When you think about a stairway, not much may come to mind, but with a little creativity and skill you can have a breathtaking stairway installed into any home or business. On the other hand, you may only need a stairway for its basic and essential purpose. Either way, it is important to know what should be included when soliciting bids for an installation.
Building a new stair case will involve structural planning, design, and city inspections. An advantage to building a new staircase is that there is no demolition cost and it can be custom built. Nationally, the cost to have a new staircase built averages $4,000. If you are replacing a staircase, the contractor may be able to use some of the framing already in place. Depending on the extent of demolition and preparation required and the delicacy of the work, it could cost an additional $2,000 to replace an existing stairway.
Outdoor stairways will need to be made of material that can withstand the typical weather conditions in your region. Material options for exterior stairways can include concrete, stone, tile, and wood. Depending on the length and height of the stairs and the materials used, it could cost as little as $400 or as much as $5,000 to build a stairway outside. An interior stairway often involves fine carpentry and finish work such as special moldings, staining, and varnishing. Expect to pay at least $3,000 for an interior project of this type.
The elegance of a stairway can actually come from the railing that is installed. Railings function as both a safety system and a design feature. The intricacy and style of a railing, whether interior or exterior, will contribute to the cost of the stairway. The overall length of the railing is significant, too-- if your stairway is attached and runs parallel to a wall on one side, then you will only need to worry about installing or replacing the railing system for the opposite side. On the other hand, if your stairs are open on both sides or meet a deck or balcony, you may need at least twice as much railing.
An exciting part of a stairway project is selecting the design and layout. Depending on the skill level of the installers, building codes, and your imagination, you can have an eye-catching element added to your building. Complexity comes at a premium, though. Installing an L-shaped staircase can cost over 50 percent more than straight stairs, while a custom curved spiral staircase could cost more than twice as much.
The features make all the difference when it comes to staircases. Your choice of paint, stain, or carpet on the treads and risers of interior stairs will help define both their character and cost. Likewise, custom trim details can make the difference between a functional feature and a showpiece. Hiring a skilled finish carpenter and choosing higher-end materials to elevate your stairs can add more than $2,000 over the cost of installing carpet and basic trim elements.
|$400 - $1,200||$1,000 - $3,500||$4,000 - $12,000|
The location, size and style of a stairway are important factors in the price of the job, and the scope of the project can vary widely. Our examples show the differences between building a few types of wood staircases.
A Basic Entry: $400 - $1,200
- • Project: Three or four steps and a small landing is a common scale for a set of entry stairs. When exposure gets the best of a set of wooden steps, replacement is often in order.
- • Materials: Pressure treated pine or fir is a durable and economical choice for all parts of these steps, from the stringers and posts to the treads, risers, and railings.
- • Finishes: A basic railing style keeps this project simple, and an extra finish is not needed to protect the treated wood.
Easier Access: $1,000 - $3,500
- • Project: Installing or replacing basement stairs is an important way to provide safe and convenient access to the lowest level of a home. A simple stairway with wall-mounted railings is usually a straightforward project, but demolition of old stairs and reconfiguring the layout to make the stairs wider or less steep can raise the complexity of the job a few notches.
- • Materials: Since these stairs will be indoors, treated lumber isn’t necessary, but neither is stain-grade hardwood for the treads and risers. Basic framing lumber, pine boards, and simple handrails do the trick and keep the budget low.
- • Finishes: Even in a finished basement, the stairs can usually be dressed up with basic finishes, such as paint and carpet. These options elevate the stairway from merely functional to attractive, without breaking the bank.
Upgrading a Centerpiece: $4,000 - $12,000
- • Project: Replacing a main staircase with one of a new layout and style can make a big statement in any home. Demolition, framing changes, and construction of the stairs make this project a substantial one.
- • Materials: The basic construction of these stairs is like any other—the difference is in the finished product. Hardwood treads and railings, custom paneling, and complex trim profiles elevate this job considerably.
- • Finishes: A combination of stain, paint, and varnish give this stairway its finishing touches. It takes a skilled pro to get a flawless look, and expertise comes at a premium.
Find a Pro
If you are ready to line up your stairway build project, contact a Pro in your area to discuss the job. All of the Pros in our network have been background checked and our in-house staff has verified their credentials and insurance coverage. Hiring a trusted Pro can give you the assurance the job will be done right, every step of the way.