Video: Reclaimed Timbers Get New Life as Stairs

The Old House Web

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Designing with Reclaimed Timbers




In the home of John Beranek and Karen Park, old house renovation gets an innovative makeover. In this green renovation video, Mike Grocoff of Old House Web and Greenovation.TV takes viewers on a journey up a flight of stairs that makes something modern out of something very old.

A Unique Step Up to Green Renovation

Architect Michael Klement explains how the lovely stairs in John and Karen's house came to life. The unique staircase makes good use of reclaimed wood and hammered iron to create a staircase that blends function with beauty.

"We tried to incorporate some not-so-big design strategy in this design solution, and these stairs are a big, big piece of that," Klement explains.

Old House Renovation with a Twist

The stair treads show this history with charming holes, pits and gouges. The wooden treads were salvaged from a building just up the street from John and Karen's old house, then carefully restored in order to make them code-compliant but keep the unique character intact.

The supports are made of hammered iron, bolted at the header of the staircase, and they provide support for the treads while leaving the staircase with a wide-open feel. The thinness of the iron and the way it catches the light both serve to make the room look much bigger than it really is.

"This is what we call a wall that isn't a wall," Klement explains.

The result is a staircase that looks modern, yet uses elements that are clearly very old and repurposed. Eco-friendly old house renovation never looked so good!"

Special Thanks to Doug Selby, Meadowlark Builders, and Michael Klement, Principal Architectural Resource

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