Thursday, July 19, 2007

From Banister to Dry Wall!

After a year of debate, discussion, brainstorming and gathering of opinions, Joel and I finally decided to remove the old banister and replace it with a 1/2 wall. It was hard to decide--we had lots of choices--replace it with another up-to-code banister, do iron (our neighbor has the tools & know-how to do this), or do dry wall. We ended up going with the dry wall for a couple of reasons.

1. It was the easiest solution for the flooring (less cutting/finish work)
2. Our friend gave us all the lumber we needed for the project for free!
3. We already had dry wall
4. We're crazy & think we can do everything ourselves!

Here is the process (in pictures) of this project:

Day one: Stare at old banister and think about how much work it will be to do this project.
Day two: remove old banister with some sadness. Don't wait too long until starting day 3--I had vertigo walking around near the stairs!

Day three: have a great friend, named Jim, come over to help you build the wall. He will bring all the tools and supplies you need, including free lumber. Reuse the posts of the old banister and have much fun cutting off the finials on the top with a "sawzall" (PS: Christmas request for

Day four, five & six: dry wall. It doesn't REALLY take 3 days, but when you have no idea what you're doing, like us, it will take you 3 days for this part of the project.

Day seven: stare at all you've accomplished with great pride. Wish you had money to pay people to do the work for you.

Day eight, nine & ten: apply tape and mud to cover screws and corners. This really does take a couple of days because you have to let the mud dry 4-12 hours in between.

Day eleven (preferably at about 10pm at night when you are thourghly exhausted from days 1-10 and it's about 83 degrees inside your house): Texture the dry wall. (pictured below are the tools you will need)

Day twelve: prime the wall and then paint!

Day thirteen: add a nice piece of painted (white) wood to finish off the project. Use a router to make it fancy & finished. Finish off with baseboards. (Day 13 will happen some day in the near future...)

We now own almost every tool you will need to do this project. If you would like to borrow them for your own dry wall project, let us know. We also offer unsolicited advice. No warranties or guarantees offered with free advice.


Ski said...

The wall(even without a top) and the floor look great! I am impressed with all that you have done and by yourselves. You should be proud of yourselves! I hopeyou have some time to relax and enjoy the results of your labors.

Anonymous said...

We're considering doing the same project, but only have the longer "wall" to do. Your captions sound so much like us, it made me laugh!! Looks great!!

Alyssa O'Leary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alyssa O'Leary said...

That turned out really nice. Also I'm jealous of your wood floors :) My husband and I might do the opposite with has a landing, and it looks really strange to have walls instead of banister because of where its set in the house.

(Edit, I see now that that's laminate but I still love it...much better than our beige carpet!)