Two Stairwells Finished!

This is how both stairwells looked when John began this project a couple of weeks ago. There is still another stairwell leading down to the basement that will be finished in the same way as the one in the below photo.

In this photo, the light switch appears a couple of steps down and to the right of John’s arm. The blue box higher up is the furnace switch.

After John ran the wire through the center stringer in the above stairwell, he moved the 3-way switch box to the living room wall at the top of the stairs.

A job like this can be dangerous. It doesn’t take much to get hurt. Each time I walked up I had to say “Is it clear.” John was above me in the second stairwell and on a ladder working with all sorts of tools.

You can’t suddenly become absentminded.

Looking down…

And looking above…

John applied Sheetrock/drywall adhesive on the three stringers (above) due to the angled pitch similar to a ceiling. It’s necessary to bond the Sheetrock to the framing. Otherwise, the Sheetrock will sag overtime. The adhesive also prevents movement from when we walk up the stairs to the new wing.

The Sheetrock is 48″ so he applied adhesive 47″ up the stringers. He didn’t want to apply adhesive all the way up because it will DRY. Afterwards, he measured and cut a second Sheetrock piece, applied remaining adhesive and installed it with beveled edges together to be spackled without butt joints.

When John was installing the drywall, he asked me if I would like a small ledge above the header or if I wanted him to frame it out with 2x4s and have the drywall flush. I prefer the look of a ledge.

You can see the 3-way switch on the right side at the top of the stairs. In the very beginning of my blog (almost two years ago) I explained that this was the stairwell that took me a solid six months to walk down. We bought the house not knowing what it looked like down there.

I had no idea how many rooms were on the ground/basement level. Access to the basement was almost impossible, and at the time, I really didn’t want to know.

John managed to get down there once with someone but they both had difficulty describing it to me. The hoard was so immense that they couldn’t get perspective on the size of the ground level rooms and the basement. Photos weren’t possible until half the contents were hauled out.

When I saw this stairwell closed up and finished I felt like I was walking down into a tunnel. I had become immune to the exposed studs and having it open seeing through to the upstairs hallway.

Tying up this job was another big step forward.

One day, after all the painting is finished, the stairs/treads to the left will be sanded and refinished. This will be a project for me to do (Yippee)!

Now it’s time for John to get the spackle out again.

I took photo standing in the new wing looking down the stairwell that used to be attic stairs–where John just installed the new stringers and treads (new stairs).

Looking down and to the right is the hall bathroom. Turn left and left again, and the staircase leads to the living room. There is a total of four stairwells in the house and a series of left turns.

5 thoughts on “Two Stairwells Finished!

  1. John’s work is meticulous and the photos and captions are well done. You two are a great team. Closer and closer to the pretty part!

  2. You both must not be too tall, because my husband would call the ledge a “noggin’ bonker”! ;-D but he’s 6″1′.

    Looks so meticulously done! People in the olden days weren’t fatties, were they, Sue? Those are some skinny stairwells!

    1. John is 6′ and doesn’t need to duck going down the stairs. The header is not as low as you might think (it’s the original one). Before it was concealed with drywall, I just chose to leave it as a ledge. I’m actually 5’7″ so I’m not too tall but I’m not short either.

      1. It must be my eyes are too short! ;-D

        It sure does look closer in the picture, but probably because I can’t see the full angle, just the face of the stairwell.

        What do think you’ll put on the ledge?

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