Who: Doug B.
Where: Cambridge, Massachusetts
The treads came from Home Depot, the balustrades from a local recycling center, and the newel post—a castoff from another Victorian undergoing renovation—was from a dumpster in the South End. Seven layers of stripped paint later, it now glows with 100 years of history. Today I'm married to a fantastic woman undaunted by 2 years of construction, much of it without a proper kitchen or bathroom. The stairwell is our family photo gallery. As an added bonus, a secret door hides a small compartment containing a new stereo, while a small ½-bath squeezes into the remaining space. The final result is the perfect centerpiece to our new, old home.
Who did the work: I did some of the work myself
Cost: Under $1,000