My initial plan was to just put a new wood tread (the step) on top of the existing one and then a new riser (the board facing you) in front of the existing one, essentially covering up the existing wood with new wood. I knew it was too simple because other people would have done this before. The problem is the tread sticks out 3/4" in front of the riser causing a lip. I couldn't cover the riser because of it. I was beyond deflated. After playing with the wood though, I realized I could cut shims to fit behind the new riser so it would stick out far enough at the bottom to be flush with the lip, and give me a board to nail into. It worked!
The riser was also a little taller than the tread. Rather than trim the entire riser board (because our trimming skills aren't the best), we used shims under the treads to make them flush. These two boards sitting on top of the step are our "shims." Sorry, I couldn't get a picture of the shim behind the riser, but it is essentially in the same position as the carpet tack strip.
Here it is! Technically, the riser is supposed to sit on top of the tread/step. We initially did that, but found it to be awkward. Since the new riser is taking up more space on the tread due to the shim behind it, the width of the tread was too narrow. It looks and feels better this way. It might not be perfect, but most people wouldn't notice it wasn't the right way to build a staircase.
We used 5" boards on the landing since that's the width of the rest of the flooring in the house. I also copied the pattern the downstairs flooring was laid in as much as possible.
How do you get perfect corners for weird edges? Place a board alond the edge of the wall.
And draw a line of where to cut. My husband wanted to share that. I still can't quite wrap my head around it, lol. An engineer, I am not!
The view from the top of the stairs.
It took about two days to build.
If you've been waiting for the pretty pictures of my staircase, I hope to have some for you next week. Here are some of my inspiration pics until then.