Monday, January 25, 2010

No fear!

game OK, first…awwwwww yeah Colts!!!!!!!

What a great weekend!! Got some quality time with my hubby and my Bub, and got to go to the most exciting football game of the year because of my lovely, gorgeous, fantastic friend. No, that’s not her in the picture. ;) Hope you had a great weekend too!

Amanda (lilgrebs4 (at) hotmail (dot) com) won the free room consultation by My Design Guide! Amanda, email me and I’ll get you in touch with them. Congrats!!

So some of you may remember back in December when I showed you our decked out staircase and I mentioned I had a teeny tiny project in mind? OK, not tiny. Big. HUGE. Big for me anyway – the biggest project I’ve attempted in our house.

Back when our house was being built, I was here at least once a day checking out the progress. Our superintendent and I were BFFs. We were likethis. I had his number on speed dial. I’m sure he groaned every time my name came up on his phone, but he was awesome about it and was so great to work with.

One day I walked in and what I saw took my breath away. Our stairs (that were waiting for carpet) were GORGEOUS. Stunning. I mean, really. The shape was great because they wrap around at the bottom, which I love:

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And the actual steps were beautiful, with rounded edges. Real wood too, not plywood. I stood there, admiring them. I debated back and forth and back and forth about a meeellion times on whether or not I should call said superintendent and ask him to just have them stained instead of carpeted.

In the end, I decided to just have them carpeted. I wasn’t sure how hard stairs would be as far as comfort, upkeep, etc. So the carpet went on. And I have wanted to take it off since that day. ;)

My desire to do this has just gotten worse since blogging. I see these fantastic, gorgeous stairs and I just KNOW our stained, gross staircase could be one of them someday…

design20509 staircase1OK, OK, minus the fabulous railings and doors and floors and molding…minus all of those, they will be fantastic!!

It was uncharted territory for me on many levels – and I researched it for almost a year. I searched online, asked bloggers about it who had hardwood stairs. There were many aspects of it I was afraid of. The biggie was tearing up carpet. It just looked so…secure. I thought it would be a huge pain in the butt.

My father-in-law has been here often as he goes through his cancer treatments (he’s doing great by the way!), and the business he built and operated for years was tile and carpet installation…so who better to help me? DUH!

The other day I pulled up a corner of the carpet on the landing when he was here. This was the only area that I didn’t think was covered by the pretty wood and I was right, it’s just plywood. But my FIL assured me we could make it work by covering it or putting down new flooring.

We set up a time for him and one of his former employees to come by to take off some of the carpet on one of the stairs to see how it looked. Then we would determine if the whole project could move forward. I was so stinking excited I could barely stand it!

And then they had to postpone twice.

I am many things, and patient is not one of them. When I twittered about it this morning, all of you lovely peeps encouraged me to just go after the project on my own…and so I decided I would. I used a wrench and just started pulling on the carpet. I figured I could have my FIL fix it later this week if the stairs weren’t how I remembered. I came off so easily! I was squealing with glee seeing the wood and the curved steps…this was going to work!!

Reason number 539 I wanted the carpet gone:

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The darker areas? Yeah, I thought the treads were bad. The edges of them were waaaaay worse. I mean, how do you clean that? Nasty:

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As far as I knew, we’ve only had one spill on these stairs. It was me, years ago, and it was a whole glass of Pepsi on a couple of the steps. :) Well, I was wrong:

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Ummmmkay, that is nasty!! What the heck is all that? I mean, I see the Pepsi (which I thought I completely cleaned up!) but what else is there? Heebies.

Well, it took about two hours total…but here is the result:

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This is just the upper staircase. The carpet was way easy to get off. So was the padding. The tack strips weren’t bad either – I thought those would be a huge pain. But the staples…oh, the staples. They weren’t as bad as my dining room chairs. But it took a good hour just to get all of them out. I figured out an easier way to do it towards the end and I’ll show you how I did that soon.

 090That top step will be uncarpeted, but it’s connected to the upstairs carpet, so I’m waiting on the professionals to cut that part.

I’m also waiting on them to do the rest of the stairs later this week, and I’ll show you the steps then. This is not a project you want to do with a three-year-old around, otherwise I would do for the rest of it myself. :) (He was at school when I did this.)

091See that nasty landing??? Ewwwwweeee!

My main concern about hardwood steps was the slip factor. Mostly because of the Bub, but I also have a tendency to fall down stairs. I do it often. And I’m good at it. I asked a ton of people about it and ALL said their hardwood stairs (not laminate, btw) are less slippery than the carpet.

So far this is very much the case. I’m hoping to be able to sand off all of the overspray and stain these, but if not, there is an additive you can add to paint that gives it more traction. I’ll let you know what I end up doing! The risers will get a high gloss white paint.

Oh yeah, and our house smells like pine again…it’s fantastic!!  :)

So what’s the word…do you have hardwood stairs? Love them? Hate them? Is there something  you are dying to do in your house but are sceeered? Why are you afraid? Money? No know how? No time?

Really, how much could you mess it up if you just went for it? Ummm, maybe don’t answer that…

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