new stairs! - finishing for chipboard risers

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Old 08-17-09, 05:47 PM
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new stairs! - finishing for chipboard risers

hey all,

yeah, we're in the process of having new hardwood stairs built. but my contractor decided to install chipboard risers with yellow pine treads. this was absolutely not the plan. we should've had matching hardwood treads and risers.

so anyway, what are the finishing options for chipboard risers? can they even be painted? it seems that the texture would show right through the paint and look bad. are there thin pine sheets we could fasten on top of the chipboard?

here's a pic.

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Old 08-17-09, 05:59 PM
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Carpet is about all you can cover that crap with. If you paid him by credit card I suggest you contest the charge. In my opinion that is totally unacceptable.
 
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Old 08-17-09, 07:02 PM
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Great Scot!!!! In my worst 1960's college day imagination, I would not put OSB as risers, considering it is probably only 7/16" thick, and never pine treads, unless they are Southern Yellow Pine and specified in prints. You gotta get him back to do this right, unless the original plan was to carpet them. You can't paint the OSB. The risers have to be replaced if you plan on staining or painting them. I'm sorry, I can't look again.
 
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Old 08-18-09, 04:19 AM
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The only way to paint/stain the risers would be to laminate them with 1/4" plywood and it would be a job to get a tight fit at this point. I've painted new homes with OSB treads [3/4"] and risers but the stairs were always carpet. I don't know that I've ever worked any new construction where pine was used for treads. It is acceptable to use pine or clear plywood for the risers and skirt if they paint.

Did you have a written contract with the carpenter? did it specficy stairs in any detail? Have you paid him yet? your check book is your best defense!

btw - welcome to the forums!
 
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Old 08-18-09, 11:19 AM
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thanks for all the thoughts. it sounds like the best option is to fasten 1/4" plywood or similar on these risers. i'm sure it would be better to fully replace the risers but i'm certain the contractor won't do that. the contractor actually had the stairs built by another company then just installed the entire prefabbed unit.

i'll let you know how it goes and give a FULL review of the company when all is said and done.

cheers
 
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Old 08-20-09, 11:44 AM
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update

so here're some more details. the contract is not very specific. it basically says:
"remove old stairs; frame and install new stairs. cost for pine = $2300; cost for oak = $2950."
of course we discussed very clearly choosing the best wood to match our hardwood floor and that i would do the staining/finishing. so it should've been clear that OSB was not acceptable. but this is not explicitly in the contract. my bad. since the contract does not directly say what portion of the stairs will be pine, i don't know if i have a strong enough claim in court.

we paid half the money up front. my inclination is to cut the contractor loose. i'll keep the 2nd half of the fee and finish the job myself. it's been like pulling teeth just to get them to come out and do the half-a$$ed job they've done so far. i doubt they'll ever do a good job.

p.s. they installed the stairs ~7" shifted from the old set. now there is a headroom problem too!!
 
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Old 08-21-09, 04:46 AM
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Definitely hold the last half in escrow, until it is settled. How did they "shift" the staircase? It would have been too easy to replicate what was already there. What is the total rise and run of each step? Are they uniform all the way up?
 
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Old 08-21-09, 05:24 AM
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"i'll keep the 2nd half of the fee and finish the job myself."

Before you finish the job yourself it might be wise to get an estimate or two and find out what it would cost to have it done. That way if it ever went to court you would have a basis for the cost of the work that needs to be redone.
 
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