Home projects have a way of snowballing and spiraling. As I have explained before, much of our house had not been renovated or even redecorated since it was built in 1968. The staircase banister was starting to show its age in a terrifying manner as it was rickety and wobbly and threatening to pull away from the wall any time any of my boys leaned on it. Pretty terrifying. It, therefore, jumped up to the very top of the list of home improvement priorities. But removing and replacing a banister was going to damage the carpeting and the walls. And if we were going to repaint all the walls then we were best to replace the tiles in the downstairs hall. And if we were going to replace the floor tiles then we should do that at the same time as pulling out the old downstairs loo. So that one problem with the wobbly banister Hulked out and became a major project.
I forgot to take Before photos. However, these images show what the hallway and downstairs WC looked like when we moved in to our house in August 2014. Not much had changed since then. I was not going to miss those “crazy paving” vinyl tiles.
I don’t do well with chaos so the period of the project was something I endured rather than enjoyed. As much as I knew the final outcome would make it all worthwhile, constantly having other people in my house when I got home from work, having building materials stowed in our living room, and just the mess and disruption made it all quite stressful. There were three peak incidents of stress: the contractor ripped out the old banister early on in the project but did not install the new one until the very end which meant living for weeks without any barrier whatsoever on the staircase – and you can imagine that my sons took full advantage of that opportunity to freak out their mother; the second was that the same period coincided with some of our worst weather of the winter which led to snow days and the kids being home while the work was underway and, on one such day, the floor was retiled while the kids were trapped upstairs – with the bathrooms – while I was trapped downstairs – with no bathroom – for several hours; the third peak stress moment was the absolute worst and involved the stair carpet still being installed after 10pm – installation having started at 1.30pm – partly because the carpet fitter stapled his own finger and had to be taken to the ER by an extremely jet-lagged Mr Pict.
In the end, however, we are happy with the results. We now have a much sturdier and much more secure banister, dove grey walls, dark grey floor tiles, very plush and soft carpet for the stairs and upstairs hall, and a fresh and more modern looking downstairs WC. Now we can start to personalise the space by pulling out framed art that hasn’t been on display since we emigrated and some pieces that need to be framed and getting those up on the walls.
Nicely done, the new additions look very cozy.
Thank you. The carpet is super plush. The cats have been luxuriating on the stairs and turning themselves into tripping hazards.
haha, oh the cats, they just take over don’t they.
It’s their empire, as far as they are concerned.
It looks beautiful!
Thank you. We like to keep the walls and floors neutral so that we can decorate with artwork and lots of other bits and bobs.
Oh! This is so much better. Good for you.
Thank you, Beverly. Weren’t those “crazy paving” linoleum tiles just the worst? The only thing I “liked” about them was that they were a neutral colour so didn’t draw even more attention to themselves.
She swallowed the spider to catch the bannister? Never mind. It looks nice.
Thank you. I am definitely pleased with the outcome but I am definitely and absolutely even more pleased that this project is concluded because it was a big headache and source of stress.
I have no problem believing that.
Lovely! Our projects tend to founder at the “if we do this, we’ll need to do this too” stage, but there are some we really will have to tackle soon. *Hides head in sand*
A child potentially plummeting from the landing if the banister finally completely failed was the push. Otherwise I may have left it a while longer, having just recovered from the stress of the bathrooms being renovated.
I can see that might have concentrated your mind somewhat …
Exactly! I’d paint the hallway, but then we’d have to do so many other things that we might as well just tear the house down and start over.
That looks beautiful. Just beautiful.
Thank you. I cannot wait to get artwork up on the walls now. I am missing several pieces, however, and cannot think where we have stashed them.
I am laughing a little because this has happened to me. I remember when we moved to this house, I could not find a pillow and I looked for it for years. Finally we opened a box that we had packed, meant to stay stored, and so never looked in. There it was. Oh dear. I hope you have better luck than this!
Thank you. One of the missing pieces is large and already framed so how we have lost it in a house that isn’t exactly a mansion of many rooms is beyond me. Somehow we have.
I think you should look under the bed.
That’s where all the others were, under various beds. I must have run out of room and stashed two of them elsewhere or else relocated them when two of the boys got new beds. I have zero memory of having done so, however, which is very odd for me.
I conclude someone else moved them. Question the suspects.
It looks very good!! And I’m glad you endured – and that the kids survived the construction phase safely too!! I’ll bet you’ll have fun with hanging the artwork. Congrats!
Thanks. I’m so relieved it’s complete. The staple through to the home and the ER Trip was when I knew I was 673% done with this project and very over home improvement projects for a while.
I hear you! Now you can enjoy the end result and perhaps with time, forget about the ER trip…
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