staircase refurbishment costs in the uk

Staircase Refurbishment Cost in 2024 (UK Price Guide)

During my recent home renovation, I discovered that basic staircase refurbishments, such as sanding and staining, cost between £500 to £1,000. However, if you plan to completely overhaul a large straight staircase, expect to pay almost £4,000!

In this staircase refurbishment cost guide, I list the standard UK prices for typical jobs, from minor repairs to full replacement.

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Staircase Refurbishment Cost — 2024 UK Price Table

The table below covers average staircase refurbishment costs when hiring professionals. These costs include labour and materials and should only be used as a guide.

As straight wood stairs are the most common type, the prices below are based on these staircases.

For precise pricing in your area, obtain at least three quotes, ask for referrals and check testimonials. Labour rates will vary depending on your location, especially in London and the South East.

DescriptionTime RequiredAverage Cost
Sanding and staining1–2 days£500–£1,000
Remove and replace a balustrade (includes handrail, base rail, spindles and newel caps)2–3 days£1,500–2,000
Fit stair cladding1–2 days£750–£1,000
Full-service renovation*3–4 days£3,500–£4,000

*For example, reputable tradesmen like Hambledon Staircases charge £3,950 to fully renovate a straight staircase between 12–14 steps.

If you require a complete replacement (i.e. measure, build, install, and remove/dispose of the old staircase), jump to our ‘Staircase Replacement Section‘.

Property Age and Period Features

staircase with white banisters

If you have an ageing staircase in a period property, there are steps (pardon the pun) you can take to save its original features. Broken or loose balusters, creaky and worn treads or previous “modernisations” which require reversing are some of the problems you might encounter.

To learn more about restoring period features, check out this helpful guide to saving an old staircase.

DIY Minor Repairs and Renovation

Unless you have structural problems* or rot issues caused by an underlying damp problem, your staircase refurb may simply involve repairing outdated handrails and spindles.

*Pro Tip: Structural issues are best left to a trained carpenter/joiner, while damp issues often require a professional damp survey.

Or perhaps you want to “freshen up” your stairs with a lick of paint or new cladding. Depending on your DIY skills and experience, you can tackle these tasks yourself.

If you fancy going down the DIY route, below are three potential staircase jobs for you to consider:

1. Paint or Stain

If your property needs modernisation, painting your staircase will transform its appearance. Alternatively, consider staining your stairs if you prefer a more natural look and want to highlight the wood grain.

Either way, thoroughly sand down the surfaces to remove any existing paint or stain before you begin painting/staining.

2. Replace Balustrade

Changing the balustrade (handrail, base rail, spindles and newel caps) dramatically changes the look of your stairs, as demonstrated in the video below:

YouTube player

You can purchase a complete bannister and landing kit or buy the parts separately. Check out this article from Jackson Wood Turners for a list of tools and materials you might need.

3. Add Cladding

Stair cladding could be your best option if you prefer a wooden finish instead of carpet. It’s aesthetically pleasing and offers an affordable, simple solution for worn treads and risers. For example, this Oak Stair Klad is £178 for a three-pack. 

Safety note! If your treads/risers are damaged to the point of being unsafe, consult a professional first.

Staircase Replacement

beautiful staircase

Depending on your staircase’s state, it may be better to install a completely new staircase, provided it’s structurally feasible.

This section looks at the costs of a new staircase and things you must consider before making this big investment.

New Staircase Cost — 2024 UK Price Table

The table below covers average costs when fitting a brand-new staircase. These costs include labour and materials and should only be used as a guide.

Staircase TypeAverage Cost
Straight Flight Wood£1,250
Straight Flight Glass£16,500
Straight Flight Metal£6,500
Single Winder Wood (Quarter turn)£2,000
Double Winder Wood (Half turn)£3,750
Triple Winder Wood (Three-Quarter turn)£5,500
Spiral Wood£8,250
Spiral Metal£11,000

According to BuildIt, if you’re looking for a fancy bespoke staircase, prices start around £15,000, but spending between £30,000–£60,000 or more is not uncommon.

Building Regulations

Certain stipulations must be adhered to for a new staircase to comply with building regulations. These include: 

  • Balusters must be no wider than 100mm apart
  • 220mm minimum tread width 
  • 220mm maximum rise
  • 42 degrees maximum pitch
  • 2,000mm minimum above the pitch line for clear headroom

Note: These specifications can be an issue for older buildings.

Remember, any significant changes to your staircase design, either through refurbishment or replacement, must be approved by your local building authority.

Staircase Style and Material

four common staircase types
From the top left, working clockwise — Straight Flight, Single Winder, Double Winder and Triple Winder.

While it’s possible to get glass, metal, and stone staircases, the most common type is softwood or hardwood, with softwood being the less expensive option. Common styles include the following four types:

  • Straight Flight
  • Single winder (Quarter turn)
  • Double winder (Half turn)
  • Triple winder (Three-Quarter turn)

Other, less common types include, Spriral, Floating, Bespoke and Space Savers.

To get an idea of prices for your preferred style, check out this handy stair builder from TK Stairs.

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Final Thoughts

As we’ve seen, costs vary widely based on the condition of your existing staircase and your choice of style and materials.

If practical, I recommend renovating your existing staircase, especially if it has unique period properties that are difficult to replicate.

I also recommend avoiding materials such as glass and metal. The costs are high, and potential home buyers may not appreciate this less popular style. Remember, you can’t go wrong with a beautiful wood staircase, trust me!

If you don’t have the skills, time or inclination to do this job yourself, find highly-rated carpenters in your local area using Rated People.