Stairs, stairs and more stairs

Last week I wrote about my upcoming stair project and revealed the awful condition of my existing two stairways. Thanks everyone who responded to my request for opinions and suggestions. I have considered every one of your ideas. I’ve also had some specialists in to take a look. There has been progress. Like most projects, every decision made makes the next decision easier as we progress from an everything-is-possible position to a focused direction..

My stairs circle around at the top instead of having a landing at the turn. The triangular shaped treads are called winders and are very narrow at the inside edge which can easily cause a slip. With an anything-is-possible mindset, I investigated installing a landing. The staircases would have to extend out a further two steps. Loss of space and significantly added cost rules that out for me.

I am a lover of light. The stairs side of my house is the sunny side and, still thinking big, I wanted open stairs which would allow a lot more of that light to get in, and be very cool. This too, alas, has been ruled out due to $$$. Through the discussion, however, the idea came up to cut back the walls alongside the stairs for several more steps. a relatively easy change to make.

Hardwood treads with white risers would look amazing in my house. The debate was on whether hardwood treads would be safe for us and our Whippet’s long fragile legs, not to mention his long scratching nails. Turns out the winder treads are ridiculously expensive to do in hardwood, taking a full day each to install (I have 6 of them). I would never get that money back in a sale, hardwood might be treacherous on the winder treads, and in my price range carpeted stairs will not hurt my sale. Another big decision made; carpet it is..

As a bonus I can put the money saved towards redecorating the entry around the new stair design, a smart selling strategy which we will enjoy while we’re here. Changes may include flooring, wall treatment, paint, and accessories.

Next to consider was the railings and sides. No bulky wood posts or wood spindles since this house has enough wood and the goal is a result vastly different form the existing look which we have grown to despise. I love the look of glass panels but don’t want to be cleaning off finger prints and dog nose smears. Painted straight spindles appeal but not the maintenance required. I like metal spindles and they excel in the easy category.. A winner! It’s going to be straight black spindles with a round wood railing which bends and extends down to the base of the second lowest step.

I’m loving the focus achieved! Next up will be a review of quotes, a commitment, fine tuning the details, and scheduling the work. Meanwhile I’ll be working on the entry decor vision and choice of carpet for the stairs. Stay tuned.

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