By: Asad Butt
Last Updated: January 03, 2019


Staircase | How To

Moving or renovating the staircase can seem tricky and difficult but it may be easier than you think. These few tips can help you achieve your dream goal of the staircase you always wanted

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Here we go. Everything is planned and you are at the very last stage of executing your move. Everything is spot on in your new house. But there is one thing which your wife has strictly asked for that she wants the old staircase to be moved to the new house.

And you have been scratching your head ever since.

But it has to be done, hey...

There is a misconception that moving a staircase is can be a very difficult or impossible thing to do. You may be surprised, that moving a staircase can be far easier than you think. Off course if you know what you are doing.

Perhaps the more important thing is to check if the old staircase is the right fit for your new house. You also have to check a few other but critical facts to avoid any disappointments.

A staircase is normally a set of different parts assembled together. There is a strong possibility that you can redesign your staircase using the old parts which you can do with a few adjustments. It is not unusual for people to split the staircase, flip the staircase or redesign one, completely from scratch. A staircase can completely change the look and feel of your new home.

So you need a complete homework before you execute the move.

Moving A Staircase | A Few Questions To Ask

Moving a staircase can be a whole project and cost can vary, be tricky as there are a lot of variables to work on. It is a good idea to decide and plan well before you even begin. Here are a few things you should review beforehand:

  • Would you like to have the same end product as the old one?

  • Are you looking for something modern perhaps?

  • Or just need some minor changes?

  • Are you looking for an upgrade to a modern design or materials like metal or glass?

  • Is this something you can do on your own as a side project?

  • Would you require a standalone builder?

  • Would you require a team, including an architect, designer and one of few workers as well?

  • What about the walls? Will you need additional support for your walls?

  • Will you need a change in structure?

  • Will the floor or the ceilings need any changes or an upgrade?

Make sure you go through all aspects connected to the project.

Always Get An Advice On Moving Staircase

Schemes like Shelter Home can help you by connecting volunteer architects and builders who contribute with their free time and provide a free consultation in exchange for a donation to the charity.

Another thing you can do is to speak to a builder you are already in contact with and ask them for advice. They normally have the information of what is allowed and what isn't or if there are better options. Building companies normally do have a joinery department as well who can advise you.

You can also get free advice or a no-obligation quote from many of the builders and architects. Just make sure it is a no-obligation quote when you request one.

It is better to have a few opinions as everyone has a different experience and ideas.

Double-Check With Planning Permission And Regulations Departments

Before you even plan to move your staircase, it is better to check with the planning department or building control unit in your local area and thoroughly see what regulations are in place regarding staircase move and installation.

Rules for staircases are different depending on the local councils. They can even be complicated. Like:

  • minimum and maximum rise
  • minimum and maximum weight
  • minimum and maximum thread size
  • the headroom
  • the distance from other section in your house etc...

You name it and they will have something in the book for you.

Breach of regulation during a scedulled house inspection will not only lead to added costs in terms of time and money but also a lot of headaches.

Cost Of Moving Or Renovating A Staircase

There can be other associated or added costs. Like slicing the joints or remaking the floor or the ceiling for reaffirming the structure. Or maybe your existing beam may not be able to support and would need a replacement. You might even have to bring in a structural engineer which could cost up to £500 upwards.

Treads and Risers can cost up to £2000

Posts between £1000 and £1500

Labor may cost between £500 - £1500

Other Costs £1000

For a standard size staircase, a complete makeover including the materials like treads, rises, handrails and post can cost anywhere between £3000-£6000

National Average: £3000
Typical Range:     £2000 - £6000
Low End:           £3000
High End:          £6000

Before Moving | Check The Fitting At Your New Home

First Things First.

You have to check that your old staircase is compatible with the structure and material used in your new home. You also have to check that the place where you want to install the staircase supports the weight. The other thing to check closely is the point where your staircase leads to. Staircase normally has a few support posts to support the staircase and the weight of the people using it. You need to have dedicated space and a firm base to install these posts.

After The Move | Leave No Loose Spaces:

You have your posts in place inside the wall. You will need to properly insulate. Make sure there is no space left between the joints, posts and they are firmly fixed into the wall. Lose posts or spaces between the wall and the posts can loosen the structure. It may become loose over time when it is used. It is better to do it right the first time than spending time and money on fixing it later.

Mistakes To Avoid | Budget

Your budget is the most important factor you need to work on. It is the most common mistake made by people. The best thing is to start with a budget and then work on top of that but remember things may get out of hand easily if you don't have a budget.

It does not mean prioritizing cheaper material over quality. However, you might have to you keep your hopes a bit low when it comes to modern designs and materials.

Another tip is to leave 25% of your budget for surprises and unknown costs if this is your first time doing this.

keep up to date with pricing with local suppliers, ask anyone in the industry or with similar experience to check if your pricing and budget is correct and up to date.

Mistakes To Avoid | Not Being Realistic

Everything starts with a dream of course. It is better to be realistic if your goal can be achieved with the budget and resources in hand.

Don't try something beyond your means.

Another way of achieving your dream staircase is to do it in stages.

For example: If you want to have a particular design and also a particular kind of flooring, go for the design first and use a regular flooring which you can afford. See if you can do the flooring which is in reach of your budget but easily replaceable in the future with something costlier when you have funds arranged for that.

Mistakes To Avoid | Not Thinking About The Future

When it comes to a construction project, it always a good idea to think about the future.

If your needs change, will you able to accommodate and adjust accordingly?

Consider this real-world example:

Recently, one of my friends had a two-story house built with the exact number of bedrooms on both floors. He didn't really need to use the upper floor because he had a small family at the time.

Later on, they decided it was better to rent out the upper floor as a separate flat. But to achieve this, they had a serious issue on hand to deal with first. The did not have separate access. It cost a lot of time and money to provide one at the later stage, and of course a lot of planning permission hassle as well.

Published Under: Staircase
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