Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew

dismantling stairs to move box springs!!

hlechat's picture

Well, here we are now, moved in to the farmhouse you all were so helpful on (soundproofing; not too far from a railroad track -- and you all were right! We are used to the whistles already!!!).

But, now (surprise!) another problem has cropped up.

It seems the box springs (queen) won't make it up the stairs! The opening is too small on the first floor.


We huffed and puffed and bent (ack!) the mattress enough so it made it (nothing a little brute strength couldn't handle!), but ya can't use that technique on a box spring.

My wife is saying we're gonna have to dismantle the stairs, at least part way, then have some folks on the upstairs landing pull it up. Then re-assemble the stairs.

So, here I am again, asking your advice on how to do this project right (rather than go bungling along and later askin' how to fix it!)

My carpentry skills are modest, but I am willing and eager to give it a go!


Northeast Indiana Farmhouse

p.s. I guess I've gotta consider that one fine day, we'll most likely be doing this in reverse. So I should ask if there is anything I could/should do now to make it work better on that day when we move out.

(post #61354, reply #1 of 12)

Two possibilities:

1) you figure the constricted stairs issue will be a problem often, for many reasons.

Solution: have a remodeler come in and suggest ways to fix it.

2) you figure the constricted stairs shouldn't be a problem for much else than this particular problem.

Solution: go to your local matress/furniture store and order a split queen box spring - two pieces roughly 30" wide each - made specifically for your situation.

I know some people like their expensive bed sets, but it's hard for me to imagine a situation that justifies tearing apart any part of a house to preserve something as ordinary as a box spring. It's pretty easy to do several hundred $ worth of damage to stairs.

(post #61354, reply #2 of 12)

I had a the same problem a 1710 farm house in Pa.

I peeled the fabic fron the bottom of the box spring, grabbed a handsaw, and cut all the crossways (short) slats, got it upstairs, and cut a bunch of 1x3's about 2' long and drywall screwed the splices in glue, cuz I knew I'd not be there forever.  When moving again, I just unscrewed and moved, that time I did glue it..when I put it back together.

I also had to take out a closet wall at the head of the stairs..but it worked..


Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks

Repairs, Remodeling, Restorations.   

(post #61354, reply #3 of 12)

I had this problem once .... turned out I had a window upstairs big enough to pass the box spring through ... worth taking a minute to measure them ... I dropped a rope down, ran down and tied it to the box, then hoisted it up ... piece of cake ... went out the same way ... Bill.

(post #61354, reply #9 of 12)

I third the peel and cut method.

queen bed upstairs was fit up there that way ...

'capt I used my cordless dewalt toy circular saw ....

again .. just cut wood ... made for enough compression that the metal all stayed intact.


When we move .... it'll go out the window in much smaller pieces.



Buck Construction, llc   Pittsburgh,PA

     Artistry in Carpentry                

    Buck Construction

 Artistry In Carpentry

     Pittsburgh Pa

(post #61354, reply #4 of 12)

Ditch the customary bed and get a Select Comfort. Basically an air mattress but not like you remember as a kid. Never have to flip and turn. No dust mites. Adjustable seperately for both people.

(post #61354, reply #5 of 12)

2nd cutting the boxspring in half.  Got to be easier than taking the stairs apart.

I rmoved the bottom fabric, loosened the side fabric, then cut the bottom and top rails.  Folded towards the top, such that the side fabric and top pad was left uncut.  Reassembled with wood splices.  Never tried it with a metal frame, but I bet it is doable.

(post #61354, reply #6 of 12)

Had the identical problem. Went to look at split boxed springs. The very expensive box springs are essentially wooden platforms with a thin covering. I built two boxes approximately 3x7 feet, with 1x8 sides and 1x3 slats on top, then joined them together at the ends with another 1x8 bolted through the ends and in the middle bolted the two 1x8's together. Sanded all edges and it has been fine for thirteen years. Remember it is covered with a cloth skirt. Cost less than $100. It is very comfortable. It can be disassembled in 5 minutes. Gave away my original box spring.

(post #61354, reply #7 of 12)

Helped a friend move last year and he has the same situation but with a couch, couldn’t turn two sharp corners in the entry foyer.  The window upstairs was wide enough to move it thru by a hair.  We got out an extension ladder, propped it against the open window at the shallowest angle we could.  One guy in the window pulled on a rope tied around the couch and the other guy guided it up the ladder from behind.  The only tricky part was giving it a slight lift when it got to the window to make it in. 

(post #61354, reply #8 of 12)

Before I touched the stairs, I'd look closely at all your upstairs windows.  They're generally MADE to come apart, where stairs......

(post #61354, reply #10 of 12)

I was in that situation once. Built a two story,3rd tread was a winder,when my customer was moving in they couldn't turn the corner with the box spring. Of course it was my fault( I didn't draw the prints),anyway I was there to see that everything went smooth, took the box spring partially apart & reassembled upstairs. I do not intend to be on hand when they move out.

(post #61354, reply #11 of 12)

sleep on the floor

(post #61354, reply #12 of 12)

I have to say, I would not have thought about sawing the box springs in half. What a great approach.

My wife says she is enchanted with that idea. She used that actual word, "enchanted."

So, I guess I'll be going out to get some strips of wood to use to nail the box spring back together again.

Thanks to all for what turned out to be an ingenious solution.

And enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.