help with creaking stairs and gaps

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Hi,

We bought our house 4 months ago and wish to replace the carpet on the the first floor and the stairs that lead up to it. I have removed the carpet and underlay from the stairs (see 1st pic below) and am now wondering whether it wouldn't look smarter without any carpet if I could remove the old paint, sand and varnish the stairs. However, if I am to do this I must bridge two gaps (see 2nd pic below) and I would also like to eliminate the creaking that seems to emanate from every step except 2 or 3. The underside of the staircase is covered in plasterboard. I was hoping to be able to do everything from above.

1. the first gap is that between the hardwood floor on the ground floor and the first riser. it is up to 20 mm wide in places and curved. The gap exists because the staircase carpet was laid before the ground floor had hardwood floors installed. I haven't seen skirting boards that wide and would appreciate some advice on how to bridge this gap.

2. the second gap is situated between the first tread and the riser to the second step (see pic). It is about 8-10 mm wide.

3. The creaking on each step seems to come from the line where the top of a riser meets a tread. On 2 different steps I have inserted 3 screws vertically through the tread into the riser, covered with dowel and sanded it but it hasn't made an iota of difference. The risers seem to be made of 8-10 mm thick plywood.

I'd appreciate advice on any or all of these points.

Stairs overview:

Detail of the first step (including the two gaps):
 
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you need to fix the bottom off the riser properly to the back off the bottom step then check the wedges are glued and knocked in tight
 
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Regarding the creaking of the stairs:

Thanks for the reply. It looks like the only way to solve the creaking problem on these stairs is by working from below. As you can see from the pic below, there is a sheet of plasterboard that blocks access to this area. I've holesawed a 10cm hole to have a look and feel inside. The plaster board is nailed onto these 40 X 40 battens which run along the length of the stairs. These battens are not screwed directly into the side walls or strings as their is a gap there. How are the battens normally attached?

Can someone tell me how to proceed to remove and then replace the plasterboard?

Once I have access, I can look at the wedges and tighten/reglue them.

Thanks.

 
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stanley knife near where the angles change cut out the full width [minus 10mm each end]you need access to both treads and one riser so cut the plasterboard around 4 inches above the second tread
show us what you see
 
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Thanks but I actually need to access almost every step as they almost all make creaking noise. I'd like to know how to remove all of the plasterboard and how to replace it after the work has been carried out on the stairs. What is the plasterboard normally fastened to? It looks like some 40 X 40 battens in my case but I can't see what these battens are in turn attached to. I'm concerned about making a mess that's hard to put right.
 
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assuming you have wood to one side and solid wall to the other then just run a knife to split the paint walpaper rip it out the whole length leaving the supporting timber in place
 
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Smash it out! wouldn't be too hard to fix new battens on again, it's important to replace it with the correct materials for fire resistance
 

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