Stairway to Heaven

September 29, 2016

Ok, so not literally. But at the same time, I don’t feel like I’m going to fall every time I go up or down our new stairs, so that’s basically heaven. (Especially when holding a laundry basket and stepping around two rambunctious dogs.) Hashtag safety.

I cannot tell you just how excited I am to finally be sharing our new stairs with you! This project, man. It was a doozy. Between cutting out brick walls, figuring out the math so the steps actually fit together, to making the most precise cuts ever on all the wood…dang. I wish I could say it was simple, but we had so many factors to consider. These stairs are not normal — they couldn’t be due to the load-bearing beams, doorways into rooms, and different levels on the second floor (one bedroom is actually two steps above the main floor for the upstairs). We couldn’t do a straight staircase because it would have gone right into the center of the living room. And we couldn’t do a traditional L-shaped with a landing because of the beams (you would hit your head!). We had a small space to work with, and Evan certainly made the most of it!



Evan figured out the best way to still make use of our living room and the area we had to work with was to create a staircase that had a 90* turn/corner with individual steps flowing in a circular motion. Does that make sense? You turn a bit each step you take, but it’s up against a right angle. Basically a combination of a spiral and an L-shaped staircase.

We used laminated veneer lumber (LVL) for risers — the teal wood you see above. PSA: LVL is insanely heavy, but it makes for some sturdy stairs! Menards will actually cut that for you, so we were able to fit all the lumber in our small SUV — didn’t have to rent a truck which saved us time and money! We made multiple trips to and from Menards and Home Depot during this process but no truck rental! Yay.



Old vs. new! The old stairs were going to the highest level of the upstairs (the level that I mentioned above regarding one of the bedrooms). The new stairs go to the lower level of the upstairs, which is where everything else is except that one bedroom.

Also! That vent you see above to the right of the stairs? We are going to be installing a built-in shelving unit with a counter, cabinets, and a wine rack, so it will eventually be hidden! We’ll be blocking off the end of it, and then re-routing it down to maintain its functionality.


We are trying to finalize a wall color for where the stairs used to be. We originally thought white, but I think we want something a little softer. Decisions, decisions.

The stairs are obviously not finished. But we don’t want to completely finish them until we have the rest of the living room done. Right now, we’re sandblasting a brick wall (it’s about as fun/messy as it sounds!). Then we’ll finish off the ceiling and install the hardwood floors. At that point, we’ll finish the stairs. The steps will be the same hardwood (engineered bamboo) and the risers will be white. And, of course, we’ll be adding a railing! Not sure what the pups will think of that since they now conveniently go from the couch to the stairs. 🙂


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