If your stairs have fallen into despair, having a replacement will help to kick-start a home renovation, opening up the space both structural and visually. As a significant feature within our homes, our staircases require deep thought and consideration – and knowing where to start when you’re thinking about starting them afresh can be daunting.
Replacement staircases are seemingly limitless in shapes and sizes, materials and designs. So, when it comes to staircase cost, the materials, craftsmanship and overall design are significant factors, able to be budget-friendly or as outlandish as you desire.
In this article, we’ll be covering:
- How much a new staircase costs
- What affects the cost of building a staircase
- How to save money on a new staircase
- What’s involved in building a new staircase
- How to find and hire a builder
We have compiled all the necessary information and tips on cutting staircase installation costs – let’s get started.
How Much Does a New Staircase Cost?
As we’ve briefly mentioned, the price of new staircases can vary wildly depending on the elements you choose to include, from shape and style down to the materials selected.
|STAIRCASE STYLE AND MATERIAL||ESTIMATED COST||TIME REQUIRED|
|Straight wooden staircase||£600 to £1,500||2 to 3 days|
|L-shaped wooden staircase||£700 to £1,600||2 to 3 days|
|Winding wooden staircase||£1,000 to £2,500||2 to 3 days|
|Spiral wooden staircase||£1,500 to £6,000||2 to 3 days|
|Spiral metal staircase||£1,000 to £6,000||2 to 3 days|
|Metal staircase||£8,000 to £11,000||5 to 7 days|
|Glass staircase||£3,000 to £20,000||5 to 7 days|
|Cantilevered or helical staircase||£15,000 to £30,000||7 to 10 days|
If you’re looking at a standard, straight wooden staircase, you can expect your costs to be between £600 to £1,500, depending on the size you settle on. Similarly, for an L-shaped wooden staircase, you can expect fees of between £700 to £1,600.
Moving up the complexity ranks slightly, a winding wooden staircase would come in somewhere between £1,000 to £2,500; while a spiral wooden staircase would set you back between £1,500 to £6,000.
Changing the materials slightly, and swapping wood for metal, the same spiral staircase in metal would come in at £1,000 to £6,000. In general, if you want a metal staircase you’ll be looking at paying £8,000 to £11,000.
For those looking for a luxurious finish and wanting a glass staircase, you can expect costs of between £3,000 to £20,000 depending on the complexity of the design and the size. Finally, for the ultimate in luxury and high design, a cantilevered or helical staircase can set you back between £15,000 to £30,000.
On top of the base price for the staircase itself, you’ll need to pay for labour costs for installation, too. Installation costs will be impacted depending on the ease of access in your home, with lower levels more affordable at between £160 to £200, but bespoke designs or complex styles carry higher labour costs.
On average, you’ll need two to three days for most standard designs, but some bespoke designs can have a lead time of seven to ten days.
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What Affects the Cost of Building a Staircase?
As you can see from our comparison table above, there are plenty of ways staircases can increase in price exponentially. Thankfully, there are some things you can keep an eye on to make sure the costs don’t get out of control.
As you’d imagine, the more complex the design, the higher the price will be. Straight staircases can start at just £500, whereas the entry point for spiral staircases is at £1,000.
If you’re wanting a cost-effective route, replacing your old staircase with a like-for-like replacement is the best way to go. This way, you can replace the old version with something of the same size and design and therefore require no further structural work on your home.
Whereas, if you’re entering into an entire home renovation where old floor plans are being scrapped, the choice to do a simple plug-and-play replacement may not be there. In these instances, it’s best to think long-term: what will add value to your home when you come to sell it; will you get sick of a temporary solution and will that end up costing you more in the long run?
Second to the style you choose, the material also has a large part to play in the cost of your new staircase.
Wooden staircases are generally more cost-effective than metal or glass – and in instances where the material isn’t on show (such as when it’s beneath carpet), the best option to go with is wood.
In the cases where the material will be on show, you can still get the look you want but for a lower price if you pair it with a simpler design you can still achieve your aesthetic ideal.
Balustrades, Spindles, Newell Posts, and Caps
These extras are necessary to complete your staircase, but as with the actual staircase itself, there are a few options you can pick from. Different finishes, materials or bespoke designs can make your costs higher or lower, depending on what you choose.
You can source these items yourself and pass them onto your builder to use if you want to secure what you want for a potentially lower price, by shopping savvily during discount periods and being happy to hang on to the items for a while in your home while you wait for your new staircase to be installed.
For most, you’ll need to remove an existing staircase to make room for your new one. This will involve taking up the old carpet and then the staircase itself.
If you’re able to, doing some of this yourself can save your traders from doing it, which will, in turn, save you some money in labour costs. Only attempt this if you’re capable of the work, and feel safe doing so.
Unfortunately, your geographic location will have a say in how much you pay for a certain job – even if it’s like-for-like with someone else in a different place in the U.K.
Those in the capital can expect to pay more than those in rural locales, which is good to bear in mind when budgeting and getting quotes, as you should always include your location in this stage.
Once the staircase is in, there’s another hurdle to overcome – laying carpet or runners. Again, this can be an area you can look to save on by doing it yourself if you’re capable.
You can also look to source your carpet or finishings yourself to pay prices you’re happier with, such as shopping during sales or discount periods and holding onto the stock for a little longer while your work is done.
How Can I Save Money on a New Staircase?
Comparing quotes is a great way to potentially reduce the cost of your new staircase. HouseholdQuotes can help you get quotes from multiple builders near you, so that you can find someone that suits your budget.
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We can easily see how the costs of new staircases can spiral – so here are some ways to keep the costs down.
Although it might be appealing to have a fancy design, in reality, you could probably make do with a simple design that does what you need your stairs to do – be strong, support your weight, and get you safely from floor A to floor B.
If you do want a more bespoke design, the materials you choose can come into play, too. If you mix a challenging design with a cheaper material, you can still get the look you want for less.
Similarly, choosing a more expensive material with a simple design can give you a feeling of luxury but at a far cheaper cost than if you were to pair the bespoke design with premium material.
Let’s say you want the entire job completed by professionals, measuring, building, installing, even removal and disposal of your old staircase. On average, repairing a staircase is likely to cost between £2,000 and £4,000.
If you order your own stairs and hire a tradesperson to fit them, it’s possible you could save £500+. With this method, you need to be sure of the regulations so you don’t have any issues with safety or with when it comes to selling your home and your buyers realising you don’t have building regulations for your staircase, which could spook some buyers or even make them pull out entirely.
You could also prepare the space for your builders by taking up old carpet or boards where possible, which will save your traders labour hours on their end.
As long as your staircase is structurally sound and has the necessary safety components, there is no need to add on extras – or switch your basic finishes for luxury ones.
These can be elements you look to change years down the line when you want to freshen up your home easily, such as changing the colour of the balustrades and spindles and changing out the caps.
If you’re wanting to have a new staircase on a budget, just get it to do exactly what it’s there to do – get you up and down across the floors of your home – and nothing else; that is, until you wish to change things up later down the line.
What’s Involved in Building a Staircase?
Bespoke staircases will require you to enlist the help of an architect to draw up the necessary plans, which can take up to 10 weeks. The building of the staircase may take a further two to four weeks.
Made-to-measure staircase usually only require floor-to-floor measurements, which you or a professional tradesperson can easily take. Once you have confirmed your specification with a supplier, they will produce a replacement staircase within a week.
It will take a carpenter around two days to fit a new staircase, but more time should be allowed when removing an existing staircase, too. You must consider access during this time; you may not be able to access the second floor, and you should expect a lot of dust and general disturbance during both the removal and installation stages.
If you are considering fitting replacement stairs, you can seek valuable advice from the British Woodworking Federation. Also, remember to contact your local building authority before starting the job to make sure everything is within their set boundaries before you commit time and money to the project.
Is a New Staircase Right For My Home?
With new staircases being both expensive and messy, it’s important that you consider all aspects of the project before agreeing to have someone start work in your home. Let’s take a look at the key advantages and disadvantages of new staircases.
|Can help to open up floorplans or make better use of space||Expensive and messy|
|Can make architecturally interesting features in your home||Some designs might not be suitable for young children, such as those with large gaps|
|Makes old, crumbling structures safe again||If positioned in the wrong place, a lot of floor space can be lost|
|Privacy can be created between different levels of the home||If installed incorrectly it can lead to building regulation issues|
Looking at advantages first, a new staircase can alter your home’s floor plan in a way that opens up cramped areas or makes better accessibility routes. On the flip side, if staircases are installed in the wrong place, they can run the risk of looking awkward and taking up more room than necessary.
Staircases can make great architectural features – such as spiral staircases – but these might not be suitable for all ages, and can be a disadvantage when selling your home if families are looking for family-friendly properties.
How Do I Find and Hire a Builder?
Finding the right builder can be challenging. At HouseholdQuotes, we can connect you to staircase builders in your area.
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It’s always worth seeking recommendations from family, friends and neighbours in the first instance to see if they’ve worked with a carpenter or builder recently on their own staircase. If they have, they can give you valuable advice on who to go with for a good job – and crucially, who to avoid.
Ensuring the Professional Is the Best Fit
As with any home renovation job, a crucial part of the process is to get hold of a written quote before you settle on anything. Verbal agreements are just that – verbal – and it is unfortunately one person’s memory over another.
If it comes down to contesting what was or wasn’t included in an initial quote – which could in some cases be months or years before the actual job takes place – it’s best practice to have something physical in place to refer to so both parties know what is expected.
Much like a job interview, asking for the trader’s experience and examples of their previous work will help you to form an opinion on whether they’re a good fit for you and your needs.
Where possible, ask for photos or even videos of their past work – better still if you have a neighbour who has used them and is willing to let you have a look at their work in person – as it all helps you to make a justified opinion.
If your trader isn’t coming from a recommendation, it’s a good choice to have a look at their references to see if their claims live up to the reality. And, as best practice, it’s good to double-check they have the relevant insurance in place to make sure they’re covered in the event of an accident.
Changing your home’s staircase can transform a home, opening it up to new structural layouts or simply giving access to higher levels of the home that previously weren’t in existence.
Staircases come with a lot of red tape and regulations, so it’s paramount you pair yourself with a trusted trader to ensure your experience is smooth, and your new structure adheres to building regulations.
Here’s our final checklist to make sure you have everything in order:
- Decide how much work you’re willing to do yourself – are you able to fit new boards on your stairs, or is it a complex job requiring the assistance of a professional?
- What staircase do you want? Think about what you already have and consider what you would like to have
- During this process, make sure you consult a professional who can talk you through the building regulations
- Make sure to get a written quote to ensure there are no unexpected expenses during the project
- Be prepared for plenty of dust and disruption – then enjoy your new staircase!
Use HouseholdQuotes to find local builder and potentially save money on your staircase project.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need Building Regs Approval for a New Staircase?
Staircases do have specific building regulations concerning technical specifications that will ensure the safety of the residents of the home. Height, level, pitch and length, are all included within these regulations as are the tiny specifics you might not have even considered, like handrails and balustrades.
Like-for-like replacements shouldn’t be too tricky, as the dimensions should be similar but work that drastically impacts the building’s structure – such as a loft conversion – will need to be checked and stick to regulations.
Full details of the UK building regulations for staircases are available online. If you’re working with professional tradesmen or architects, they should already be working to these guidelines.
With new additions or significant changes to staircase design, you must contact your local building authority, who will need to come to review the work and sign it off. Expect to pay £200 for this service if you’re doing the work yourself.
If you’re unsure about this process, seek advice from your local building authority as help is freely available over the phone.
What Is the Cheapest Type of Staircase?
The cheapest type of staircase would be a straight wooden staircase. This comes down to two reasons: it’s the cheapest material you can have a staircase created in, and it’s the simplest design you can choose, too.
If you’re looking for the most cost-effective solution, a wooden straight staircase would be your best bet.
What Can You Do With the Area under a Staircase?
The triangular space beneath your staircase – called a spandrel – doesn’t have to be wasted. Popular uses have the area turned into a downstairs toilet or a handy storage space.
What you do with the space is largely up to you, depending upon you having suitable plumbing nearby to power a downstairs toilet. There are plenty of storage solutions to be had, and some people even carve out the area and turn it into a reading nook or a study space.
How Much Space Do You Need for a Spiral Staircase?
UK regulations for domestic spiral staircases stipulate that you need an 800mm clear tread width for a primary staircase, and a 600mm clear tread width for a secondary spiral staircase. This equates respectively to an 1800mm or 1400mm outer diameter for the spiral staircase.
How Many Steps Does the Average Staircase Have?
This answer is relative to the height of your ceilings, the thickness of your subfloor and the joists supporting the floor above you.
For an eight-foot ceiling, you’re looking at around 14 steps, while a 10-foot ceiling will be higher at 17. The best way to find out exactly how many you need is to consult a professional who will be able to calculate everything for you and crucially not leave you one step short of reaching your second floor!
What’s the Minimum Width Required for a Staircase?
A width of between 800mm and 900mm for a standard flight measuring 860mm.
The other key aspects of staircase building regulations include the following:
- The minimum depth of step should be 220mm, with the measurement taken from nosing to nosing of the next step
- The height of each step should lie between 190mm and 220mm
- The headroom on the landing should be at least 200mm, or 190mm for loft conversions
- The pitch of a flight of stairs should not be too steep (exceeding 42°)
- The standard recommended width of a staircase is 850mm, but this is not compulsory
How Much Does a Loft Ladder Cost?
If you haven’t the room for a full staircase and want a space-saving option instead to enable access to your loft space, you can opt for a loft ladder.
These can come in at as little as £80 for a sliding loft ladder, to as much as £6,000 for an electric ladder. For full information, please see our full article on loft ladder installation here.
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