What slapdash carpentry looks like…

… if you’re not a carpenter. Andrew asked me to post some pics of the work I did on our basement staircase, so here they are. First, a beautiful illustration of the problem:

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As you can see, the staircase has some almost paper thin joints on it, and before I shored it up it was very wobbly as you walked down it.

Next, what I did about it:

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Not much to look at, but effective. The staircase is definitely much sturdier than it had been.

0 thoughts on “What slapdash carpentry looks like…

  1. kevin says:

    not bad! what’s holding those up? just the nails at the top? if that’s all, you should rent a powder actuated nailer to drive some nails into the concrete. You might be avoiding that if you rent, but from what I can see… you’d be doing the landlord a favor! 😛 Here’s one at Home Depot – http://tinyurl.com/6kjdfq
    Either that or run some 2×4’s along the bottom to anchor them to the bottom of the stair stringers.


  2. dlh says:


    Susan owns the house. I can’t actually nail into the basement floor there, at least not without some other major work. Some idiot left a full bag of cement on the floor under the stairs, and at some point the basement flooded, so those cross beams on the floor are laying on this uneven substrate of mostly solid cement, but if you whack it with something it pulverizes. I spent some time trying to beat it off the floor but it was basically hopeless. As to anchoring, well…I did debate doing that. It boils down to the fact that neither of us think we’ll be in this house in 5 years (so long as the housing crisis doesn’t screw us, anyway) and it’s not worth much money, so not worth putting much effort into maintaining it.


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