Rebuilding a staircase

While our landlords (who live upstairs) were away this past week,  contractors rebuilt the staircase from the parlor floor up to the third floor of our brownstone. Have you ever seen a staircase being built? It’s fascinating! It was especially interesting to see the “undersides” of the staircase to understand how it’s assembled. I snapped a few pictures along the way.

Here it is at the beginning, when they had cut away the bottom half of the old staircase. We were glad to see the old stairs go because they squeaked and groaned with every step.

To the right of the staircase you can see a stack of new stair pieces. The first few days our entire house smelled like sawdust. The contractors cut the stair pieces right outside the front door at the top of the stoop. They had an industrial fan set up in the entryway for ventilation, and cleaned up all the sawdust after each workday with a shopvac, but the smell of sawdust persisted.

Here’s what it looked like after day one:

I climbed up the new stairs and was delighted to find that they were very solid underfoot and didn’t make a sound. Here are some close-ups that show how a staircase is constructed and how all the pieces fit together. You can also see how worn the old stairs were from years and years of use.


It took another day to finish constructing the staircase. After it was completely assembled, they stained the stairs dark to match the existing dark wood paneling. The new staircase looks fantastic and really spruces up the entryway of our home!

Now if we can just re-paint the lavendar purple walls…

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