Once a homage to 1970s style; now an attractive piece of carpentry to keep us warm!
Last winter we froze. Ok, we are still freezing, but the living room is a vast improvement. It was a priority before this winter to get heating in. We couldn’t afford it, but we could (just about) afford for someone to come in to build us a staircase. It used to have open treads wrapped in navy blue carpet and a normal handrail, so all the heat from our fire went straight upstairs and into the roof space! We asked three people to give us quotes for the work. Kavita, advertised in the parish magazine came in at £500, which we were happy with, but she stopped work to be a full-time Mum. So then we asked Mendip Handyman, who quoted us £840, which we thought was pretty expensive. So I phoned Terry, the builder who did the kitchen work for us, and he recommended Jason, who quoted us £400. It wasn’t just that he was the cheapest; he really seemed passionate about wood and working with it. He also said he could get us Piranah pine to match the treads; (nowadays no longer available). (Mendip handymen were just going to use ply).
I can recommend Jason highly – we are so impressed with the work. It wasn’t an easy job because the stairs were partly built into the wall and there were no straight lines to work with at all – including the ceiling! but he managed to work around it . We are so pleased with the finished staircase – it looks fantastic. Best of all; it has succeeded in making the living room soooo much warmer. We have 2 thick velvet curtains covering the gap to the kitchen, and keep the other door closed, so we can now maintain a temperature of 18-19 degrees C, which is incredible considering last year we were just about getting it to 14. We’re also using less wood on the fire in the evenings; though at the moment, the oil fired radiator is on constantly. So, even though every other room is freezing, at least we can come into this one and feel normal.
As you can see from the pictures, I haven’t finished stripping the old paint yet. I spent about 10 hours going at the layers of bright blue and white before Christmas. I had the holy festival and tinsel as a good reason not to carry on, and have since been averting my eyes to the scary patches of gloss and pretending it isn’t there. It says on the tin it will take off 9 layers of paint: LIES!! I’ll take another photo when I have finished stripping….