetto and it was only meant to be temporary.
 
Agree with me, fellow DIY-ers, when you say you've dreamt of pulling up your carpet and finding these beautiful, untouched solid wood treads begging to be stained and shellacked.
 
I'm telling you right now, particularly if you live in Utah, if your house is under 20 years old and it's not like, custom built and extremely expensive, you will not find anything but particle board underneath your carpet. 95% sure. Don't shoot the messenger. I wasn't stupid and I knew what I'd find, and I still did it.
 
Might be the partial definition of insanity, right there. Also, like I said, it was meant to be temporary.
 
 
 
I can't tell you how many times I sat in my family room and stared at my stairs (ooh! Homonym) and tried to figure out how to add stair skirts. Or stair trim. Whichever term you'd prefer. Who doesn't put in stair skirts?? For the love?
 
(stair skirts for the layman)
 
 
 
You think I'm being a drama queen, but if I were to ever, ever look for another home, stair skirts would be on my list of things to check out. No stair skirts? No dice.
 
'Cause I can tell you from experience that they are a serious pain in the A to add after the fact.
 
So!
 
Three years later, tons of thinking and pondering and studying of adding stair skirts, and a year of fear to work through, and I've finally made my dweam within a dweam come true.
 
And the work totally sucked.
 
Now, nobody cares, but this was a three phase project.
 
I started with the one direction up the stairs, stopped and took a much needed break, then went the second and longer (and much harder) direction, and then phase 3 will be the landing which still isn't done because I'm tired and are you insane.
 
I hate phone pictures.

 
First: every piece of clutter was swept under my stairs by the builders. Well done, jerk faces. You can't tell very well because this is a crappy phone shot but that's a Black Cherry Shasta can right there. That actually made me happy. Hello childhood beverage.
 
Second: I wasn't anticipating essentially having to reconstruct the entire stairs, with the exception of stringer removal. Oh well. It got the job done right.
 
Third:
 
 
every tread was stamped with the date. Interesting. Nostalgic. I was a junior in high school then.
 
Side note: the daddy-o popped by during demolition, and he goes,
 
"Are you going to clean this out?" (whilst sipping a Barq's root beer)
 
I shrugged my shoulders.
 
"Naw. I like to think of it as a time capsule."
 
"Good." (Tosses root beer can inside.)
 
 I've already talked too much, and so I'm going to stop,
 
 
 
but just know, that I love my new stairs. I love them. Also, getting the treads off this direction was a nightmare. The dude laid the liquid nails on these bad boys with gross extravagance.
 
But back to the positive: I love my new stairs.
 

 
Remember that I said the landing isn't done. And you can point out that I have a ton of touch up to do on pre-existing moulding and trim if you want, but you'd be pointing out the obvious and I'd protect your junk first.
 
 
Classic oak treads and white risers, baby. But most importantly:
 
Stair skirts. Finally.
 
 I'm so happy I could cry. From exhaustion, mainly.
 
 
Next time we'ere together, I'll discuss how I saved a crap ton of money on my treads, I'll show ya the whole thing next week all done, including the landing which has pretty exciting possibilities if I do say so myself, and ooh!
 
Plot twist!!
 
We've decided to use the space under the stairs. Secret space, people! Armory for potential vampire or zombie invasion. Or perhaps a panic room. Or just enough room for a bed. With a kid in it.
 
Fine, child endagerment nazis. We'll put the christmas trees there. Still exciting-- in a storage space kind of way.

8 comments:

Janelle said...

I love them. So classy!

Rach said...

That's a ton of work....you are amazing. Looks fabulous too!

Brittney said...

So gorgeous! And I didn't know the term for stair skirt, i only know that I've been desperately wanting one. I need details! We are almost finished with our basement and have saved the stairs for last. Pretty much want them to look exactly like what you've done. Nice job!

Brittney said...

Oh! I relate to the carpet hatred- the carpet in my hallway that leads from the kitchen to everywhere else in the house is so diseased stricken- it is absolutely the crotch of my house. Thanks for giving me the words to describe it! You are too funny!

Rhonda said...

Looks great! When's the next party?

Abby Scorsonelli said...

Your writing make me happy :) I laughed out loud at least twice. Thanks for brightening my Monday!

Veronica said...

I love them! I'm seriously thinking about doing this to my stairs, so I'm curious. What did you do with the top stair?

james and bess said...

Sooooo jealous!!!! We have the same plywood-stairs-situation going on here and I would LOVE to re-do them with beadboard risers and stained treads, but I see the way my boys tear around the corner and down the stairs and I think I'd have to start paying a truck-load more in medical bills. :) Yours are amazing, though!!! If you do a project that inspires jealousy in me, is that my sin or yours? ;)

Bess