What is the first thing you see when you walk into your home? In my case, it was a set of stairs to the second floor. The steps were covered with carpet that was matted, stained, and a collector of leaves, grass clippings, and dirt. No matter how hard I tried to keep them clean, every single outdoor bit of nature in my front yard ended up ground into the carpet. Add four kids, and outdoor nature became indoor “decoration”. This was the very first thing we all saw as we entered our home.
I had long dreamed of the hardwood stairs of my childhood. To me, hardwood stairs were a reminder of a simpler time. But now, they were crucial to my sanity! Hardwood floors get swept, that is it. Maybe slap down some vinegar and water once in awhile. But no more ground in Cheerios, spilled drinks could be cleaned up with a rag, and leaves could have been picked up in a second. I had to have them!
I contacted my local home remodeling contractor to get an estimate and figure out the process. Obviously, we would not be able to use the stairs during the replacement process. I had no idea if it would take a day or a week or a month. To my delight, the whole process could have been done in three days.
We decided to stain the treads, the part we walk on, and paint the risers (the vertical part of the stairs). There were so many choices for the railroads! We could keep our painted wood rails, install new wood rails and stain them, or chose from a wide array of wrought iron designs. We decided to go with the wrought iron rails. Our contractor helped us pick out several different types to create a custom design.
First, our old nasty disgusting carpet was removed and the old railroads were taken down. Our contractor installed new hardwood treads and risers. He helped us chose a stain color to match our existing hardwood flooring in the foyer. After staining the treads and painting the risers, our first day of waiting was over.
The next day, our contractor came back and put on two coats of polyurethane to give a nice satin look to the stairs. He said we needed to wait at least 24 hours before waiting on them, but 48 would be better. We gave it two days. The last step was the installation of the new railroads.
Words can not describe what a difference this has made !! The first impression our visitors get is classy and clean. The first impression I get is the same! I continue to be facilitated every time I walk up and down the stairs and enter the front door. We have a basically maintenance free staircase that looks beautiful. My only regret is that I waited too long to get the job done. Do not make my mistake. It is my favorite home improvement that we have ever done.