make over the main stairs
Upgrading your staircase is a great way to refresh a hall and create a good impression
Changing your staircase’s look or position can transform your house
Revamping your staircase is a big job. Anyone who has done it before will tell you it’s not something to be undertaken lightly. But they will also tell you that it will transform your home, and is well worth the effort and money.
Before you dismiss the idea, consider that updating your stairs has lots of benefits beyond simply making them safer. You can create a more spacious hall, add hidden storage to reduce clutter, or even indulge your creative side.
If you decide to go ahead, there are a few things you should be prepared for. As this is a central area in your home, there will be disruption – and we don’t just mean the stairs being out of action. The place will likely get very dusty, so pack away your furniture and ornaments and try to keep internal doors shut. The upstairs will also be inaccessible, which could be a problem if you don’t have a downstairs loo.
Whether you’re tackling the work yourself or bringing in a company, it will take about three days. If possible, it’s a good idea to sleep elsewhere overnight, or at least send your kids to stay with family while the project is taking place.
W here to start
Unless you’re a DIY expert, the safest idea is to get a professional to install your stairs. You can order a complete measure and fit service, or buy a flatpack staircase and then employ a carpenter to install it for you. It can cost anywhere between £250 and £20,000, so if you’re looking for something more straightforward, it pays to shop around for the best deal.
Building regulations are endless when it comes to stairs – from how much head height is required to acceptable width between spindles and depth of steps, but your manufacturer should already be compliant with all of these. It never hurts to check, though, as each home is different.
Style it out
The last thing to consider is the exciting bit – the design. Even if you have very little space, there are still plenty of options to choose from. Replacing like for like is tempting, as you know it will work, but think about small changes, such as a new style of spindles, adding a carpet runner (or taking it away) or a different kind of riser (solid or open). The smallest deviations from your usual style can really make an impact. And if you’re really not up for a complete overhaul, there are still lots of things you can do to change the look of your staircase. Jobs such as replacing spindles, swapping solid-wood sides for glass or adding floor-level lighting will cause minimal disruption but still create impact. You can make practical alterations, too, such as including storage underneath. And for the ultimate cosmetic makeover, how about wallpapering or painting the individual risers?
A pale vinyl floor will add light and longevity to a hall – try stonemark toucan cushion vinyl, £24 per sq m, Leoline
Walls in Grey teal and marigold matt emulsion, £38 per 2.5ltr; skirting in Wood Ash traditional oil gloss, £58 per 2.5ltr, all Little Greene