As the builders were working to put the main structural beams in (to hold up the chimney breast and ceilings) Lee was working in the evenings to get in the steel beams that will support the new staircase.
Originally, our staircase was at the back of the room which is now in the process of becoming our ‘snug’. This meant that to go upstairs we’d walk through the back (and at the time only) door, walk through to what was the living room, to the back of that room before going up the stairs. Essentially it meant the footfall to bedrooms, toilets etc was through the majority of the house.
Once we added a front door (at the front of the house) and finish hallway (currently in progress) it makes even less sense to have the stairs at the back of the room that we imagine will be used primarily by Lee and I once the kids are in bed and much more sense to add the stairs into the new hallway and landing – especially as it will be (as you’d expect!) the passageway that connects all three downstairs rooms.
Putting a new staircase in means we needed to cut a hole in the floor upstairs, as well as making sure the structural integrity of the house was still supported. TO do this, Lee had designed a configuration of three steel beams.
The first of these was the large RSJ that ran across the middle of the house and already distributed a lot of the load from upstairs. Unlike the two oak beams we’d added in the snug, this one was hidden in the diving wall (hence being able to use steel) between the newly created ‘snug’ and ‘hallway’.
The RSJ that the builders installed aready in place – and the plaster removed from underneath the rafters, ready for the next two beams to be fitted.
This formed one side of the rectangular hole we needed to cut. The other two steels needed to boarder this hole. One went perpendicular from this RSJ and now sits on the wall at the front of the house (very close to our front door).
The second beam in place.
The last one is parallel to the RSJ and is on the other side of the snug opening.
The last beam on the right of the picture.
Lee had designed these beams so they’d literally bolt together, (they’re all sat on padstones which he had to cement in place too) and all in all he got them installed in around three hours – not a massive project. The final job he then had to do was to cut the joists above the steels and open up the gap for the new staircase.
The opening from upstairs. The stairs will fill this gap and the wall on the left of the picture will move over slightly so the stairs are a bit wider.
We did cover the hole up again very quickly – we have two small children living in this building site too!