Interior Home Improvement Tips: Stairs and Trim

Homeowners Live Smart

Handling home repairs in January is no easier than it was during the holidays. You still have to work up the motivation, and you still have to make the sometimes difficult decision to spend your hard earned money at your local hardware store over the local pubs, clothing, or electronic stores. And yet, handling minor home interior repairs is important. Why? Because it goes miles in saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in what can develop into major repairs. As you stay indoors avoiding the cold, you likely have plenty of idle time. One way of using this time is by checking the state of your stairs and trim.

We spend plenty of time walking, or often running, up and down our staircases. And like so many areas of our home, we fail to give them the utmost attention they deserve when they play such a huge role in the look and feel, and of course function of our homes. The most common issues with our staircase and trim are broken and loose parts (such as spindles and handrails), and squeaks.

The Importance of Planning
Planning is an essential part of any renovation or repair. When it comes to your staircase, begin by deciding whether you want or need to change only the spindles and handrails, or whether you need to refurbish the risers and steps too. After that, there’s the fun part – deciding whether to replace the parts with a similar style to your previous ones or if you’re going to go with a new look or feel. It can be amazing how new spindles and a new handrail can completely change the look and feel of the space.

If you do, in fact, need to make any repairs to your risers, there’s a lot of precise measurements to be taken into consideration. First, if you have carpet on the steps this will need to be removed with care. Then, the risers and steps will have to be cut precisely and test-fit. And any gaps can be covered with mouldings.

Safety First
It’s important to note that, as with all repairs, consulting a professional is absolutely essential. And repairs to a staircase are no exception. You will want to make sure that everything is being done to code, especially since staircases can be quite intricate and when they are not properly crafted can even end up being quite hazardous.

Does your staircase have a landing area? That means you will need winder steps and/or extensions. This will require calculations for how many you need, followed by measurements, cuts and more test-fits. Your professional will begin with the front-landing portion and utilize a winder step for purposes of covering. Mouldings will be handy when it comes to hiding the margins.

Fixing a shaky baluster
If your baluster is becoming wobbly from the handrail, fixing it shouldn’t be challenging. You can fix it by cutting a wedge to the baluster’s width. Next, put some glue on it. After that, edge it between the space between the handrail and baluster. Alternatively, you can pre-drill a countersink hole for the wood screw that’s angled up via the baluster to the handrail. Lastly, cut off any excess wedge flush with a baluster by utilizing a trim saw.

Winter’s chill offers the ideal setting for sipping tea and huddling by the fireside. However, we can’t spend all our evenings and weekends being leisurely – so why not use some of this time to handle some home renovations and repairs. Prior to settling down right in front of the fire to take an extended winter’s nap, give your much used and often neglected stairs and trim some TLC by first inspecting their current state, and then taking the steps (pun intended!) to have the repairs completed.

Did you miss our interior home improvement features on flooring, walls and ceilings, or windows and doors?

What about our December series on quick tips? Find them here:


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