Repairing Stairs & Hip Wall


Stair landing The entry room is being transformed.  The narrow stairs are part of the look and feel of the cottage.  Having extremely steep stairs in this time period is pretty common. While I have no intention of "correcting" the stairs (they are correct for the style of the house and the time period.  I do need to make a few adjustments to make them traversable. 

The first step in the transformation in the front room was to first design a landing for the stair case. This intermediate landing, and the expansion of the 

The staircase was originally a closed staircase (meaning the the walls around the stairs would have completely enclosed it.) Portions of the wall facing the front of the house were cut away at some point.  

The changes to the stairs will allow for the staircase to still feel enclosed while making it easier to not to take a tumble down. 

The starting step will be moved and a half wall will be added to create a short "hallway"

First Floor Layout


The framing of this new portion of the stairs tries to stay true to the way that they were originally designed.  I did add metal hangers but I am also using tongue and grove planks as well to help support the new design. 



 The next issue to tackle was the 2 different levels of floor.  At some earlier date someone used concrete to make a small ramp.  I had to mimic the slope across to the opening to the bathroom with wide shims. 

I then cut the new pine flooring to match the existing wall. 

The "hollow" areas under the floor (the gaps) will be filled before sealing the floors with a matte polyethene. 

The boards for the floors were all stained one at a time by me and my daughter.  (Article Here) This gives a really cool variation in the boards. 

To see the other rooms check these articles out: 

The hip wall was then started. I had to work a bit backwards because I was alone.  Nailing the boards to the landing before adding the top rail. I am sure that this method would make plenty of people crazy but I had to figure it out as I went since I would normally have another set of hands.  

I also left the original starting stair partially exposed to match the rise and tread depth.  

Hip wall with Victorian metal panels.

I then placed the tongue and groove boards at the bottom with the groove facing up, and the top board with the groove facing down to allow a channel for the metal Victorian ceiling panels to slide into.  




Once I had the hip wall in place I could look at the patterns in the other rooms and begin working on the rest of the kitchen floor. 

Rainbow woven wood floors: blue, purple, pink and grey Multicolor pine floors: blue, purple, pink and grey 
Above: Bedroom floor in a woven pattern Above: Back room floor with a straight more traditional pattern

Below: The completed kitchen floor with dining area inlay