BLOG | Projects for the Quarantined

I read an astonishing article today that stated that half of humanity is now in quarantine due to the COVID-19 virus. All I can think as I type this is how refreshing it will be to reread this one day when this has all passed. How much of this will make enough of an impact to change my behavior in everyday life in the future? What will I even do when the restrictions have been lifted.

As we sit at home in quarantine it is important to be grateful for the little things: four walls, a roof over our heads, and running water. In the not so distant past, many of the things we deem as necessity were luxury items. A phone in your home. A television set. A bit farther back, and people were fortunate to have a refrigerator or icebox as my grandmother used to refer to it. It is hard to believe delivery trucks would drive around to deliver blocks of ice for you to keep your food cold.  

Now we are fortunate to have the internet, a personal computer, and a phone that can do all. Some of us can do our jobs in the security of a dwelling we call home. For most of us, this time has provided an opportunity to work on projects around the home or even facilitated a planning process for upcoming home improvement goals. One thing is for certain, if you own a home you likely have too much clutter. Reorganizing, decluttering, and repurposing items will always alleviate stress and make your entire home more prepared for everyday life. Look at your high traffic areas. Those are usually pretty tidy. It is the corners of your home that create those nasty little areas of clutter. (cont. below)

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Let’s focus on the high traffic area nearest and dearest to my heart – the stair. If you are in a multi-level home the likelihood is that your staircase is a high traffic area. Clutter on a staircase is a no-no. Most stair falls are due to clutter left on the stair. Whether it is a pair of shoes, a children’s toy, a pet’s toy, or a random object, a hazard left on a staircase is a recipe for disaster. Lighting is also critical. If your staircase is poorly lit or has no lighting this can be a problem. Make sure bulbs are replaced and if there is no light consider installing a fixture. A new light fixture can also add a considerable wow factor to the stair.

Now that you have that stair cleaned off and well lit you have a staircase that you can look at and be proud of. Or maybe not... Take a close look at the stair. Make sure things are secure and not shaky. Look for products that have worked themselves loose. As wood ages and seasons change, products can regularly shrink and or swell. If you have real wood floors they are constantly doing. A crack on a stair product is not the end of the world. As I said, humidity can and will make cracks decrease. It is important to be aware of these deficiencies, as the stair is beautiful it provides a necessary defense for falls. If you have children, they are the true test of the stairs strength as products are tugged, knocked, and tested to their maximum capabilities.

If you find products that need repair, the next problem is determining where the products came from. If your stair was built before 1980 the options for stair parts were more limited than they are today. Many products were produced by local craftsmen. 

The more common stair parts of the modern era are probably manufactured or distributed by one of the larger companies in our industry. If you need help determining a product in your staircase, feel free to reach out to us at We will do our best to help you identify the item and may be able to put you in contact with our competitors to help you finish your job.  

The next segment upcoming segments we will talk about; project planning, simple stair fixes, and much more. Until then, wash your hands, stay home, and stay healthy.

by Boyd Winkler