staircase refurbishment costs

Staircase Refurbishment Cost UK – 2022 Price Guide & Money-Saving Tips (Updated)

Whether your staircase is falling into disrepair, or you just want to bring it into the 21st century, you’ll need to know what costs you’ll be looking at.

You’ll also want to know whether it’s something you can do yourself or if it’s best left to the professionals.

Here we look at the common scenarios, what you can do for a quick renovation, and how much a full stair refurbishment might cost. 


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Property Age and Period Features

staircase with white banisters

If you have an ageing staircase in a period property and want to keep the original features, you can take steps to ensure this. Broken or loose balusters, creaky and worn treads or previous “modernisations” which require reversing are some of the problems you might encounter. The Homebuilding and Renovating website has this helpful article for saving an old staircase.

Otherwise, unless you have issues with wet or dry rot caused by an underlying damp problem, your staircase renovation may just be a case of repairing or replacing loose or outdated handrails and spindles. Perhaps you simply want to “freshen up” your stairs. In which case, a lick of paint or laying a new carpet will do.


Minor Repairs and Renovation

Depending on your DIY skills and abilities, you could tackle some of these tasks. Structural issues are best left to a trained carpenter or joiner. Below are some jobs that you can either do yourself or hire someone to do for you:

Painting

If your property needs modernisation, smartening up the balustrade with a lick of paint will instantly update your stairs. First, ensure you thoroughly sand down the surfaces to remove any existing paint or varnish. 

Replace the Railings

Changing the balustrade (handrail, base rail, spindles and newel caps) could completely transform the look of your stairs, as demonstrated by The Restoration Couple in the video below:

YouTube player

You can get a complete bannister and landing kit, or you could buy the parts you need separately. Look at this article from Jackson Wood Turners for a list of tools and products you might need.

Stair Cladding

If you want a wooden finish rather than a carpeted one, stair cladding could be your best option. Aesthetically pleasing, it offers a cosmetic solution for worn treads and risers. Cladding can transform your staircase without the need to replace the entire unit. 

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

For example, this oak-look Stair Klad starts at £114 for a three-pack. 

Loose Treads or Risers

Unless you’re a trained joiner or carpenter, consult with a professional about any loose/damaged treads or risers and whether they can be repaired. It’s better to be sure that your stairs are safe. Once repaired, you can decide on the finishing touches.


Replacing the Staircase

beautiful staircase

Depending on your needs, a complete stair refurbishment could be very expensive. It may be cheaper to install a new staircase, provided it’s structurally feasible.

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 maximise rise
  • 42 degrees maximum pitch
  • 2,000mm minimum above the pitch line for clear headroom

These specifications could be an issue if your home is an older building. The property’s internal dimensions may differ in comparison to the modern construction of the staircase. 

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

Staircase Material and Cost

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. 

Prices for wooden straight staircases start at around £250. Others range from single winder, half-landing, Z-shape and more, with hardwood prices around £2,000, depending on the style. An average installation can take around 2 days, not allowing for removing an existing staircase. You can expect to pay £200 – £400 in labour. 


Staircase Refurbishment Cost UK – 2022 Cost Comparison Table

The table below shows how much a stair refurbishment will cost if hiring a professional. These costs include labour and the materials mentioned above. 

If you choose the DIY option, material costs do not include any tools you may need, nor any finishing touches such as carpet, varnish, or paint. 

Labour rates are intended as a guide only and have been obtained from the sources listed beneath the following table. Please consider that labour rates will also vary depending on your location in the country. 

DescriptionMaterial CostTime RequiredLabour Cost (approx.)
Remove and replace balustrade on a regular staircase£2253 days£540
Fit stair cladding to a regular staircase£4561 – 2 days£200 – £400
Replace 1 regular, straight staircase (softwood)£3002 days£400
Entire Job: (measure, build, install, and remove/dispose of old staircase)£3002+ days£2,000 – £4000

The above prices should be taken as a guide only, and you are advised to seek independent quotations. As always, obtain at least three quotations, ask for referrals and check testimonials.


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Staircase Refurbishment Cost UK – Final Thoughts

Unless there are serious structural issues affecting your staircase, most refurbishments will be a case of improving the aesthetic appeal of your stairs. 

If you’re handy when it comes to DIY and pretty confident in your ability, renovating the stairs yourself will save you money. However, if safety, skill level or time are an issue, contact Rated People and call in a professional.