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JulieB 10-12-2012 02:57 PM

Current house - stairs
I typed out a long explanation of what was going on then I lost it. I'm not going to retype it. :no:

Anyway, we bought a spec house, first house the builder built of this floor plan. They screwed up with the stairs in our house then corrected it in the next house they built.

This is what our stairs ended up looking like. We bought it in the framing stage and didn't know the stairs would look like this. I hated the stairs. I felt like they looked cheap.

Here is what it looked like. The reason they could not put a railing on the stairs is there is a support beam (it supports the landing/balcony) in the way. The support beam comes out above one of the stairs and was in the way so they built this stupid half wall.

So we waited to see how they solved the issue in the next house. What they did was moved the doorway over and add stairs at the bottom so the top stairs would be higher where the beam is so the beam wouldn't interfere with the railing.

Here is the next house.

The balcony area

Here is our doorway to the hallway (the houses are flipped).

JulieB 10-12-2012 03:16 PM

Here is the support beam that is in the way.

We decided we didn't want to do the stairs similar to the other house. All of the houses in the neighborhood have the iron balusters, same newels and same stair treads with carpet partially on them.

This was the look we wanted.

Our floors are handscraped hickory (engineered) and our cabinets are knotty alder. Since we couldn't duplicate the floor exactly we decided to go with knotty alder (superior) treads and railing, stained dark like our cabinets. Risers, newels and balusters painted the same color as our trim (SW Dover White).

Tear down starts

Since my kids still needed to be able to walk up and down the stairs to get to their rooms my husband decided to build on top of the old stairs. You can see by the stringer how much higher we had to go to get over the support beam.

Drilling into my floor for the bottom stairs, no going back now.

Temp stairs

JulieB 10-12-2012 03:27 PM

Moving doorway over. We decided we liked it wider than it was so we ended up leaving it at this width.

Putting a new header in.

By moving the doorway over the wood floor was screwed.

So he fixed it.

JulieB 10-12-2012 04:08 PM

Hallway that the doorway leads to. We are going to do shaker style wainscoting. Don't pay attention to the paint job, this was the first coat and I did a crapy job. Also we are putting crown molding in the hallway.

He had to take the door molding off because it wasn't thick enough when he puts up the wainscoting. The woodwork in this house doesn't even compete with the woodwork in our house in CA but little by little we will change that IF we happen to live here long enough. The doors are cheap and the door jams are barely secured. He is glad he took the molding off so he could see how bad it is and secure the door jams better.

He is smoothing the wall texture with joint compound where the wainscoting will be. We were going to put up MDF but decided that adding even the 1/4" that the MDF would add would be too much.

Looking down the hallway from the garage door towards the master bedroom. First door half bath, second door is a closet.

Looking from the master bedroom toward the garage door. First door you see (there is a closet door you can't see in this picture) is a powder bath, the next room is the laundry room.
Laundry room

Half bath paint color. First coat, haven't cut in the crown molding yet. Can't decide if I want the ceiling painted a lighter shade of the blue or white. There is going to be wainscoting in this bathroom and my husband is going to make a medicine cabinet like he made in our CA bathroom (i'll attach a picture of it here) and a built in magazine rack because he has to look at his hunting and car magazines while he goes to the bathroom (he also has a 1953 Chevy pickup as a project taking up a lot of garage space).

Here is the medicine cabinet he built for our bathroom in CA. He is going to build a similar one for the half bath in this house.

Thought I would throw in a picture of his '53 Chevy. He had to throw it together before we moved. This was our garage in CA.

JulieB 10-12-2012 05:19 PM

Newel posts. Of course they will be cut down to size. The balusters are just square, we didn't want iron balusters. I went back and forth if I wanted more ornate blusters but ultimately we like a cleaner simpler look. We are also doing wainscoting up the stairs and on the wall that the railing is going.

Stair treads Knotty Alder (superior) pre stain.

Just seeing how the treds will look. The railing will be taken off once the new railing is put up. We had to have the two winder stairs and the part that goes around the balcony and landing custom made by a local fine wood shop. My husband has to cut each part to fit.

My husband used bender board and layered several pieces to go around the balcony.


We could have brought the wall over like they did in the other house but liked the opening bigger. We also decided to put moldings around the doorway instead of the way it was before. The ceilings are way too high in this family room and I feel that adding the molding around the doorway, wainscoting up the stairs and eventually the stair railing somehow brought the ceiling down for some reason.

Primed (except the door).

Originally we were going to have the 2nd newel post set partially on the upper step and go down to the winder stairs (actually I don't know what they are called) so that is why the step is set back a little. I think we are going to have it sit fully on the upper step so we can bring the railing for the first three stairs over a little (to make more room) so we may have to change that step.

JulieB 10-12-2012 05:39 PM

This is where we are now. I'll add more as we finish it up.

I don't know if you can tell how high the ceiling is in the family room but this is the 2nd row of windows. We are going to add crown molding eventually here.

Here is my husband hanging the fan.

Here are some shelves my husband built.

I put my craft crap on the shelves

JulieB 10-12-2012 05:43 PM

He also added some cabinet organizers.

We have a Restoration Hardware outlet (as well as Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn outlet). We got these shelves and they didn't have the part that supported the shelves. My husband just made supports. Plus it was crooked, he straightened it out.

This was before he painted the supports the same color as the other metal. He also took the towel holder down. :001_tongue:

Oh and here is a little something that we have to deal with here in Austin. :eek:

sixeightten 10-12-2012 06:31 PM

Your husband has mad skills!

Wondering why he didn't just build the house himself.

JulieB 10-12-2012 06:54 PM


Originally Posted by sixeightten (Post 1029612)
Your husband has mad skills!

Wondering why he didn't just build the house himself.

Ha, funny you say that. His dad is an architect. When he retired he built and designed his house himself. They built it on my husband's grandparents (maternal) farm land outside of Tulsa. The only thing he didn't do was the wiring and stone work on the fireplace.

First he built the garage and they lived in it while he built the house. I should look to see if I can find pictures of the house.

Thanks for the complement. I haven't told my husband that I posted all of these pictures but I am really proud of his work and like to show it off.

scotzilla 10-15-2012 01:53 PM

very nice- stairs are next on my to do list. nice pick-up as well- hard to find one that solid and straight anymore.

JulieB 11-10-2012 10:20 PM

It's been awhile since I posted an update. Here is where we are as of today. It's going very slow. Guess that's what you get when your husband works and only has the weekends to work.

My husband can't finish the wainscoting on the left side until he gets the treads installed (he told me why but I forgot the reason).

Door trim, everything still needs a good sanding, prime and paint (SW Dover White). This picture makes the trim look off but it's not.

The wall is crooked (stupid builder) so we had to fill some areas. I spackled for four days. Still need to sand, prime and paint. My husband put up crown molding today. Still have to fill nail holes and not so perfect corners on the crown molding, prime and paint. Also need to do final coat of wall paint.

Treads are stained and two coats of polyurethane, one more sand and coat of polyurethane and they will be good to go. This is my garage and I haven't been able to park in it for months. This is taking longer than I thought.

When my husband took the railing out of the box one section was damaged. The company he bought it from were really great and sent out a replacement. Should receive it any day.

I haven't taken pictures of the half bath yet. He worked on that today too. My house has a coating of white dust from sanding, etc. all over every single inch of it. I will probably have to spend a good week cleaning this house when he is finished.

rebelranger 11-11-2012 01:11 AM

Great work. I really hate how far those bottom stairs stick out (trip hazard, especially at night/low light). However I love everything about it.

BigJim 11-11-2012 07:33 AM

Your husband has done one heck of a job, it looks so much better since it is opened up like it is now, I hate the half wall stairs also. I hate to be a stick in the mud but that winder step is not to code, other than that great job.:)

joecaption 11-11-2012 07:58 AM

JulieB 11-16-2012 08:55 AM


Originally Posted by BigJim (Post 1049499)
Your husband has done one heck of a job, it looks so much better since it is opened up like it is now, I hate the half wall stairs also. I hate to be a stick in the mud but that winder step is not to code, other than that great job.:)

Would you mind letting me know what isn't to code so he can change it before he goes any further?


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