Friday, February 29, 2008

Stairway To Heaven

Dennis has been working on the railing for the stairs that go to the loft in the boy's back bedroom.

It is turning out better than I ever could have imagined.

I say that not because I am some sort of puffed up over confident egotist. Although at times... well...nevermind. I say it because the loft and subsequent stairs were a last minute addition to the house. We have such a ridiculously steep roof and there was all this left over space. So we decided to put a loft up there for a playroom. Then we had to decide how to access it. We thought about a sort of secret ladder in the closet (which I still think would have been fun) but it seemed sort of difficult to access and hard to come down, which makes you wonder if it would ever actually get used - so eventually we decided to put in the stairs.

Staircases, as you may know, come with an enormous bill. The treads, the risers, the labor, the wood, the railing, the newels, the balusters, the posts. It goes on and on - so for a last minute addition it doesn't come cheap.

As a result, I tried to make these stairs as cheap as I could. The cheapest way would have been to carpet them. But I just didn't want carpeted stairs in this spot. Therefore, we thought we might just paint the risers and treads and Dennis thought he would trim out the space where the stairs meet the sheet rock. But finally we decided to cover the "rough" stairs in pine boards and let them overhang the sheet rock a bit and trim out the cricks and cracks that are left behind.

I bought paint grade balusters and newels from L.J. Smith. The paint grade option has a much lower price tag than a hardwood species like oak or walnut. The newels are nicely primed so we probably won't need to add another coat. The hand rail and balusters however will need to either be painted or stained. I am really leaning to paint - even though stain would be much less maintenance.

1 comment:

Robyn said...

My husband and I are getting ready to paint the barn we're living in (temporarily till we build our white farmhouse next to it) red, and I was so excited to find your blog! Y'all are several steps ahead of us, and I am enjoying learning from your building adventure.


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