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Sierra Stair Works, Inc.

Custom Wood Staircases & Spiral Stairs  

Custom Rail Remodel

Update Your Stair
With A Custom Flair

When it comes to doing remodels of staircases in older homes, we never know what job we will be asked to do.  Here is an example of an owner's request that was truly one of the most challenging re-dos, especially considering how little control we had of the task.

As you can see from the photos dated December 18, 2012, the original builder thought they had a great idea but soon discovered that it takes more than an average woodworker to complete a poorly-designed stair.  So they took the job to a local iron company and had them do the metalwork that sets on the steps.

The inside radius stair stringer at the curve did not have a true 12" radius, and the white painted railing only highlighted that fact.  At this point, the contractor probably threw his hands up and found a buyer that would take the home as-is.  Twenty-five years later, the house sold to a new owner who decided to do some remodeling.

After some debate here at Sierra Stair Works, we decided to present a bid to make a new hickory wood railing with iron balusters that didn't have any detail that might show the inconsistency between the hand railing and the stair stringer.

Our first challenge was to smooth out the curved stringer.  We used thin plywood and a two-stage Bondo on the side of the stringer to make it as round and as smooth as possible.  This would allow us to bend the rail in a more flowing curve.  At a casual glance, the railing followed the stringer exactly.

Once we sanded it as smooth as possible, we bent the rail on-site and let it cure for a few days.  Then it was brought back to the shop for scraping, cleaning and sanding.  We also mounted the newel post and pre-drilled the holes for the iron balusters.  The owner wanted a hickory veneer on the stringers rather than a new paint job, so he had a local veneering company complete the work before the balusters were installed.

It was a challenge for all of us, but now the stair is a showstopper to everyone entering this beautiful home in Granite Bay, CA.

Elden Lewis, President
Sierra Stair Works, Inc.

Poorly Designed Stair - Top View
Jagged Curve Before Custom RemodelingMetalwork Set on the StepsSmoothened curve stringerSanding and Bending the Rail

Custom Rail Remodel - Top View
Remodeling Project Done by Sierra Stair Works

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