Thursday, April 03, 2014

We get an Expert in

One thing we always knew: the wonderful staircase in the house- a jewel of carpentry, at least 200 years old - was in need of expert attention.

When we first set eyes on it we loved it! it stands in the kitchen imposing yet trim, below a long, bright window reaching up to the second floor.

Superficially it looks OK. Take one step on to it and you feel the toll that 40 years of damp has taken. 

The bottom of the stairs were rotten. At least the first few treads, possibly more.

Things were to get worse before they got better, as we cleared the house, rebuilt the walls and roof, the traffic, demolition and reconstruction all took a little bit more out of the stairs.

Time was up, We had to make amends!

Thankfully, Elaine's Brother Trevor, who is an expert craftsman stepped in. He came over this week and after 4 days hard work the stairs are transformed, and there are more slates on the roof. 

We are over the moon! 

Here's an annotated pictorial journey:

as we found it
an historical feature of the house
looking upstairs

after clearing the debris
the damage is revealed
no bottom steps
around the back - much rotten wood
the ingenious construction method revealed

this rail (much no longer there!) rests on a beam secure in the wall, and in the newell post, thereby avoiding the floor
the structure is self supporting not touching the wall
however. the supporting beam has rotted away
a nice clean post hole
the new main support - hand made from original timber sourced from the house - a thing of beauty!
Trevor installing the new beam

the detail
clean fit!
Trevor putting in the oak wedge to secure the newell post and return rigidity to the whole staircase
from the back: new rail and tread supports
gently does it - releasing the spindles
new bottom steps - the framework
temporary treads - the finished ones will go in after building work ends
looking up : new stairs, new roof - fantastic!
looking down
better than ever!
wonderful detailing
dovetails on the treads - old and new

the salvaged pieces to act as templates
Elaine surveying the work!
found under the base of the stairs
a sunny day spent on the roof
Trevor & John working it out
slating at work
on the ridge
Thank You Trevor! great work!