In order to fit both a bathtub and a 2m sized third ‘bedroom’ in when we did our bathroom and study refurbishment project, we needed to relocate the access corridor from the top of the existing flat landing in the middle of the plan, to the side of the plan next to the party wall off of the stair winders. (You can see the floor plan here as a reminder as its a bit difficult to explain!)
Our plan was that if my somewhat unconventional staircase configuration was uncomfortable or awkward, we’d re-build the staircase at a later date (when cash flow permitted). As expected, if you are walking all the way up or down the stairs along the existing staircase route from the ground floor to the master bedroom, it is perfectly fine, you don’t notice, or aren’t bothered by the new hallway position to the study. If you walk directly from the ground floor up to the bathroom and study, that’s fine too. The problem with this configuration is that when in the middle of the night, you walk from the master bedroom to the bathroom, its a little but awkward. Instead of stepping down onto a winder, which isnt quite big enough, we tend to take a wide step over it (not exactly particularly safe).
As a temporary ‘safety’ fix we added some motion sensor battery operated lights on the steps so you can see where you are going when its dark. Well, the time had finally come to sort it out.
As you can see from the photos, our staircase treads are in very poor condition. Many of them are cracked, and seem to be filled in with a sort of cement based filler. Our original plan was to get them sanded and leave the wood exposed, but as they are so cracked they’d never look great as you’d be able to see the wood filler. So, although I generally don’t like to remove historic fabric, we’ve decided to have the stairs re-built.
We are going to re-use the handrail and newel post, and rather than build something modern, we are going to keep the design simple and cost effective and match the existing nosing and tread details.
Re-building the stair gives us the opportunity to move it one step forward so we can have a larger landing at the top to avoid that awkward half winder. It also has the added benefit of improving the head height beneath. (Not important now, but eventually when we pop a downstairs loo under there, it will make a 200mm difference – very important if your other half is 6′-4″!)
So, after two quotes, and a bit of a lead time run in, we are having our staircase re-built tomorrow! Exciting times!