Building new stairs and railings, or updating existing ones can be a very important home improvement tasks. Stairs and railings are not only part of the aesthetic and decorative aspects of your home, but they pose a safety concern as well. Stair railings are for more than just decoration; they provide stability for those traveling up and down the stairs. After years of use, many wood stairwells begin to come loose. The railing may feel wobbly or just seem slightly loose when force is placed on it. Additionally, you may find that you have that one squeaky wooden stair that announces to the world that you are walking on it. These are not things that you have to live with.
One cost factor to consider which will always affect the cost of a stair and railing installation and repair is the complexity of the layout of the stairs. A simple straight staircase that brings you from the first floor to the second floor, hung flush against a wall is a much simpler staircase job than a spiral staircase that sweeps around the center of a room and will more than likely be less of a cost to install and fix. Continue Reading
When wood stair railings are initially installed they are sturdy even though they may have some give to them - this is OK. After prolonged use the wood stair railings can become less sturdy and unsafe just through basic wear and tear and strain on the wood. This, too, is normal and OK - but does need to be addressed. The majority of wood stair railings are installed using wood glue and wood screws. The glue has natural flexibility to it but screws will simply dig into the wood, splinter it and then eventually loosen.
Railing cost will be affected by intricacy of the design of the railings and baluster, number of posts, type of material, type of mount, curve, etc. Regardless, if you hire a professional carpenter to fix or install your stair railings, you can be sure that you and your family are safe.
With all the parts that it takes to build a staircase, it's pretty much inevitable that stairs will eventually start to squeak. In addition to simply being walked on, seasonal contractions and expansions further contribute to the loosening of the joints. It can all add up to a heck of a racket. Stairs that were constructed with glue in addition to nails and screws - less common the older your house is - generally are less prone to squeaking, but wear and time do tend to take their toll. Keep in mind that the noise doesn't mean your stairs are necessarily about to fall down, they just need tightening up. Your professional will be able to identify exactly where the noise is coming from and fix the areas and get rid of the squeak. This is normally a quick fix and a minimal cost - but the benefit is HUGE!
Fixing a broken railing is a bit more straightforward than fixing a broken stair. There can be a problem if your railing is particularly ornate and can't be easily replaced. If the railing is cracked, your professional may be able to repair the wood in such a way that it isn't noticeable, although it may not be as strong as it once was. If your railing is outside, you may need to replace it completely and consider replacing your other railings to match, if necessary. Outside railings need special treatment to protect them from the weather.
Stairs are made up of several parts - every step in a staircase has two parts: the "tread" which is the horizontal board that you walk on and the "riser" which is the vertical board linking each pair of treads. They are joined with grooved joints or simple butt joints. Both parts are nailed to the stringers or, with the housed stringer, held tightly in the stringer grooves by wedges driven from the underside of the staircase. If you have a broken stair, it may not just be the part that you step on - it could be any piece that is a part of the staircase. Your professional will be able to take a look and provide an accurate estimate of what it will take to safely fix your broken stair.