Beacon Hill Staircase (with mod)

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Hi everyone,

After carefully testing everything in dry fit and following the instructions I have begun to glue together the Beacon Hill. Everything is going well so far but I'm having a bit of trouble with the 1st floor staircase: the base doesn't seam to want to sit flush with the floor tabs. I have modified the wall from the hallway/living room to make my entrance a straight corridor (no curve), I am not sure if that's what's causing it or just the floor that warped a little in that area. I thought I had left the required tabs in the wall but there is an added extension that isn't from the kit... I have checked the staircase and it's squared, everything is flush.

1) I am wondering if it would be safe to just cut the floor and wall tabs from the staircase? It's giving me more trouble trying to make them fit in place than just aligning the stairs with the trim/rails connecting the walls. I'm not sure if these tabs are needed to keep the stairs connected with the second floor landing, or if they will hold fine without them? 

2) Also, can I glue the stair trim/rail to the staircase AND still manage to position the stairs in place after the walls have been glued? The space is so narrow I'm trying to play it safe and glue it >after<... but I feel it would be so much easier to decorate it from outside the house >.< 

If anyone has done this kind of modification on the BH lemme know how your 1st floor 'entrance room' turned out, I am a bit afraid of gluing something I shouldn't until I make sure the stairs will sit right in place lol.

 

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I remember fighting that staircase.  It's a devil to get in.  I thought I was going to break the stairs from the force I was using to get them in.  I think I finally just started cutting on the tabs until I finally wedged it into place.  

I put on the trim/rail after I got mine in place.  It's not easy, but it can be done.  I went back to my pictures to see if I had any about putting in that staircase and if it's any help here is a pictures after I finished installing them.

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10 minutes ago, 1martinimomma said:

I remember fighting that staircase.  It's a devil to get in.  I thought I was going to break the stairs from the force I was using to get them in.  I think I finally just started cutting on the tabs until I finally wedged it into place.  

I put on the trim/rail after I got mine in place.  It's not easy, but it can be done.  I went back to my pictures to see if I had any about putting in that staircase and if it's any help here is a pictures after I finished installing them.

So true, the stairs and a couple other walls+floor was one hell of a struggle.. felt like I would snap the wood any moment from the pressure lol :s That's one of the reasons I want to glue the whole thing together as soon as possible, this house isn't very good to keep in dry fit.

From which side of the house did you insert the staircase and the trim (front or back)? I haven't glued the wallpaper yet, I am trying to figure the best position to insert the assembly without damaging it. Love the colors on your build :) 

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I am pretty sure I put the staircase in from the backside of the house.   I know I put the railings and trims that you can see from the back side of the house on after I got the staircase installed.  I think that I put some of the railings on it from the opening in the second floor.  I might have put some of the trims on that is in the hidden corner of the first landing before I installed it. Honestly, you can't see much of the staircase that is close to the front door from any location.  It's kind of a dead zone.  That's why you need to install your wiring and wallpaper before installing the staircase.  If you scuff up the wallpaper in that back corner you are not going to see it.  I will look again tonight when I get home and let you know how much you can see from the second floor into that space.

This was my first house to build, and I just winged it when things didn't fit together like the instructions said they would. :dunno:  

Maybe, Kathy B will chime in on how she got her stairs in, I think she is currently building this house.  

I think this was one of the worst part of the build, so it will be all downhill until you get to those funky windows on the third floor.  Those are a doozy to get in.  Mine got altered a lot to get them to fit!  But, your building skills are probably a lot better than mine were at the time, since this is your second house.  Your Fairfield is absolutely gorgeous, by the way.

Oh, one other thing, if you plan to use premade doors in your house, you will need to cut the door openings larger before you install the walls.  The door openings are too small.  I didn't realize this until it was too late, and then I had to use my dremel with a circular saw blade attached to make them larger.  It was really hard to cut them and thank goodness for the door trim to cover up all the oopsy's I had cutting to make them bigger.  On the door that goes into my baby room, (not sure what you will use that room for) you will have to buy a skinny door, because of the way the staircase goes in up to the 3rd floor.  There is not enough room for a regular size door.

Good luck, and I can't wait to see the progress on you house!

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I cut the tabs off the stairs and was able to slide the staircase in and out. That made decorating so much easier. Slide in to measure, then slide out to install trim and such. When everything behind the staircase was installed, I put it in permanently. It was tight enough I didn't have to glue. Then I put on the rest of the staircase trim.

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I plan to keep the staircase removable, so I sawed off the tabs without a second thought. Now I have an idea to replace the kit balusters with a bannister with round balusters, so I see a major overhaul in its future. :)

 

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3 hours ago, 1martinimomma said:

 Honestly, you can't see much of the staircase that is close to the front door from any location.  It's kind of a dead zone.  That's why you need to install your wiring and wallpaper before installing the staircase.  If you scuff up the wallpaper in that back corner you are not going to see it.  I will look again tonight when I get home and let you know how much you can see from the second floor into that space.

I was planning on adding a staircase runner... not sure if there is a point with the 'dead zone' and the rails covering up the view lol. This time I bought 'proper' dollhouse wallpaper, really hope I don't tear it up it was quite an investment lol. My building experience is still pretty much green when it comes to 1:12, I thought this house would be relativelly 'easy' to assemble (fewer rooms, no 'L shape' floorplan)... turned out to be way harder than I expected xD 

I had to get premade doors for the house because unfortunatelly half of mine came badly damaged out of the box (bad plywood surface). I have modified the openings and the new doors are fitting well in place, also changed the position of the kitchen door... felt it was too close to the stairs. Hope I took care of all the basics, the 'skeleton' is glued now only missing the tower front to be able to continue to the next steps.

1 hour ago, sparklepuppies said:

I cut the tabs off the stairs and was able to slide the staircase in and out. That made decorating so much easier. Slide in to measure, then slide out to install trim and such. When everything behind the staircase was installed, I put it in permanently. It was tight enough I didn't have to glue. Then I put on the rest of the staircase trim.

 

40 minutes ago, KathieB said:

I plan to keep the staircase removable, so I sawed off the tabs without a second thought. Now I have an idea to replace the kit balusters with a bannister with round balusters, so I see a major overhaul in its future. :)

Good to know, I'll dremel the tabs out tomorrow then! :rolleyes:

@ Kathie: I would love to keep the staircase removeable, the problem is the rails/trim... I really like the design so I am planning to keep it, but can't think of a way of getting it out after I close the tower. Hope I won't need to replace the wallpapper in the future... that would be a nightmare, lol. In any case, I will add a bit of waiscoting to the stairs, perhaps it will make it easier to fix any structural damage years from now... and I'm hoping it will last many years without problems :wacko:

9196af2066d7c5b9e4e71dca29ec82ed.jpg

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I did look tonight and the "dead zone" is actually what the term says.  Unless you put a light in the back corner of the stairwell you can not see anything .  You would have to stick your head into the house at an contorted angle and still wouldn't see much.  There is no view of this area from the second floor.

Applying a staircase runner to these stairs is a waste.  You do not see the stairs (treads)  after applying the balusters.  I know the feeling, I have several stair runners that I love, and so far the houses I have built have the stairs in the opposite direction to see the treads.

I never thought about replacing the wallpaper or ever giving this house a reno.  When I pass, this house will go to one of my children or grandchildren, whom are past 20 years of age, so I assume they will either give it away or love it the way it is, since grandma built it!

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3 hours ago, wormwoodz said:

@ Kathie: I would love to keep the staircase removeable, the problem is the rails/trim... I really like the design so I am planning to keep it, but can't think of a way of getting it out after I close the tower. Hope I won't need to replace the wallpaper in the future... that would be a nightmare, lol. In any case, I will add a bit of wainscoting to the stairs, perhaps it will make it easier to fix any structural damage years from now... and I'm hoping it will last many years without problems :wacko:

I cut part of the stair railings horizontally at ceiling/floor level, so they can slide in and out without having to tilt and jiggle them into place. The ceiling/floor hides the fact that the railing is not one solid piece. I thought I had photos of the stairway assembly, but this is the only one I can find. The ground floor assembly is slid into place.

 

P1250001a-option3-c.jpg

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9 hours ago, KathieB said:

I cut part of the stair railings horizontally at ceiling/floor level, so they can slide in and out without having to tilt and jiggle them into place. The ceiling/floor hides the fact that the railing is not one solid piece. I thought I had photos of the stairway assembly, but this is the only one I can find. The ground floor assembly is slid into place.

Oh great idea, hadn't thought about that. Thanks! 

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Thank you all for the helpful tips, the stairs are now fitting in just right and I can slide them in and out without scratching the papper!

I also tried the staircase runner idea, it is barely visible from the back of the house... looks good if I peek in through the living room doorway, but otherwise that staircase is pretty much a "dead zone" indeed. I think I will glue in the trims, rail and decorations before I close the front wall, I figured I can slide them in from upstairs but it's so hard to work in this area with limited visibility. 


large.BeaconHill_corridor_wip1.jpg.5bc5b

 

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You can use your carpet runner on the second floor stairs  They face toward the back.

This looks great.  So glad you got the stairs in.

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That stairwell wallpaper is perfect, and I LOVE the transoms above your doors!

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