I always recommend new carpet when remodeling especially if previous residents had pets; however, I wanted to update the almost 50yr old look and squeaks of the old carpeted stairs. In my newer home in Austin, I really appreciated the larger foot-sized stair treads. This old house came with slightly smaller tread depths and was carpeted in a style referred to as "waterfall". Basically, the carpet appears to cascade from one step to the next without a nose to wrap over.
I knew that I wanted a deeper step, but I couldn't decide on how I was going to add to the tread. In my research I discovered that the nose of each step bears most of the weight as people tend to place their feet on the edges when walking up or down. In addition, if heavy furniture was moved up or down on a cart or dolly the nose would once again take the brunt of the weight. The idea of screwing or nailing an inch or so (2x2") to the ends of the old stair treads bothered me as I could imagine the noses of each step growing loose and starting to squeak further. So I just meditated on it for a couple nights...
Earlier in the week, I had found some carpet layers that gave us a competitive rate so we scheduled the installation for Monday, which gave us the weekend to complete the new stairs. I also wanted to add skirts along the sides to bring the old look up to date. That meant we only had 3 days to build the new treads, cut and instal the skirts, and lastly paint the skirts for two stair cases before the carpet was laid.
I awoke early Saturday morning and could have kicked myself for not thinking of it earlier. I would simply replace the entire tread with a 2x12". This would save me both time, money, and worry down the line. It was the right thing to do, and it would ensure that each stair would be strong, secure, and silent for another 50 years to come. That morning, we picked up about $100 bucks worth of lumber, some 4" nails, a framing hammer, and by that evening we had the new treads installed.
Christina had brought Tyson up for the weekend, so frequent breaks were taken to play with him and encourage our spirits.
By evening, we had finished installing the skirts and Dan was beginning to paint them. Christina and I got ready for the late mass, bundled Tyson up to be dropped at my parents, and off we went.
At mass I thought of all the blessings that we had been shown, knowing that on Monday we would have new carpeted stairs and be one step closer to completion on this almost 8 month renovation. I thanked the Lord for the Spirit of Wisdom to figure out the best solution for my stair dilemma and for preventing any harm from coming to us as we worked.