Basement stairs reveal

With a ton of traffic expected to move up and down our basement stairs over Christmas (including a tiny newborn), Jeff and I decided we need to replace the old steep and scary stairs before the holidays. I gave a hint about this project in this post. We probably should have tackled this project years ago because it really was long overdue.

Last summer, Jeff’s dad helped us with the first phase of the makeover, closing in the previously completely open banister. The first step for us then, was to take off the old stair treads and risers.

From there, Jeff made stair treads with noses on two sides, adding two inches to the width and one inch to the depth on each tread from the previous ones. You’ll notice he also created a custom notch on the bottom stair to allow for the basement door to open… with about a quarter inch of clearance!

Everything then got a pristine coat of white primer.

I would have loved to keep the stairs white but in reality, that was a recipe for disaster (since I alone go up and down these stairs at least a dozen times each day). We went with a much more durable charcoal grey… with a surprise.

Yes- it’s blue!! Benjamin Moore Surf Blue (mixed by General Paint), to be exact. Each time I go up the stairs, the colour a makes me smile. You’ll note that Jeff also did a considerably better job on finishing the stairs than the last mystery DIY-wannabe did.

We also gave the rest of the laundry room a coat of my favourite Benjamin Moore Cloud White (also mixed by General Paint) to freshen it up.

While I’m really happy with the overall look of the new stairs, I’m over the moon ecstatically thrilled by how much better they feel. One inch on a stair’s depth doesn’t sound like much, but makes a world of difference under your feet. These stairs used to feel very steep and scary, but now they are comfortable and just right.  Before, I needed to clutch onto railings on both sides of the stairs when I went down – now I zip up and down without holding onto anything. You’ll notice from the before and after photos below that we didn’t even need to put up the second railing.

Jeff and my dad spent two days before Christmas hanging a new door at the top of the stairs. Two days, you ask? Yes, it was two days. It seems that the doofus who built the old stairs also neglected to use a measuring tape when framing that door. As a result, it was not rectangular (as one expects doors to be) but a polygon. I don’t know exactly what they did to fix it but I know it took lots and lots of trips back and forth out to the workshop. Now that the door is hung (Hallelujah!) we just have to paint it and we are DONE!

I think the difference is amazing… and that Jeff did an absolutely incredible job.


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