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Thread: Stair modification complete! Why didn't I do this a long time ago?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Rochester Hills, MI

    Stair modification complete! Why didn't I do this a long time ago?

    Finished up building a new step for my family room last night. Just had to wait for the poly to dry and it was ready to go. I installed it this morning.

    I have one step down from my kitchen area to the family room. It's only one step, but it was almost 9" high and very difficult for me to manage with my health issues. I've fallen numerous times going up and down. I decided it was time to make this a safer transition. I had a half sheet of 3/4 Oak ply left from a project and because it's an Oak floor in the family room, I decided to put it to use. Now I've got two 4-1/2" steps instead of one 9". I don't have any trouble going up and down now. The grab bar is nice because I can use it for stability when going up and down the step to the laundry room/garage area. I LOVE IT and wish I'd done it a LONG time ago.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by John Pollman; 03-16-2013 at 01:03 PM.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Oliver Springs, TN
    That looks great John. I'm glad you are able to put your skills to use to make your life a little easier to live.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Bedford, NH
    Great idea John! I like the fact that you made the step a good contrasting color. House builders in this neck of the woods try to avoid single step floor levels, instead prefer a two step. This is to increase the depth perception with the two steps. Their experience is that a one step difference in floor levels can cause people, especially those not familiar with the dual level floors, and those that carry the same floor finish to both levels, i.e. carpeting, to miss-step & fall. What you did completely avoids that & makes it much safer with the contrast.

    I particularly like the edge trimming. Well done!
    Thoughts entering one's mind need not exit one's mouth!
    As I age my memory fades .... and that's a load off my mind!

    "We Live In The Land Of The Free, Only Because Of The Brave"
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Rochester Hills, MI
    Thanks guys!

    I couldn't have just a box and needed an overhang. Being that it's made of plywood, I had to have something to trim it out. I made the basic frame of the step. The left end and back are up against the wall and step so one layer was fine there. On the front and right edge, I cut a piece of 3/4 ply and then glued and pinned it to the inside of that portion of the frame. When I cut the top piece for the step, I ran it flush with the back and left side. But I cut it 3/4" short of the front and right side. I glued and used my pneumatic brad gun to attach the ply to the frame. Once it was attached, I mitered two pieced of 1x2 for the front and right edge. I put biscuits along those pieces and then glued and nailed them in place. That gave me a 3/4" overhang and with the glue and brads, it's very strong. I then used a chamfer bit to put a small bevel on the edge to break the sharp corner and give it a nicer profile.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Very nice John, bet it does make life easier. Are you planning to do the same with that hallway step somehow too? Or do you not use it as often?

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Looks great John. Its the little custom details that turn a house into a home.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Rochester Hills, MI
    I wish I could, but the doors make it impossible. I use that step all the time. That door leads to the basement. There's another door directly across from the basement door that leads to the laundry room. Then about six feet straight out from that step is the garage access door. I've been having a hard time with stairs for a long time. I have to normally put my hand on that corner to brace myself when going up and down. The grab bar is a much safer alternative to just leaning my hand on the wall.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
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