Stair Update: Rinse and Repeat

11:37 AM

The holidays have come and gone, so now it's time to get back to work. I'm heading into the last week of my winter break, so I'm enjoying the last bit on mental freedom before I have to resume juggling work, school, and house projects. The good news is that I've made some good progress on the upper half of the stairs. Things always seem to go a little quicker the second time around. And since I forgot to take some pictures of the skirting process last time, I made some effort to better document that this time through. The key word in that last sentence was some, I still missed a step or two, but I'll do my best to paint a lovely word picture to make up for my lack of actual pictures. Ok, here we go. I started by laying my 1/2" plywood along the stairs like so. I used two small nails just to keep it in place.


Then using a straight edge, I used a level, I continued the lines from the treads and risers onto my skirt.




Easy peasy so far. You might notice that some of my steps don't quite reach the skirt, don't worry too much about that. Once all your steps are marked you need to cut those little triangles out.



Now for the word painting. After you cut all the triangles out your skirt will actually fit into the voids above the steps, although not perfectly. There will be gaps in some spots and none in others. As disappointing as this may sound, you will need to re-trace and cut your stair notches. To do that I used my trusty level again, but this time I laid it on its side so that I would be marking my skirt about an inch above my steps. Once you've re-traced your treads and risers and cut along the new lines your skirt should fit like a glove. The last steps for cutting your skirt is to rip some of the height off, and cut the top and bottom ends off. I marked the height of my skirts at 3" above the old tread so they would all be consistent. At the top of the stairs I cut the riser so it would sit flush with the exsisting floor, and at the bottom of the stairs I cut it perpendicular to the floor about an inch and a half in front of the bottom riser. Hopefully that description helps, but if your still confused just leave me a comment with your question below.



This is an almost finished skirt. You can see I still have to cut the top (flush with the flooring) and bottom (perpendicular to the floor) bits off, but the height has been cut.



Moving on to the risers. Since one side of the staircase is open I was excited to skip the measuring part. I took the railing down to make things a little easier, and to add an element of danger! Dunt dunt dunnnnn.



Then I placed my riser material in its future home...



And marked my cut line from the back. My plan for this ugliness is to make a skirt but for under the stairs (like this). I figure I will need to install the skirt and risers before I start to trace my steps and cut this other skirt, so that's where I'm at for now.


I'm hoping for some decent weather (not freezing or windy) so I can finish painting these pieces this weekend. Also, we ordered the treads last week and they should be here by Monday evening. I've got a little more figuring out to do with these new treads (some of which will require some help from my dad), but I'm hopeful I don't 1) ruin them and 2) it doesn't take forever.


Nikki Kelly


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