Top Tips on Installing a New Staircase

Whilst I wait for this dreary light to improve so I can take some semi-decent photos of the completed house renovation, I thought I’d do a series of posts that might be of interest to those in similar situations. Renovating the house, converting your attic or adding an extension to your property brings all kinds of issues, and many, many decisions that have to be made on a daily basis. Most of these decisions are around topics which you’ve never given much thought to before, but have to become an expert in overnight. It’s a daunting and sometimes stressful experience, but maybe these posts will help some people through their project. Today’s post is around installing a new staircase.

Now I’m sure this is not something you ever thought you’d have to learn much about, but when you convert an attic space, you’ll need a new set of stairs. And whilst your architect and builder might manage the whole process, it’s worth understanding a little more about the ‘look’ you want to achieve, and the regulations that need adhering to. Our joiner talked in detail about the staircase, particularly when it needed to be moved 4 inches backwards to make way for a slightly larger en-suite, so I got myself up to speed pretty quickly.

installing a new staircaseThese are the new stairs on our first floor landing, going up to the newly converted attic bedroom. We wanted to make a real feature of this landing by adding a glass balustrade and that’s when the architect suggested a glass wall on the stairs to really tie it all together. I loved the idea, and hoped we could afford to do it, after all it was an added extra. Thankfully, the quote came within budget and the builders arranged for it to be made.

What makes our solution really cool, is that design included a velux roof window above the stairs that lets in lots of light, and with the glass wall, that light floods into our otherwise dark landing. It really is a win, win design.

So what do you need to know about installing a new staircase?

installing a new staircase

Top Tips for Installing a New Staircase:

  1. Get a good builder or joiner who knows what they’re doing, and go to a reputable company for your new staircase
  2. If you already have a staircase in place, can you simply renovate the existing set? Consider if you really need to rip them out and start again.
  3. Become familiar with the building regulations on installing a new staircase, which you can find on staircases.org. Another good resource is Planning Portal which is an excellent building regs resource for England and Wales.
  4. Think about the aesthetics of the staircase and how you want it to fit in with the rest of the decor and house style. There are many different styles, finishes and looks available so do your research.
  5. Create a budget and stick to it. You could renovate your existing staircase for as little as £250, but having a bespoke set of stairs may cost anything up to £20k – £30k depending on the size and materials used.
  6. If you know a little bit about carpentry, you can order stair parts directly from a manufacturer and renovate the staircase by yourself. If you’re looking for a stair parts manufacturer check out somewhere like George Quinn.

Installing a new staircaseIf you’re happy with your current staircase structure, you might just want change the styling. This is actually easier than you think and you might be able to manage it yourself if you’re DIY friendly. You could change from a more traditional spindle look to adding a glass balustrade, or metal spindles for a contemporary feel.

George Quinn, whom I mentioned before, has some very helpful tutorial videos for renovating a staircase which illustrate how easily it can be done.

You might need a professional to help but this just shows how you can adapt your current staircase to create a more up to date look.

Some of My Favourite Looks:

Ok, so I’m a little biased towards the more contemporary style, and love the way glass allows the space to feel bigger and lets in lots more light. If you like this idea, do consider the age of your children, and if their sticky fingers on the glass are going to drive you crazy.

Installing a new staircaseWooden treads and an open plan design create an airy, spacious feel. 

Installing a new staircase

Use wooden flooring and stair treads mixed with glass for a sleek, contemporary look. 

Traditional staircase design Achill collection

Mix and match wood colours for an updated twist on a traditional scheme. 

It’s a big investment, and not one to be undertaken lightly. But if you are installing a new staircase, or deciding to renovate your current stairs it will make a massive impact to the look and feel of your home, and you won’t be disappointed with the results.

Images: 1. Jen Stanbrook || 2. George Quinn || 3. George Quinn || 4. Contemporary stairs  || 4. Glass and Wood via Shutterstock || 5. George Quinn

Collaborative post

4 Comments

  1. January 14, 2016 / 9:41 pm

    I would love to do our stairway! I love the look of glass, but I’d be scared of sticky fingers like you say x

    • January 16, 2016 / 4:57 pm

      Yes, it is an issue, my girls are a little older now and don’t actually go up into the loft that much. Phew!

  2. kimberley ryan
    February 13, 2016 / 2:49 pm

    Love the glass, but not sure it would be great idea with my little ones

  3. stair
    March 20, 2018 / 9:17 am

    This is a really inspiring and useful post! Thanks for the ideas you offer. Love the thought of painting items of sentimental value to form a cohesive , meaningful wall gallery.

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