All that’s left to do for finishing the stairwell is to cut a big hole in the floor, roughly sized to fit a staircase… Oh, and install the stairs, then more drywall. No big deal, right? You got it! Well I suppose I got this… Even though I’d been working for weeks up to this point, and knew things were properly supported from the basement (as I shared in my first post Building Stairs, Framing), it was still a bit nerve-wracking to actually cut the floor and trusses. However, after having just wrapped up all the lighting work, drywall, and painting I talked about in, Building Upstairs Stairwell, it was time to get this project in the bag!
Finishing The Stairwell: Check List
- Cut trusses in basement where floor will be removed!!
- Cut hole in floor for stairwell opening!!!
- Stand back and say “oh my gaaaa!” High fives around
- Install ledger
- Secure the stringers
- Install treads and risers
- Hang drywall
- Install light
- More mud
- Even more mud 🙁
- Sand drywall 🙁 🙁
- Prime and paint! (sometime later…)
Miter Saw (review here)
Impact Driver (review here)
Drill (review here)
Circular Saw (review here)
Reciprocating Saw (review here)
Wood/Metal Freud blade (this blade rocks!)
Chaulk Line ( & plumb bob)
Level (I love my Crick Levels! Review here)
Tool Belt (No need to be fancy)
Drywall Screw Gun
Reused Stringers, Treads, & Risers
#10 1-1/2 wood screws (Spax)
1/2″ 4’x8′ drywall
Joint Tape, Mesh
Joint Tape, Paper (I used paper for the corners and mesh everywhere else)
1-1/4″ Drywall Screws
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Here’s how things were looking shortly after the opening in the floor was cut. My header and ledger are in place and ready for installing stringers. Don’t worry, I cleaned up the uneven edge of the floor 👍
The notch I’ve cut here was done with my reciprocating saw. The is where the stringer rests on the ledger strip. You don’t have to add this notch, but it made the process a little easier since I was mostly working alone.
One down, two to go! I’m really glad I took the few extra minutes to add the ledger.
All the stringers are installed and it’s time to move on to adding the treads and risers! Make sure the center stringer is centered at the top and bottom before adding that first riser.
Installing Treads & Risers
This is probably the easiest part of the entire project! Starting where the bottom step would go, nail a riser (vertical piece at back of tread) to the stringer as shown below. Use as many nails as you want, but I put two into each stringer.
Next, grab a tread (what you stand on) and push it against the riser you just installed. Nail this into the stringer as well. I again secured it with two nails into each stringer.
Repeat about 20 times and then you’re done! Whoop whoop! Look who can walk down to the basement without going outside now!!!
Time For Drywall
Now onto the less exciting portion of the project… Drywall. It’s not that bad, it’s just not a much fun as playing with power tools. Doing the bottom portion of the stairwell took a fair bit of measuring and cutting to accommodate for the angles.
Here’s a tip, see that quick grip clamp? These guys made the process of hanging those pieces by myself so much easier!
Here we are with all the drywall up and the first coat of mud on.
With the last coat of mud on, we’re ready to paint! Check it out!
From the top of the stairs. I’m still new to drywall, but I’m pretty happy with how this all turned out!
I think this is probably the best shot of the stairwell to capture what we did with the ceiling transition. Who woulda thought that a stairwell would be so difficult to take pictures of!?
Who Doesn’t Love a Video?
If you want to see some of the action from this portion of the project, check out the video! All I’m going to say is there’s a little bit of exciting demolition in the video 🙂
Thanks for following along on this huge project! It feels great to have stairs back in the house, and a huge thank you to everyone that helped out during this project!
If you have a question about any portion of this project, don’t hesitate to ask!