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8
votes
1answer
2k views

How should I add a rail on a carpeted stairway that's open on one side?

I'm buying a house with carpeted stairs leading into the basement. Attached is a picture of it. I have very little skill when it comes to home improvement. What's the easiest and most economical ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I use a stairwell ceiling fan to save energy?

We have a two story house, with a small ceiling fan mounted above the main stairway. The house has separate thermostats for heating/cooling the upstairs and downstairs. During the day, we spend 90% ...
7
votes
3answers
434 views

Options for fixing outside cement staircase?

We have a below-grade basement and a exit door. There are concrete steps to the door, parallel to the house (so on your right is the house) and on the left is a brick wall. The steps appear to have ...
5
votes
1answer
593 views

Replacing a split tread on an old staircase

We have an old staircase (1900s) and after removing the carpet, before we get the new one fitted, we noticed that one of the corner steps has a lengthways split right down the middle: How easy ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I attach a carpet runner down a staircase with a turn in it?

I need to install a carpet runner down a staircase. This is a typical installation with the brass bars in the corner between the tread and riser to hold it down. The difficulty is that the staircase ...
4
votes
2answers
684 views

How to re-anchor banister to plaster wall?

So the banister holders are in plaster, and it's pretty crumbly. We removed the wooden rail, but the anchors are in no way attached to the wall soundly. How can I make this secure again?
2
votes
1answer
177 views

How do I remove a stair tread under linoleum without damaging the linoleum?

I'm replacing some old 1970s railing in between my kitchen and family room (there's a step down into my family room.) I ripped that out and exposed what looks like a stair tread that was ripped down ...
4
votes
1answer
851 views

adhesive for gluing rubber to wood

I am replacing rubber tread covers on an old wooden staircase. As far as I can tell, the old ones were simply glued on. They lasted about ten years before they started slipping and cracking where they ...
3
votes
2answers
14k views

How can I create a platform on my stairs strong enough to support a ladder?

I live in a two-story condo and need to reach a spot on the wall high above my staircase to do some handy work. A ladder is the only way I can do this (I am stating this explicitly in order to avoid ...
6
votes
5answers
359 views

Which floor should be done first when updating a multi-family residence?

I'd like to renovate a 3 family rental property but don't know which floor is best to start on. The house was built in 1896. The electrical was recently updated prior to purchasing it in 2008. The ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I install a handrail for stairs?

The staircase to my basement has a metal handrail that I was able to pull out of the wall because the brackets take a single screw and those single screws were only 1/2" long. I would like to replace ...
3
votes
2answers
675 views

How can I build a support onto a stud in order to support a handrail?

I need to repair a stair handrail that has come out of my plaster wall. One end of the rail was not connected to a stud, so has come lose. It is a nice railing, so I would prefer not to buy a new ...
4
votes
1answer
937 views

What is the best way to drywall a basement staircase?

We're going to be finishing our basement and one issue I have is how we will drywall the staircase. Unfortunately the stairs are right against the concrete wall. Should I simply put furring strips ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I baby-proof open stairs?

I'm trying to baby-proof my staircase, but the stairs have no risers. (See image below.) I am in a rental, so I don't want to spend the money on cutting, staining, and nailing up plywood. I am ...
4
votes
1answer
611 views

A/C escaping down the staircase

I live on the second floor of a century-old house that doesn't have central air. We have a large window A/C unit in the main hall but our front door is at the bottom of the stairs rather than the top. ...
5
votes
1answer
942 views

“Attic stairs” equivelent in an attic “hatch” size hole?

The new place I'm moving into has a hatch size hole for the attic. It is roughly square and has no stairs or anything, its just a hatch that can be accessed by ladder. I'd really like to make more ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How should I finish and protect outdoor wooden steps?

My house has a wooden staircase leading up to the front door. It gets a lot of traffic and is uncovered, so its exposed to New England winters. This means snow, ice, ice-melt, sand, shoveling, etc.. ...
7
votes
2answers
16k views

How can I build a custom stair case in a small space?

In my continuing pursuit of gutting this house and trying to better it; the snow has finally broken and its time to get back to work. We really, REALLY, want to use the attic space as storage / den / ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I install concrete blocks to support deck stairs?

I just had a deck constructed and it failed inspection, partly because of missing concrete blocks where the steps meet the ground (see also my related question Deck handrail bracket). How would I go ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Deck handrail bracket

I just had a deck built and it failed inspection, partly because of the lack of a graspbable handrail (see also my related question Concrete blocks supporting deck stairs) . The current rail is a ...
4
votes
1answer
438 views

Can Laminate flooring be installed on Steps?

Can Laminate flooring be installed on steps? I've seen that many laminate flooring manufacturers offer stair nose pieces like this. It would seem that you would fasten (with finish nails) the thick ...
1
vote
2answers
305 views

What is the order of installation for a stair railing?

I am rebuilding a set of steps, and have decided that I need to replace the handrail at the base of the steps. This is one of the exposed handrails, with ballisters and a newel at the end. This is a ...
7
votes
1answer
538 views

Broken step on staircase

We have a broken step on our carpeted staircase. How can I remove then refit the carpet without damaging it? When the carpet has been removed, I will have to repair the step if possible, then refit ...
4
votes
2answers
976 views

How do I silence a creaking wooden spiral staircase?

We have a spiral staircase with 14 closed wooden steps. Most steps creak when you put your weight on them (or take it off). The noise intensity depends on where exactly on the step you stand. How ...
2
votes
1answer
404 views

Tips and advice for repairing front yard stairs cheaply?

The front yard concrete stairs at the place we're looking to buy are in need of eventual repair. Some of the steps are different sizes creating a trip hazard. In addition, some of them have large ...
4
votes
1answer
992 views

At what height should a stair handrail be?

I am almost replacing the steps to my front porch. It is 5 steps so I definitly need a handrail, but I don't know exactly how high to make it. I have some posts that should be plenty tall but I can ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

The carpet on my stairs is worn. Should I repair it or just remove it?

In our house the second floor and the stairs to them have carpet over top of old hardwood floors (installed by previous owner). The carpet is wearing out, particularly on the stairs where it has come ...
8
votes
5answers
113k views

Is there a standard height and depth for stairs?

Is there a standard (or a standard range for) the height and depth of each step in a flight of stairs? If your answer refers to your building code, please say where you live.
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What can be done to fix a squeak in stairs?

This might be better suited as a community wiki, what do you think? My parents house has very squeaky stairs. The house is over 100 years old, so it's to be expected. What can be done to fix a squeak ...