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Article Date: 23rd June 2017

Complete Stair Systems - Choosing A Custom-Made Stair on a Budget

Stair Systems - Bespoke Stairs - Spiral Staircases - Glass Balustrade

Complete Stair Systems - Stairs

A staircase is generally the first feature on view when entering a property, creating the perfect opportunity for a wonderful first impression. Having a specially designed staircase in the hallway will further enhance this effect whilst reflecting on the style of the property and the character of the owner. Essentially choosing the right stair is an important decision.

But how bespoke a staircase can your budget stretch to?

Obviously, a closed softwood flight with carpeted treads and risers would be the most economical choice but would it give the right impression? Let’s look at the key elements that affect the price of a more custom made flight with open risers.

SHAPE OF STAIR

The simpler the shape of the staircase the cheaper the cost of the flight. A straight flight staircase is therefore the cheapest to production followed by a quarter turn (90 degree turn) and a half turn (180 degree turn).

Spiral Staircases (steps arranged around a central pillar) can be fairly cost effective depending on the materials used. The most expensive option is to add curves to the staircase whether in a complete curve (helical shaped) or just with a swooping entrance, whilst a curved stair can look stunning it has a significant cost to produce.

Complete Stair Systems - StairsSUPPORTING STRUCTURE

Above and beyond the conventional double timber stringer construction there are many other ways the steps of the staircase can be supported.

Steel is very popular as a smaller structure can support a greater weight and therefore appearing less bulky than timber. Steel stringers can be cut certain shape or can be located under the centre of the stair to form a spine.

Our model 500 staircase is a perfect example of steel stringers being used in a modern and open way. For a unique approach to a timber staircase, have a look at our floating WF structure. This combines the traditional beauty of timber whilst incorporating open risers and cantilevered treads. The open part of the stair is suspended by a structural handrail resulting in the treads floating.

Complete Stair Systems - Stair TreadsTREADS

Hardwood is generally the choice for most custom made staircase but glass, granite and stone are popular.

As far as pricing is concerned beech and birch tend to be the most cost effective with oak being a mid range option. Exotic timbers such as Merbau and walnut tend to have a premium in cost.

BALUSTRADE

Conventional timber spindles tend to be the standard choice on a basic softwood stair, but for a more modern open and light feel a custom-made flight is likely to have glass balustrade or stainless steel spindles or rails. Glass is extremely popular and is generally held in place between timber or steel newel posts or bolted to the edge of the stringers or treads to give a frameless ‘no newel’ appearance.

Horizontal rails are attractive and a little less costly than glass, but check your building inspector is happy with them before purchasing. They can be viewed as forming a ladder effect and therefore are climbable.

Spindles are available on more custom-made staircases and are very often constructed in steel or stainless steel and are generally thinner in profile than their traditional timber counterparts. The cost of spindles will be less than glass depending on their finish.

EXTRAS TO CONSIDER

Many custom made modern staircases have open risers to allow the passage of light. Building regulations stipulate that the gap between each step cannot exceed 100mm for safety reasons. All specialist companies will be aware of the regulations and will have solutions to reduce the gap, but if they have many methods to do this they might not include the cost in the quote. Instead, they might list and cost the options separately so check the quotation carefully.

Complete Stair Systems - Glass BalustradeAnother item to consider that can add considerably to the costs is the requirement of any landing balustrade. This is to protect around any voids over the stairwell and is generally protected with balustrade matching the staircase. Unless know, a company is likely price this per metre so be sure to work out many metres you need and calculate accordingly.

GETTING A PRICE

For a price – please contact us using the email option below. We will need to know the type of development you are involved in (new build / refurb) and if the stair is a new flight or a replacement. We then need to know the shape of the stair and the floor to floor height. Ideally please forward any drawings you have and perhaps pick a model or two from our website.

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