Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Stairway To Heaven

One of the changes we are making to the house that is having the biggest impact is relocating the staircase. We are making this change for several reasons. First, as I previously mentioned, our old stairs were EXTREMELY steep. The picture below illustrates the rise and run on standard staircases.

As you can see from the picture, a typical Rise is 7 ¾" and a typical Run is 10 ½". Our stairs, however, had Rises varying between 8" and 9" and Runs varying between 7" and 8". That might not seem like that big of a difference, but the loss of 2" to 3" on the Run is HUGE because your feet don't fit on the stairs, which has caused a lot of Boy George moments for me, Matt and our guests (sing it with me…"I tumble for you, I tumble for you!"). The second reason for the change is the fact that we are closing off the pass-through on the back of the stairs because we are turning the old study into our master closet. The floor plan below shows the old stairs outlined in red and where we are closing off the pass-through for the new closet, which is highlighted in blue.

And here is a picture that shows a view of the old stairs from the dining room.

Closing off the pass-through on the back of the stairs, however, meant that we would have to remove the banister any time we wanted to move furniture upstairs because there would not be enough room to "PIVOT" any furniture around the 90 degree turn on the stairs. When you read "PIVOT" you have to imagine my all-time favorite Ross moment on Friends when Ross, Chandler and Rachel are trying to move Ross's sofa up the stairs…that, ladies and gentlemen, would be our exact problem here.

So, after staring at the stairs for about two years to figure out how to resolve this issue, I finally had a Lightbulb! moment and decided to move the stairs out towards the front door. Here is my original sketch that I came up with back in May.

And here is my pitiful Photoshop'ed picture that shows how the stairs will work in real life.

I know I don't have mad drawing skills, but when an idea strikes, I have to get it on paper ASAP or I will forget it. However, as you can see in the picture and the floor plan, we have to move the front of the house out 5 feet in order have space between the front door and the stairs. But this was more than okay with me, because that meant that our dining room would also be 5 feet longer. Win-win I would say. The absolute best part of moving the stairs, though, is the fact that we now have room for a laundry room upstairs and are able to put a large built-in desk in the new landing to create an open study area. Here you can see the old floor plan with the stairs highlighted in red.

And here is my original sketch of the second floor with the stairs moved.

The final benefit of moving the stairs, was that it allows us to completely open the living room and remove the wall that used to divide the living room from the old foyer. The first picture shows the living room looking from the back yard before the stairs were moved, the second picture shows the living room looking from the backyard after the stairs were moved, and the third picture shows a close-up of the new stairs and where the old stairs used to be (and the wall in the middle of the picture is a temporary wall that will be removed once the second floor is properly supported).

This really opens the living room and makes the space feel so much larger. Here are pictures after the demo upstairs.

And the best part of all…my feet fit‼!

Ahhhh, the little things in life make such the difference! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a great day!

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  1. WOW!! That is a doozy of a project...and is going to be so cool! Can't wait to see the evolution of your house!! Welcome to blogging! :)

    1. Thanks you so much Cassie! I am having a blast with the project and finally getting to see three years worth of house day dreams come to life. And I gotta say, how freaking cool is it that one of my favorite bloggers has checked out my blog AND left a comment. You made my day girl! :-)



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