Monday, 19 August 2013

Renovation Project - Rebuilding an old staircase in France

Renovation Project - Rebuilding an old staircase in France

The house seems to going at a great rate, the ceilings are up and we have all the studding and plaster board we need to build the rest of the walls.

We are going to rebuild the wall at the edge of the stairs on the ground floor, as there is no way we can buy a matching handrail, and trying to make one out of wood to look similar will be worse than having something totally different.

This is a problem when trying to renovate an old house, there will be times when you just cannot buy or make matching items.

John did have the idea of building a stepped wall which would still give some feeling of the openness which we have loved, but I just cannot see it.

We start by peeling the awful vinyl off the stairs and some of them do not look fantastic, but there is no rot in the stairs other than the bottom tread, that we were already aware of.

We contemplate it some more and John starts to build the frame for the wall, it is at this point that we wonder if we can make a handrail, that will just be part of the wall, the difficulty here is that the hand rail has a slight curve, but John says this is not a problem and he would be able to curve the wood. (I am a little sceptical, I love him and call him superman, but that is love talking, not fact!)

We have great fun trying to work out the angles as the old rail not only curves slightly it also goes around a corner, so there are no set measurements, John just goes ahead and makes it with me holding the new rail at different points until we get the right place.

Once the frame is all in place, John uses a piece of thin tongue and groove which is pliable, and it works. The walls will have plasterboard and we will need to add some stronger wood, but wow it looks great so far and we get to keep the open look in the living room. It really would have been heartbreaking to have to wall the stairs in again.



  1. What a project! But it is really starting to look like a house.

    So enjoying following your progress

    Kate x
    Kate at Home

    1. Thanks Kate, it is so good to actually start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, once we have a kitchen, can't wait to start trying to make some of the lovely cakes you make on your blog :)