Finished stairs

Finished stairs

I finished up the front stairs by installing a new door at the top (into our apartment) and putting on a temporary railing. With that project complete, we can switch our focus to the back sliding door. Our project flips the back porch layout from stairs on the left to stairs on the right, so the new sliding door is going on the left side, where we currently have stairs going to the second floor. Basically, we needed to finish the front stairs in order to take out the back stairs.

Electrical under back stairs

Electrical under back stairs

In addition to the stairs, there’s some surface mounted electrical that services the porch that is in the way. We still want lights on the porch, so I needed to re-route it to the other side of the back door. There’s an old rotary switch that controls the lights on the first floor and the basement, and a line that goes up to the second floor for a separately switched light and an outlet, as well as a flood light for the back yard.

Existing junction and rotary switch

Existing junction and rotary switch

All of this electrical is temporary, so I just re-used the BX and even the rotary switch. I made the switch inline and put the junction above the door, so that it could connect where there was a break in the existing rigid conduit that goes to the second floor. I left the rest of the second floor stuff alone. I had to move the basement light so that the BX headed up to the first floor would be on the other side of the door, but the wiring itself didn’t change.

Relocated by door

Relocated by door

Once I got everything re-connected and wire-nutted, it all worked except for the basement light. My circuit tester had gone into the garbage several months ago because it had a tendency to beep at everything except live wires, so I was left with a bit of trial and error. I’ve since ordered a new tester, but in the mean time I had to figure out what was going on. It turned out to be a swapped neutral and live, which I’m surprised even worked as well as it did. With that straightened out, both lights worked.

All clear

All clear

The only other thing that needs to be done before we take out the porch stairs is to bring down the old steam radiators. Last fall we got them out of the house, but only onto the back porch of each floor. Rather than take them down our new front stair and potentially scratch up the OSB, I’m bringing them down the porch stairs. This is slightly challenging because one of the radiators is actually wider than the steps.

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