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Building a new staircase for your home can seem like an intimidating prospect, but with the right information, and the support of professional tradespeople, it can be the ideal way to improve the accessibility and value of your home.

Types of stairs

The first step is starting your new staircase project is to determine the kind of staircase you would like. Your carpenter or jointer can work with your to explain the woods and materials that might be used on what this would mean for your budget.

There are a number of different types of staircase you might consider installing:

  • Straight stairs – this is the simplest type of staircase. One set of stairs that runs from one floor to another.
  • Straight stairs with a central landing – two straight staircases joined with a small landing in between.
  • L-shaped stairs – two staircases, usually at a 90 degree angle to one another, commonly joined with a small central landing.
  • U-shaped stairs – two staircases joined with a small central landing that lead you to turn 180 degrees to approach the second set of stairs.
  • Spiral stairs – compact staircase that usually curves round a central pole two to three times.


Earlier project you will need to decide the kind of material you would like to use, whether you would like an enclosed space under the staircase or if you would prefer to leave it open, and whether you would like the wood finish to be natural, polished, varnished, or painted.


It is also important to consider other DIY projects ongoing in your home and whether these should be done before or after the installation of your new staircase, for example painting and decorating projects, such as plastering, should be done after semi-structural projects, such as staircases, are installed.

Important terms to know are ‘run’ and ‘rise’ The ‘rise’ of your staircase is the amount it increases in height with each step, including the tread, which is the board on which you walk. The ‘run’ is the length of each step, not the width. Once you know the ‘run’ and the ‘rise’ measurements, you will be able to accurately calculate the size of your stairs and the materials you will need.

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