ProDave

Cheap stairs.

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As the title says, I am thinking about cheap stairs.

 

We are trying to get the house partly habitable for the winter, and I don't think climbing a ladder to go to bed will cut the mustard. So I need a staircase and it must be cheap.

 

At the last house we paid a joiner to build the stairs, he did a very good job and it fitted perfectly with every detail a we wanted. But this time,. at the moment, it has to be cheaper.

 

Howdens do a standard cheap staircase but only in one size, 2600mm floor to floor. Our house is 2700mm floor to floor.

 

Rembrand keep pestering me so get a share of my joinery business, and I see they do this flat pack stair at any floor to floor height, and is in line with how much I want to spend http://www.rembrand.co/products/Kwikstair-Straight-Flight.html

 

However it's not that simple (it never is)

 

For a start I actually need 2 staircases, 13 steps in total, first run 6 steps to half landing, second run 7 steps to upstairs.  Now I though I could achieve that with a standard 13 stair straight run, and a saw. :ph34r:

 

Even if I achieve that, it doesn't get me the stairs I really want. For a start that basic stair has no newel posts. We need short newel posts at the top and bottom of each flight, on the left hand side when ascending.  Now to me with only basic joinery skills, fitting a newel post onto the top and bottom of a stair stringer is a proper joiners job, at least if you want it to look nice.

 

I would also like a half bullnose to the bottom step of the bottom flight.

 

Of course this customising to get exactly what you want is what you pay a joiner to do to make a stair that matches your needs. So am I barking even thinking about doing this myself with standard cheap parts?

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Are you prepared to write the cost of a cheap staircase and temporary handrail / balustrade off by replacing it with what you actually want long term as and when funds permit?

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I saw one at a petting zoo the other day made from scaffold boards and tile batten! The battens were barely supporting the treads!

 

I made a really simply wooden router jig to do this. Done with a 6mm bit that the radiussed edges of the timber fitted into a treat. When this was a full staircase, up to the tree house (pre spiral), the stringers were kept together at the ends and the middle with long studding and bolts. This just to back up the glued and screwed joints though not really needed:

 

SAM_5777

 

SAM_5779

 

SAM_5781

 

SAM_5780

 

SAM_5778

 

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Not really. The thing about a small budget, is you don't want to waste money on something that would ultimately be scrap. So it's either find a way to make something decent out of the cheap parts, or get SWMBO more used to the ladder.....

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I'll probably have 2 howdens staircases for sale in the coming weeks. Located in Plymouth. 

 

Failing that have you you looked at stairbox? Depends on your definition of cheap I suppose, at least you'd get the sizes and the bullnose you require. 

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Transport from Plymouth would kill any Howdens staircase. I will get a price from them for a new one, if it's cheap enough to be throw away then I might consider one. It would have to be bodged due the floor to floor height being wrong so would not meed BR but would do as temporary if it were cheap enough.

 

I shall have to research stairbox. Do you have a link?

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I use Pears Stairs - always seem to beat the others. 

 

Howdens is £99 plus VAT - fairly easy to butcher as you've got a half landing. You could lose the 100mm in a set of blocks at the bottom and then an extra 30mm when you step up and step off the landing and it wouldn't be noticeable. 

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Not sure how Mrs ProDave would react to this idea, but in terms of temporary stairs, would a pallet staircase be an option? Depends on dimensions etc but if you're not looking to get the whole place signed off by BuildRegs yet, it may be an option. The ones I have in my pallet collection are German engineered and all the same size. With a bit of a scaffolding pole as hand rail, it could look quite good. 

 

I'm still trying to persuade my boss about this...

 

I do have to admit I have a pallet fetish.

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All my pallets got turned into a shed.

 

I did previously have a scaffold staircase set up, I had to take that down as it was in the way for a few jobs, but it could go back up again, but SWMBO did not like climbing that either, it was a small number of very big steps.

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Okay, I am on the verge of ordering my stairs. I thought it worth listing the options I looked at:

 

Pear Stairs came in at £900 for the basic price, that was before I started tweaking things that were outside the scope of their on line design tool, so very likely to have risen in price.

 

TK stairs, I could not get their on line design tool to produce the staircase I wanted. I got close but had to fudge it.  The basic price was coming in at £799. I contacted them with the saved quote and a list of the changes I needed to get it to a final quote. A week later they have not replied.

 

Stairbox of all of them had the best on line design tool. Read into that the only one that could (almost) properly give me the staircase I wanted. The initial price was very keen. So I got them to tweak the few things I wanted changed (just short dwarf newel posts, and a slightly longer going at 260mm giving an angle of 38 degrees) I was initially a bit peeved when that pushed the price up another £150, but they are still the cheapest at £811 inc VAT and delivered

 

The local joiner wants £1420 plus VAT.

 

So it looks like Stairbox will be getting the order.

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I’ve just had my 2 Stairbox flights fitted this past week. Very happy with my decision and price. 

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Well my stairs arrived from Staribox today.

 

Managed to get the top flight in.

 

stairs_1.thumb.jpg.3e79456160df7c508ed0b204e85f9968.jpg

Unfortunately there is a problem with the two newel posts that join the top and bottom flight. They don't fit and they have finished the top detail incorrectly.  I have emailed stairbox with pictures.

 

Unfortunately, until that is resolved I can't fit the lower flight (which in itself looks correct)

  • Sad 1

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All finished now.

 

There is a blog entry at the usual place http://www.willowburn.net/ Look for the entry "the stairs are in"

 

It took 2 iterations to get all the correct set of parts. The first replacement pair of newel posts one was fine but the other did not have the rounded top detail for the Fusion system handrails, so that had the be re made a second time adding to the delay before I could complete the installation.

 

But now it's finished, apart from handrails of course they will be much later.

 

stairs_2.thumb.jpg.d9ffb96ed1cd6251dd4cb0da8dbfdb84.jpg

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I have just ordered my stairs from StairBox, my builder always uses them and gives him a better trade price than I would get and they were still the best price when I looked around.

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If Stairbox can actually offer what you want through their online designer, I think you’ll struggle to find a better price. 

 

I enquired about a couple of simple “custom” changes. (We wanted a square instead of round curtail step) And it was £1000 for that change alone. However their off the shelf items are fantastic value compared to the competition. 

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I made 2 changes that were outside the scope of the on line designer. One was to increase the going to make them less steep (beyond the max the on line design tool would allow) and the other was the short newel posts with the top detail for the Fusion system handrails. Those changes added about £180 to the cost.  When I queried why I was told the extra going forced the stringers to go up in size a little.

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13 minutes ago, ProDave said:

I made 2 changes that were outside the scope of the on line designer. One was to increase the going to make them less steep (beyond the max the on line design tool would allow) and the other was the short newel posts with the top detail for the Fusion system handrails. Those changes added about £180 to the cost.  When I queried why I was told the extra going forced the stringers to go up in size a little.

 

 

That seems a fair enough cost, I guess mine was more of an actual custom request. 

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