Give Your Foyer an Elegant Makeover
Steve Watson and the Don't Sweat It crew help remake a foyer to give a home a more elegant entryway.
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2. Since this new railing is custom made, the newel posts of the railing should be installed first. Each post comes with custom mounting hardware that makes for a simple install. Once those are installed and level, take measurements and build the baluster sections. The top and bottom rails for each section are cut to the same length, and the balusters spaced so there is no more than a 3-7/8" gap between each. The minimum height of the railing must be no less than 34 inches and no more than 38 inches from stair to hand rail top. The balcony where the stairs turn and the upper hallway both sit higher than 30 inches. The railing or "balcony guard" must be 36 inches in height.
3. Before welding, create a level surface to build a template on. Use 3/4" MDF 4x8 sheets set up on saw horses. This will allow you to screw in spacer blocks to batch-produce the railing sections. The angles for the balusters and railing sections can be cut with a metal cutting miter saw. After the layout is carefully measured and marked, just weld it up. Use a 4-1/2" grinder to clean up the welds. Angle brackets can be fashioned out of flat stock and drilled on a drill press to create mounting plates for the railings to attach to the newel posts. Before installing each section, be sure to clean with acetone and then paint. Once dry, the sections can be installed by securing them with lag bolts to the posts and screwing the bases into the floor.
4. According to safety codes, the railing should have a base every four feet. The sections are fastened securely to the stairs or floor with screws.
5. Begin installation of the floating floor by laying down a moisture resistant underlayment. Start at the front door and work your way back. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure a good fit. The electric miter saw is a great tool for cutting straight edges to ensure that each piece fits properly. You can use the off cuts from the last piece to begin the new row. Doing this ensures the seams will not line up, but will instead be staggered, and it helps prevent buckling. Be sure to leave no more than a 1/4" gap at the wall so it can be covered by the baseboard. Before the baseboard can go down, the door must also be installed and the casing put in.
6. Putting in this new front door is relatively simple. Remove the old door from the hinges and the interior and exterior casing. Remove the door frame using a pry bar and hammer. If the screws or nails don't come out, use a reciprocating saw to cut through them. Clean all the edges of the opening of nails, then make sure that the edges are level and plumb. Level is the key to proper door installation. Insert the new door in place and check for level on all sides. Place cedar shims in any gaps to fill and level, then screw through the shims to hold the door in place. Shut the door to check for a good fit. If everything checks out, then finish the exterior with PVC trim and caulk. Reattach the saved interior trim.
7. Prime and paint the walls.
8. The baseboard should be installed last, after the walls are painted, and be painted in place.
A Craftsman-era dining room is given a transitional makeover.