Railings and Pickets

The month of June flew by with no blog posts. Work for me took an unexpected turn that created a huge backlog for me. I have been traveling and putting in lots of hours lately. So as life so often does when one part gets busy the rest doesn’t stop. Renovations continued through the month of June with Matt at the helm. While the pace has slowed down considerably we are almost done with the project. Hopefully I can catch up on the progress to date. The results are exciting……

With the Newel posts in place and the treads stained and polyurethaned, the next step was the railings and the risers.  The order of operations confused me a bit here but in the end it all came together. We went with a simple square picket that kept the angular edges the house carried through the new stairs.

For the finishes we opted for a darker stain on the risers. Currently the trend is painted risers and while we like that look also, it just wasn’t a match for our house. It would have looked like we had a renovation. With the contrasting stains the hope is that it will look like it has always been here.

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Lessons Learned Note: I still have a disdain for subcontractors. If you find good ones that will listen to what you want, hold on to them and pay them fairly. Actually overpay them, they are worth their weight in gold. The polyurethaner was an OK sub but he really didn’t listen to what we said. His process is messy. At the point he was staining and polyurethaning the stair treads, we were undecided on the finish for the riser. He translated that as ….. no need to be neat I can slop my stain and paint will cover it. So needless to say the finisher was a little less than amused when he had to first sand down the drips and overages left by the poly guys. The end result is nice but during this portion of the job I personally was a little uneasy. It is just so counterproductive to me for one trade to create more work than is necessary for the next trade. And we all know what they say about it rolling downhill.

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So here is the first look at the light fixtures. more about those later.

20140520-DCS_0062 Originally we thought that we would have pickets on all sides of the stair opening. But once we started realizing the space it made sense to use a half wall for two of the sides.

  • It gave a bit of a financial break, wall is cheaper than railing and pickets.
  • It gave a bit of separation from the two ends of the attic.
  • It added a great deal of stability to the upper railing. With the rail having a solid to attach to it was more stable than railings alone would have been.
  • It also allowed another electrical outlet on the other side of the half wall.