Tuesday, March 8, 2011

This Week's Stairwell Update

I always underestimate the amount of work that projects will require. Am I alone?

I think to myself, "self, I'll just rip out that carpet and cute those steps up and it'll be fabulous!" And then once I start ripping carpet up and expose glittery vinyl flooring which was adhered with mastic, I start wishing I had carpet bandaids and I could take it all back.

Sometimes I have to wonder at my "demo now, think later" attitude; while it does guarantee that stuff gets done around here, no project is ever as simple as I think it will be before I begin. You would think that I would have learned this by now, right? Nah.

When we last left our tortured heroine she was staring glumly at her newly uncovered vinyl steps:

Dumb, I tell you. I also mentioned that my trusty brother-in-law Joe saved the day by agreeing to remove that glittery mess from the stairs. It took for-ev-er and I'm extremely grateful that I was able to be a bystander for the yuckiest phase of this crazy project.

I actually timed Joe while he removed the vinyl and gluey backing from one riser and one tread so we could get an estimate of how much labor was actually involved. It took him 27 minutes and 30 seconds, and he totally cheated and worked harder (no cell phone or coffee breaks! Near constant scraping! No sweaty brow wiping!) to improve his time. So realistically, after we adjust his time for cheating, those steps probably required 8-9 hours of solid labor. Which is ridiculous. A little part of me hates those steps for using up all the labor Joe owed me for doing his business's books.

And by "a little part of me," I mean "every fiber of my being." Just so we're clear.

After the stairs were scraped, I jumped back in (much to my chagrin) to continue work.

Walls were patched where an old drywall job had been done quickly around carpet,

and stairs were sanded...

(Can I just say that I am so incredibly grateful that staining the stairs is not my plan? If I had gone to all that trouble in order to stain these bad boys, only to discover the two pesky triangle steps were plywood... well, I'd have lost it. For reals.)

...and then progress ground to a halt.

Because my new washer and dryer are being delivered today!


Three cheers for basement dungeon laundry rooms!

I have a plan, so no worries about the ugliness factor of this room. But I have to finish these stairs before I start a new project or my husband will seriously leave and move to a hotel.


  1. Can't wait to see the finished product! You are a brave woman though..

  2. I have a hard time doing improvement projects in areas that are used constantly - like the stairs or the bathroom (if you only have one). You are a brave woman.

  3. haha i love this post because i have SO much in common with you!

    1. projects seeming small until you start them. exhibit a) my staircase makeover b) latest craft room makeover (which is finally done and posted - wahoo!!)
    2. i also have a basement dungeon that is home to a shiny new washer/dryer pair. i'm trying not to start scheming too much on the laundry room makeover.. but it is oh so hard.

    can't wait to see the after shots of your stairwell - you can do it!! :)


  4. "Three cheers for basement dungeon laundry rooms!" Mine is covered in cobwebs. At least I pretend they are cobwebs. *shudder* :P

  5. Wow good job scraping!

  6. Hi, I just had a quick question. It looks like the edge of the treads were flush with the risers when the vinyl was on, but then there is a bullnose overhang to the tread once they have been stripped. Did Joe install a bullnose trim somehow? Thanks!

    1. Nope, there was actually a metal strip over the vinyl on the tread edge but the bullnose was existing. Hope that helps :)


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