With my father in town for Thanksgiving I was able to have him help me install the last element stopping the scheduling of final Building Permit inspection for my occupancy permit; the stair railing leading to upstairs. The railing I got from Hyde Park Lumber because I wanted to have the curved ends that meet the wall. I didn’t know code required this anyway, but I was at the historic General Denver Hotel in Wilmington, OH and I took a picture of their stair rail in hopes I could find something similar.
It came in three parts, the rail and two end pieces. It would take some precise measuring and drilling to get the ends to align perfectly once attached. I figured my father would be up for that task. One end fit perfectly, the other I had to sand a bit, all in all it was a fairly easy project.
Installing window trim allowed me to find the pieces of trim that ran on top of the stair string and also under the bead board short wall surrounding the stairs, so I tackled putting them in place also. I knew I would have two issues I’d need to work around. The first was I knew the pieces would run short. Originally there was a door that closed off upstair and the trim stopped at the jamb. I had about a 5-6″ shortfall on both sides to contend with. The style/design of that trim was unlike any other trim in the house. I didn’t want to risk breaking it by taking it to Hyde Park Lumber to see if they had anything to match, so instead I used a piece of original trim not used on the Master Bath windows. I put the splice at the top of stairs since my Master oasis is not public space. Close enough in my opinion.
The second issue was dealing with larger gaps around the bead board and floor moulding created because the drywall was thinner than the plaster in some areas. On the top of the left side of stairs there was an obvious gap that bothered me every time I went up the stairs. Thanks to watching Tom install the last of the crown moulding I got the perfect idea to conceal the gap; an end cap which I made from a piece of leftover moulding from upstairs. The piece was small and all I had to work with was my coping saw as I attempted to cut the shape to match the profile of the floor moulding. A friend found a used scroll saw for me at Habitat ReStore for $15, all it needs is a blade. Sure wish I had in operating for this. All in all not a bad remedy. The right side was not as intricate as the gap was much longer and wider. More left trim from the bathroom windows took care of that.
The bottom of the stair string posed a different problem due to the removal of the jamb. Each side had different lengths. The left ended approx. 3/4″ from wall, so I decided to just fill the gap with a piece of wood that would allow me to run the floor moulding to the end of string. The right side had about a 3″ gap, so I cleaned up the edge and decided to wrap the floor moulding around the corner. Since moulding in that area didn’t exist I sanded down a piece left from upstairs and stained it to match the other first floor moulding and stair risers.
With the fixes in place installing the original trim pieces was a piece of cake. Clean up was just water and Restore-A-Finish.
Before and After. What a transformation.
What an impressive improvement! It looks incredible! It must have taken a ton of plaster and wood to complete. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you, it’s been a labor of love for two years. All plaster was removed, I took entire house down to the studs. I saved as much of the original woodwork before demo as I could. The stair treads and risers are overlays, so only new wood.