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I can't completely picture this. Is the drywall finished except for the expansion crack? Yes, that certainly needs to be repaired. Is it for expansion or has it just cracked because of settling over time?

If I do understand, you're stairs aren't finished. And your concern is that this space is awkward with the different walls and all. Is that right? It sounds pretty typical of a raised ranch entry though.

If I do get it at all, my first reaction is to play off the openness and stairs and make the stairs quite nice. Perhaps hardwood, but certainly elegant trim, balusters and railings. Make the stairs the focal point and make them stunning as it seems this area can be seen by so many other rooms. Conversely, if you really dislike it, you could have it more closed in, but that will be a fair amount of work, I'd imagine as you'd have load-bearing walls to deal with. You'd also lose the open feel as well as some of the light, possibly.

As I said, if I am seeing it correctly in my mind's eye, this is sounds like fairly typical construction for a raised ranch/bungalow. I'd turn it into an asset with beautiful stairs. But send pictures if you can so I can better understand it. Also, let me know if I can put this on the site and in the newsletter. By the way, your color choice sounds excellent.

Good luck.



Hi Julie,

I thank you very much for your reply. I will get some pictures taken this week and forward to you. You have my permission to use
this information in your newsletter or emails.... I would be delighted.

In answer to your questions...

The drywall is completed and the drywaller said he left the expansion joint between the two vertical sheets to eliminate settling and cracking on the
joint. He said to cover it with trim that is only attached at the top so that if the drywall settles the trim will still cover the joint.
I was wondering what you think of this ... since there has to be trim covering the expansion joint which is 8 feet from the floor, I was thinking of
tongue and groove wood panelling from the floor up to the trim on a horizontal installation and then paint the wood the same wall colour. I just thought
this may give the foyer some more interest.

There are construction stairs in place right now. I like your idea of making the stairs the focus....you can look at the pictures when I send them
but I am wondering if you feel the stairs should be open sort of like the construction steps or closed in between the steps and the side creating storage
underneath? I would want to keep the upstairs level open to the stairway for the open feeling and extra light.
I am thinking that the closed in traditional type of stairway may seem to visually take up more space in the foyer but I certainly have no
expertise in this area.

Once again thanks for your help with this and the above is just my ideas which you can look at.


I like the tongue and groove panelling idea!

I do think stair-builder stairs (rather than carpenter built) is a must. I'd keep the area open but have risers between the stairs so you can't see through the stairs.


I know this depends a lot on the style of your home, but what about a glass railing system on the stairs? It sounds like you have a lot of nice windows with great views and the open feel of the glass railing system might blend well.

Solid Wood Flooring

That work!!
Thank for Awesome sharing :)

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