Basement Stairs Transplant

We renovate kitchens quite often, but I've rarely seen a renovation as dramatic—and yet as simple—as one that we completed recently. The key to the renovation was relocating the basement stairs.

The basement stairwell interrupted traffic flow to the front door and turned the kitchen, dining room, and living room into spaces that felt cramped. Stacking the two staircases allowed us to open up the entire space while creating a roomy kitchen.

A truss roof directly above that section of the house meant that the interior partitions were non-structural, so first we removed the walls that separated the hallway and kitchen. Then we tore out the chaseway walls, exposing the stair hole while leaving the stairs—the only convenient access to the basement—in place.

In the basement, we framed simple 2x4 walls for both sides of the new stairway. These walls were supposed to be continuations of the closet walls above.

After hanging the stringers, we installed solid risers made from CDX plywood.

Then we glued and nailed the new treads to the stringers.

Where the old stairs had been removed, we filled in with joists as needed.

Then glued and nailed Advantech floor sheathing over the opening.

To extend the existing strip flooring into the new kitchen space,we spliced in new flooring, which the flooring contractor did a masterful job of staining to blend old with new.

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