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Building a stairway is a structurally significant project that should be completed by a professional, and knowing factors that affect the project can help you plan for and understand your stairway build.
Do I Need A Contractor for My Stairway Build?
Building a stairway involves making precise calculations and measurements in order to comply with strict building codes. Even slight deviations from standards can make steps uncomfortable and unsafe to navigate, since the height of risers and depth of treads affect how we ascend or descend a set of steps. An experienced contractor is qualified to build a staircase that not only suits you and your home, but that meets building codes and is safe and convenient.
What Are the Benefits of Having a New Stairway Built?
A new stairway can provide improved access to an area of your home, whether a basement, attic or living level. Replacing a damaged or inadequate set of stairs is an important safety upgrade, while adding an entirely new staircase can provide convenience for your family and guests. A properly built stairway adds both comfort and safety to your home.
What Type of Stairway Is Right For My Home?
Your options for a stairway will vary with the nature and location of the build. All residential stairs must meet local standards for safety, so the space available will help determine what style of staircase is appropriate. Spiral stairways occupy the least amount of space, but are more difficult to navigate and move large objects through than straight-run options. Angled or curved staircases can add dramatic style elements, but may take up a great deal of space. The location of your staircase can also help determine what type of railing systems are necessary and how the space under the stairs will be used.
How Long Does a Stairway Build Take?
The time taken to build a stairway will vary with its size, complexity, and finishes. A simple basement staircase with a handrail can be installed by a carpenter in one day, while a straight-run set of stairs with finished wood treads, risers, and railing systems may take three to five days. Finishing stairs with carpet or other flooring may add a day or more to the installation and will require the services of a flooring contractor. Custom built spiral sets may require pre-ordering, which may lengthen the project, though the installation can generally be performed in one day. Large and elaborate stairways with detailed finishes may take several weeks to complete and require both on and off-site work for your contractor.
What Materials Are Needed to Build a Stairway
Residential stairways are built with common carpentry tools which include a saw, nailer, drill, level, and square. Additional metal or woodworking tools may be needed for trim and finishes, or specialized tools for installing carpet, tile, or other flooring on treads or risers. Lumber is used to build the supporting structure of most staircases, as well as the backer or substrate for treads and risers. Handrails and railings are generally constructed of wood or metal, and can be assembled with standard balusters, posts and railings or custom milled and machined to suit your site or preferences.
What Hidden Charges Are Common On Stairway Builds?
Many important elements of a stairway are hidden from view and likewise, many cost factors for your build may not be obvious. Adding stairs to an existing room may require improving current framing or relocating wiring and plumbing. Resulting damage to floors, walls and ceilings will need repair after the stairway build is complete, adding to the overall price of the project. Additionally, creating custom millwork or metalwork to finish the details of your stairs or railings takes more time and skill than installing mass-produced trims. Custom trims are often built off-site, so the effort taken to design and create them may not be seen, but will increase the cost of your project.
How Much Does a New Stairway Cost?
Several factors influence the cost to install a new stairway, ranging from its size and location to construction and finish materials. Material requirements and the characteristics of installation sites contribute to national prices between $256 and $1187. Scenarios that affect this range are discussed in our Stairway Build Price Guide, such as the use of steel or engineered framing lumber to support long or complex staircases, and selecting fine wood species or intricate metal work for trim and finishes. Railing choices also affect construction costs, with wall-mounted handrails providing less expensive options than complete railing systems. The location and accessibility of the jobsite may also contribute to the pricing of your project, with the extra time, manpower or equipment needed to complete the job coming at a premium.