Changing a straight staircase to a dogleg or curved leg staircase may be necessary during a home renovation to provide additional space for a spare closet or room build out. This conversion may be necessary to free up room to complete the renovation. Converting a straight staircase into a dogleg curve involves several steps.
Step 1: Measure the Area
Use a tape measure to measure the area needed for the renovation. These measurements need to be precise as they will determine how much of the old staircase will need to be taken away. Determine also through your measurements how much of a dogleg bend you will need to make in the staircase to free up the additional room space.
Step 2: Demolition of the Staircase
Remove the treads, steps and portion of the railing needed to make the additional room. Use a hammer and jig saw to cut away the wood, preserving as many usable pieces as you can to be incorporated into the dogleg. Place supports into the remaining cut away to hold the stairs in place until the dogleg has been completed.
Step 3: Cut the Dogleg Risers
Make cuts in the wood to create the risers for the dogleg. Keep the angle as simple as possible to make your construction process easier. You will need to build supports for the steps and treads, building new ones if necessary to replace those that were lost during the demolition process.
Step 4: Assemble the Stairs
Place the wooden risers, steps and treads in place and build the staircase. The treads should match the angle of the turn in the dogleg and create the necessary turn to move the stairs away from the straight line and curve it. Nail the treads into the risers and steps to secure them into place.
Step 5: Enclose the Staircase
Enclose the stairways in drywall and finish the wall. You now have created the additional space to complete your renovation and have a new dogleg staircase for your home.
When working on your staircase, remember to keep the steps level and cut the treads to the proper length to cover the step completely. You need to measure the rise and run angle using a tape measure and a plum line so that the steps are at a proper distance and height.
Conserve as much of the old wood to be used in the rebuild of the staircase or in other home remodeling projects. You should refinish the stairs with a stain and polyurethane sealer to restore it to its natural look and make it look new again. Polish the stairs and rail with a wood oil or soap to remove any dust or debris that may have accumulated during the construction.