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Part 1

The amazing sweeping staircase arrived in two pieces, as we saw, so the first step in installing the staircase is to assemble the two pieces into one full staircase.  To do this, we have to bolt the two pieces together and herein lies the first sticky point of the day.  There are two ways to bolt the staircase together, using thru-bolts or using lag-bolts.  The thru-bolts will require huge holes in both sides of the stringers.  After the bolting process is complete, these holes will be filled and covered with patches.  Unfortunately, these patches are never perfect and in the staircase case, would result in twenty four imperfectly covered bolt holes or more blatantly, 24 blemishes in the stairs.  We do not want this.  However, the drawings call for thru-bolts.   On the other hand though, the Arcways rep, Jaime, says that 99% of the stairs he installs, he installs with lag bolts.  There was much standing around the stairs discussing thru versus lag or rather California Code versus any other code in the world.  Jaime's concern was that the thru-bolts were called out in the drawings for our stairs because we are in California and the engineers are worried about earthquakes.   Bah humbug!  If the stairs fall down in an earthquake because they were put together with lag bolts instead of thru-bolts, my guess is that no one will notice because if the earthquake is that strong it will probably take down the rest of the house with the stairs.

In the end, it was determined that the amount of grab by the bolt would be equivalent whether we used lag or thru-bolts.  So we moved forward with the lag bolts.  Yippee!  That is what we wanted all along.

While the bolt discussion ensued, one of the guys was upstairs adjusting the upstairs landing so it would connect properly with the upper end of the stairs.

Once the bolt decision was made, Art started to drill the countersunk holes that will house the heads of the lag bolts. 

As I mentioned before, there are lots of bolts and thus lots of holes

on both stringers

Once the holes were drilled, the lower section of the stairs had to be moved out into the living room so it could more easliy be connected to the upper section.  We only needed a few guys for this.

After the lower section was moved into the living room, there was much contemplation about how the lower section should be oriented in order for the guys to be able to lift the upper section and slide the two pieces together.

Finally, the lower section was set, and everyone moved to the upper section, received instructions from Jaime,

and with a final heave-ho, started to lift the upper section of the stairs and move it into place

Now the two sections are (temporarily) one!  The next step is to bolt the two sections together!  All the heavy lifting is finished for today, but the day's blog will continue in a second installment......

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