Greetings, this weekend my wife and I are taking Friday off to tackle this project. First some background: we have a 1929 story and a half home and from everything we can tell the upstairs (or half story) was refinished or finished in the 1960s, although there are radiators upstairs tied into the main heating system. The stairs match the flooring upstairs which is douglas fir. They have seen better days and from what I know about fir, it is not a hard wood that makes sense for stairs.
So I've ordered and received new red oak stair treads, they are larger than the existing treads and will need to be cut and finished, but they already have a bullnose edge. For the risers, my plan is to pickup some pine board of the same length to replace with. We plan on painting the risers white and finishing the red oak to match the main level hardwood floors.
I plan on using a 16 gauge finish nailer with 2.5" nails and then also using construction glue. Does that sound right? Do I need to pre-drill holes for the finish nails?
Do I need an expansion gap?
I plan to work from the top and move down, but we have a oak landing area that I plan on sanding/re-finishing later. Is there an easy way to replace the riser below it without taking all the boards up?
The existing treads are nailed in on each side and middle, then the back area was finish nailed, any easy way to remove them?
Here are the photos: