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Do you think there will be spindles under the mdf?

(12 Posts)
JazzAnnNonMouse Mon 27-May-13 10:10:43

On my stairs?
It's enclosed with floppy wood (house was rented before we brought it) and I've just painted it white so it does look better but ideally I'd like a staircase with poles to let more light in!

House is 40s/50s red brick 3 bed end of terrace 'normal' house.

Shall I brave it and rip it off or am I likely to regret it and have a massive gappy staircase?
If it is gappy will I need to replace the banister or can u wedge spindles in? smile

SoupDragon Mon 27-May-13 10:17:15

If there were once spindles there, there might be holes for them to slot into - however, these may not meet current safety regulation wrt the spacing.

You may be able to tell by tapping the wood and seeing if there are places it doesn't sound hollow but this may not work.
You may be able to tell if there are any nail heads showing in the middle of the panelling which could indicate it's nailed to a spindle.

Maybe ask a neighbour whether theirs has spindles smile

JazzAnnNonMouse Mon 27-May-13 10:28:25

I don't know if there were spindles there - is that the way I can find out if the house was built with spindles?

SoupDragon Mon 27-May-13 10:50:02

There is no foolproof way to be honest. There may be spindles, they may have been removed, they may have covered up the bit that had the spindle holes in, there may not have been any at all.

Speaking to neighbours is the best bet (but would fill me with horror as I'm shy!) because removing the wood sheet to find no spindles and no way to replace them is not going to be ideal smile

JazzAnnNonMouse Mon 27-May-13 10:59:34

Hmm think ill probably wait until we have the budget to replace all if there are no spindles smile

Clargo55 Mon 27-May-13 10:59:54

We recently ripped our mdf/boarding down. No spindles, previous owner must of removed them and end post sad

We now have a massive gappy staircase. We are looking at buying pre-made spindles etc form DIY shop.

Clargo55 Mon 27-May-13 11:01:06

P.s we were only brave enough to try as we looked at other houses in our cul de sac on rightmove and noticed they all had original spindles.

Startail Mon 27-May-13 11:01:32

No way of knowing, if you have small DCs I'd leave it as it is.

Adults, tiny babies and older DCs can manage stairs awaiting repair. Toddlers can't.

We used to have MDF cable tied to ours because they are the sort with planks running parallel to the banister and DD1 used to try and climb round the stair gate through the gap.

JazzAnnNonMouse Mon 27-May-13 11:02:00

Hmm I don't want gappyness as I have a 22 month old!

How much are the new spindles looking at being and how are you going to fix them in?

Clargo55 Mon 27-May-13 11:29:16

We are looking at buying all the bits from here.

We need to find out the regulations for spacing and then work out how many spindles we will need. Then its a end post for the upstairs and downstairs. Also a handrail for the top and a base rail like this to slot spindles into. Will probably ask FIL or someone to help fit it maybe even a local carpenter as we are useless at DIY.


JazzAnnNonMouse Mon 27-May-13 14:06:52

Thanks - think I'll leave it for a bit!

mamapants Mon 27-May-13 16:45:35

When I bought my old house we wondered the same thing until my mum grabbed a hammer and ripped a hole in it. Lo and behold a nice set of spindles.
In my new house also a nice set of spindles under the wood.
Be brave, they are more than likely still there- people tend to just cover things over. If not you could always buy some mdf and recover.
In my eyes it is worth a chance.

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