Our fifth year house anniversary is coming up soon and I felt reminiscent of the time we spent renovating and re-loving the house I grew up in. In all honestly home improvement was one of the hardest and more stressful periods of my life. I wanted to cry, scream and kill the handymen half the time! It was also one of the most rewarding things I’ve done and I feel good about every day I get to spent in our home. That's why I wanted to write a post about how to deal with house renovation mishaps.
This is a great solution for small spaces
The house we were renovating was the house I grew up in. My grandfather had built the ground level and my father did the first floor addition many years later. Because of that, the house has an unusual lay out. The bedrooms are on the ground floor and the living room and kitchen are on the top floor. Before the renovation my parent’s room was also the hallway through which you had to pass to get to the stairs for the first floor. Hello! No privacy!!! We just couldn’t leave it as it was! We needed at least two bedrooms in the ground floor. So the decision was made to move the stairs. Yes, you read correct. We decided to move the stairs, meaning we decided to close one hole on the ceiling and open up a new one in another spot.
This was an amazingly difficult decision not just because of the cost and the logistics, but also because of the difficulty we faced when we started to design the stairs itself. You see, things here are not as easy as typing staircases online UK on your search machine and coming up with a great staircase manufacturer. We were able to find a decent stairs manufacturer my dad had used for jobs in the past. The guys were polite and hard working.
However, they made a huge mistake.
They decided to change the architect’s design and make a staircase with one less step. They thought the staircase we spent one whole year to design to fit exactly our needs needed improvement and they changed it. Just like that! They didn’t consult with our architect or my dad who had the general command or any of us for the matter. They just made the stairs and brought them and proceeded to put them in place.
Now let me tell you something about staircases and their design. Whether we are talking about a huge indoors staircase with intricate railings and marble steps or outdoor stairs kits for our garden, designing a staircase is SCIENCE! The designer has to take into account a number of factors for the staircase to work as it should.
That’s what we had done. With the help of my dad and the architect we had designed a staircase with a small rise height and a large tread, enough to make it comfortable to climb the stairs several times a day as we do. We took into account Nick’s huge feet (no pun intended), the fact that we wanted to carry things up the stairs with ease, the size of the hole we needed to open in the ceiling, the kind of support we needed to have to support said ceiling, the ease of use and safety for kids. It was designed to have the smaller amount of triangle steps possible in the round part of it and many other factors were taken into account. In other words it was designed to (our) perfection.
When the stair came and it was installed no one noticed anything was off. Until the next day when I climbed the stairs counting the steps, only to find one was missing. I kept counting and re-counting but to no avail. There was in fact a missing step in my staircase! I called my dad who proceeded to measure the steps too, measure the tread, the rise and anything else and found the same. There was one less step on the staircase! Where did that step go?
A phone call later revealed that the guys that made the stairs had in fact decided the design alteration. My dad talked to them on the phone and asked them to come back and fix the stairs. They insisted the stairs were fine, in fact they were better that way. I kept screaming and crying and welling but dad kept calm and told them they have two days to come, take the stairs and make them again according to the architect’s plans or else face the consequences. And that’s what they did. They came, they fixed, they apologized!
We are now very happy with how the staircase works in our everyday life. It may took us a while to design it and make it right but it IS the right staircase for us!
If you are renovating your house, regardless of having or not a staircase installed, you need to stand your ground! Take your time to design the house you want. Take a lot of time for the design! Think it over and think it over again! Only when you are 100% sure that you got it right, only then go ahead and start the renovation! It’s easier, cheaper and better to make changes on a piece of paper than on the actual house!