« There's still a triffid in the house Part 2 or How retro really became rooted | Main | Jo's place »

At Kim's house

Things are a little nutty at my house, as I'm trying to get some projects finished before the kitchen renovation work needs to start. I had 2 things I was determined to complete, the renovation of my staircase to the second floor, and my basement.

I took Friday off from work to start the stairs and I managed to get them pretty much done. A couple paint touch ups and a few nail holes left to fill but I am too tired to finish it. I thought I'd show some before photos first so you can see what I've been living with since December. This first photo is what the stairs looked like for about a month after I moved in.

I ripped the carpeting off because it was so dirty (from moving in a snowstorm) and not installed properly - I almost took a tumble down them a few times. This is the horror that was underneath. Linoleum tiles, aluminum trim and lots of paint splotches.

I am dying to paint all the floors in my house white, so the stairs were no exception. I painted them white, and the staircase is now so much brighter than it was. Now if I could just figure out how to get them to clean themselves...

Here is why I am too tired to finish the stairs. Below are photos of the remnants of what was on the floor in my damp and leaky basement (there's more that has to come out but I'm too tired and need help with the rest). I am so pissed off that someone was stupid enough to decide to hide leaks by putting down layer upon layer of plywood on a damp floor. The smell once the top layer of linoleum was removed was so disgusting. The wood in some places was BLACK and crumbly. I am afraid my cats and I will get sick from the mold. I wore a mask while I was working down there but the smell was so bad I can still smell it, and I feel kind of nauseous. There are alot of annoying and poorly executed things I keep finding around this house, but this one definitively tops the list of bad judgement.

Reader Comments (30)

ouch. never good to see black wood... hope you and the cats are well. air the place out?

the stairs look great kim! what a great job!!!!

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdrey

Thanks drey! Unfortunately the windows in the basement won't open, but I have a dehumidifier and the furnace running to help out. The cats are all sneezing, but I'm hoping they're just passing a cold around and it's not related to the basement. I am about to head down there for round 2. Say a little prayer for me. ;)

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

Your stairway transformation is fabulous! Seriously, be very careful in your basement.. I am a Realtor..MOLD inhalation can be very dangerous to humans.. I highly recommend that you still open windows in the main and upper levels of the house to try to help air it out..a furnace and de-humidifier in a confined space is not going to help too much.. Make sure to wear that mask at all times... If you are nauseous for more than a day.. you should call a mold remediation company to give you an estimate..and let a pro handle it..

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIvy Lane

This just looks great!! So bright and shiny with the white paint. Just like a scandinavian house....Great job!

Regards, Karin

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEllas Inspiration

Love how the white paint transformed those stairs! Looks great!

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEileen

WOW! what an improvement! I love the white. Very nice.

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered Commenterthevintagechair

I cannot believe how much work you get done in so little time. The stairs look terrific.

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTammy

Thanks everyone!
ivy lane, I got out most of the moldy wood yesterday and this morning finished up almost all of the rest of the wood (I ache ALL OVER). So I think the danger is now out in the driveway infecting the neighbourhood. :) I need to rent a dumpster ASAP.

As for the stairs, I ended up buying new wood treads that were laid over top the existing treads, and thin wood peices for the risers. (Did I get those terms right?) So it ended up being alot more than a paint job. And cost about $450 for the wood and moldings. Was worth EVERY penny.

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

Wow, you really DID transform the stairs! No wonder you ache all over!!! Beautiful job!!!

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIvy Lane

Those stairs are fabulous and that basement ..... YUCK!

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered Commentermidcenturyjo

You need Holmes on Homes sista!

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSam

wow - absolutely beautiful transformation! well done.

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkay*

The stairs look beautiful! I love the look of white floors.

As for the mold, scary stuff; it good that it is all gone! It is infuriating when people cover up a problem rather than deal with it properly! We had the same scenario with mold in the cabinet under our kitchen sink (someone just covered the mold rather than removing it! Err!)

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

The stairs look fantastic! What a transformation. Sorry about the mold. Yuck.

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEmElle

If Mike Holmes showed up at my house he'd either die laughing or run away screaming.
So the basement turned out to be a bigger pain in the ass than I thought. See here

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

I just ran across your blog via another. Wow - the stairs look great!! I had a kitchen with a painted wood floor in my old house (kind of a sage green) and everyone who came over commented on how pretty it was.

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLecia

your stairs look beautiful now! and in regards to the mold, it is nothing that is going to permanently hurt you. i am an environmental toxicologist and do mold inspections all the time, so once its all gone and completely dry, it should be fine. the good thing about mold is that once you leave the environment, the symptoms reverse themselves.. :) its really not as scary as the media makes it out to be!

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

Love it, Kim! The white stairs are fab, and will look even more impossibly fab if the floors are painted to match someday... I think you've finally inspired me to take a deep breath and plunge into my own stair renovation. :)

5 Oct 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSam

I'm contemplating the white painted staircase and will be interested to see how they wear, keep us posted, please. What paint did you use?

6 Oct 2008 | Unregistered Commentergdaybeautiful

Wow, the white stairs look absolutely fantastic. What a great job you have done!

6 Oct 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMaya

great job !!! the stairs are very nice now !!!

6 Oct 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPozzynette

I'm glad you all like my stair redo! Thanks for easing my mind Holly, and gdaybeautiful, I used Benjamin Moore floor paint. Seems to be pretty durable....so far.

6 Oct 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

I bought my house.. and thought it is just fine.. a coat of paint.. and I can move in..
the colons which are carrying the structure were.. cracked.. and it took 6 months to renew them..

every move we made.. led to another.. we already re build the house..
so I can understand totally how you feel..

but look at these staris of your's.. and dream about the changes you will do..
they look perfect.. as though climbing directly to the clouds..

I hope all goes for the best..
for you the cats and the basement..
love.. from istanbul

6 Oct 2008 | Unregistered Commentercreateacraft

The finished product looks great!
I still remember a similar horror when we started looking at a bad patch job in our bathroom. Same story. Ugh!

Kim ~ I just checked-out your "bigger pain in the ass" photo on Flickr. Eeeeesh! That heap of basement crap totally says "Seriously TICKED!" :)
What a job! And your transformation to the stairs...fantastic! The contrast of white with the Greentea kitchen down that hallway is going to be so ooh la la nice.

6 Oct 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAMR

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.