This has been a long, long, long time coming. We finished the stairs!
At first, they looked like this:
Then they turned into a grubby floating island of blue carpet between the original wood floors on the main level and the new laminate floors on the upper and lower levels (with shiny black railings).
And we lived with those ugly floating blue stairs for oh, only two years or so…
But, not a minute longer!
Because (drumroll please):
How pretty, eh?
You see, it’s an awful long story and normally I wouldn’t waste your time telling you about it but…actually maybe I would. Sorry.
When we picked out the laminate floors, Home Depot was all like, of course laminate on the stairs too. But then when the contractor came out to look around, he was like “no, you have to do real wood stairs because they are open on one end” and so we had a wood contractor come out and give us a quote and he said it was a complicated/expensive job and wasn’t going to match the laminate. Meanwhile, the laminate floors were going in and the guys installing them were like “how come you aren’t doing the stairs?” and we were all “they told us you couldn’t because they had to be real wood instead?” and they were all “um, we totally could have done the stairs too if we had the supplies!” and we felt duped/frustrated.
Fast forward a year to when we hired our German handyman (the first person Amelie waved bye to, of course) to build our wall. He noticed the blue stairs and recommended getting those fixed- as if we kept them on purpose- and gave us a pamphlet from Home Depot about a cap and tread stair system that matches the laminate floors perfectly. How come Home Depot didn’t know that Home Depot sells the coordinating stairs for their flooring? Thank goodness our German handyman did…
Anyway, this summer, we went in and special ordered the supplies with the plan to do the job ourselves. We were hoping to get the project completed by the time we had company coming to stay with us. But instead of arriving in the 8 days Home Depot promised, the order TOOK WEEKS LONGER to ship. Weeks!
When it finally arrived, I went to go pick it up. The guy took forever to retrieve our order because he could only find two boxes. He was flustered and with a line at customer service starting to pile up that he needed to tend to, he assured me that this was my entire order and loaded them into my car. Without making him open the boxes to double check, even though we were both suspicious, I signed off on it. Because I’m too nice. That was, like, really dumb.
I brought the boxes home and unloaded them into our garage. Hubs was probably cooking an amazing dinner and so I promptly forgot about the boxes. Our visitors came and went. Months ticked by. The summer was closing in on us. So one fine Saturday, we decided to open those boxes and realized that we only had the risers (the white part) and. Nothing. Else.
Since I had signed off on the order, how would they ever believe me that we were missing most of what we ordered?! I’m talking $400 worth of laminate treads and caps. $400 worth of stuff that obviously wouldn’t have fit into two boxes. And where was our missing laminate??
I talked to Home Depot and they couldn’t find our laminate portion anywhere. So I went in to explain. I don’t know if it was my tired weepy eyes or my very round uncomfortable belly, but by golly, the manager believed me. So he re-ordered the laminate portion for us. Bless him!
The missing shipment was never recovered, by the way. It’s probably sitting confused at a different Home Depot and those people are all like, what the hell is all of this?
After a few weeks (I was starting to worry the same misplacement error might have happened again), we finally received all of the “stuff” do the stairs.
Except we don’t own a circular saw and you need one for this job. Summer ended and so arrived a beautiful fall and busy cross country season. Then winter came and shortly after, Cade was born. Then Christmas and New Year’s and we were both like…
“Let’s hire this job out.”
In waltzed our German handyman again (see how it came full circle?). Initially, I was all about on DIYing everything in this house but I’m so glad we hired him. We did not have the 8 hours that this job required (actually 16 man hours since he brought a partner). We can only work during weekend nap time. Those stairs would cost a boat load of naps when I could be showering/blogging/eating cookies. We did not have a circular saw. Nor did we have a nail gun. We did not know how to disassemble the railing post (which he put in when he put up the wall). We did not have the skills. Most importantly, we did not have energy!
Eventually, we plan to stain the original wood floors on the main level a dark walnut to “match” the laminate in the rest of the house. As for the stairs themselves, we still have caulking and another round of paint touchups to do. But for now, this concludes the saga of our stairs. The blue carpet is officially eradicated from our home entirely. And that feels darn good.
I never thought I’d say this but I have fond memories of the blue stairs. When I was pregnant, I had trouble sitting on the floor with Amelie because of my sciatica. Instead I would sit on the bottom step and soon, Amelie started joining me there. Together we’d sit and share snacks, read books, chat, and cuddle. It was our spot. It was all kinds of sweet, I’m telling you.