The new staircase project has turned out to be a much more complicated, time consuming, messy, and backbreaking job than I expected, but as the title of this entry says, I really shouldn't be surprised after having done renovations for YEARS now.
That said, I think I'm on "day 3" of the project, and the bulk of the work is now done. I need to shim and nail-in the staircase "frame" then cut and install the rough steps. Once that's done (probably by tomorrow) I'll just have to install 3 metal braces at the top, and the stairs will be fully functional again.
What made the project such as hassle was that I had to do a lot more demolition and drywall work than I had expected. I also ran into a few small hurdles (due to the way the current stairs were put in, and because of the way the house was built).
At the moment I can't afford to install the finished woodwork on the stairs, but I'll be able to patch all the walls, install the skirt boards (stringers acting as baseboards along the sides), and paint.
I suppose since I'm already taking a break, and I've started writing this, I may as well start writing my "tutorial", but I'll do it in a separate post.