Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Stairs - are they rocket science?

I've mentioned the hell of our house's 3 staircases on this blog before....I know thats a lot of steps for a one bedroom house but if you want views you need to get up high! I lost count of the number of builder conversations about the steps, I nearly had to ban it at one stage from discussion and would have if it wasnt such a fundamental part of getting on with things (have you ever tried accessing 3 floors with no stairs? It's...interesting, and hard on the knees)

Basically 2 builders we were using disagreed on how to construct them and this is where the problems start. This set pictured are the main ones into the open plan living room, and were made mainly in a workshop, by laminating the oak floor tiles to treads and risers of the structure before joining them and positioning them in situ. The issues started with warping once brought in to the house, but with a lot of wood you can live with it, and when our backs were turned one day they seemed to go in ok.
Or so we thought.

We immediately noticed how cold the house was around the stair area, despite our builder reassuring us that they had insulated around them as they went. Some weeks later we started to notice worrying 'flex' and gaps and realised that the booked-in flooring contractor (who needed to floor up to the steps and do all the sanding / varnishing) was about to start and we had a big problem on our hands.
Aforementioned builder eventually told us he couldnt come back to examine the problems in time, so Adam opened them up at the weekend to find all this gubbins in the picture. Not only is there a laughably inept and wobbly triangular 'support' (thats where all the screws are hanging out) there was almost nothing actually holding the tread and riser together at the joint. No wonder it was flexing. Now I'm no builder but even I can see that this job is what my dad might call 'a bugger's muddle' - I can only guess the builders never imagined we'd go to the lengths of digging it all up and would settle for their effort.

After much swearing Adam spent a weekend reconstructing the innards but his neccessary butchery sadly had consequences as regards the finish of them and we will probably have to get them re-filled sanded and varnished in the near future.

Oh, and after that we poured over 100litres of vermiculite in, the whole area warmed up nicely.

So the moral of the story? Well, maybe build bungalows?

No comments:

Post a Comment