We’ve all had a go at a bit of DIY from time to time, whether it’s putting together some flat pack furniture or replacing broken guttering, but how about building your own staircase? Whilst the dimensions and weight can certainly present a challenge, installing a staircase is actually much easier than you might think – the secret is careful planning and clear instructions. We’ve helped homeowners all over the world to build their own staircases, including an external staircase in Greece, and in 2018 we helped a family get their new home extension in rural Shropshire ready for their third child.
The Pook family were building a two-storey extension at the rear of their home to give them a flexible space which would initially include a playroom for their three young children along with a first floor living room and en suite bedroom providing views out across the local countryside. The owners wanted a staircase to join the playroom and living room, allowing them to hear their children and also providing the option to convert the space into a separate flat in coming years when the children are grown. As they didn’t want to lose the floor space that a traditional straight staircase would take up, they opted for a spiral staircase.
“We knew that we wanted the spiral staircase to be high quality, timeless in design and also sturdy, so after a fair amount of time researching online we narrowed it down to British Spirals and Castings. After one phone call with Richard, and a follow up with his son, Ben, I knew we were on the right track.” – Chris Pook, Homeowner.
After discussing the available options, the owners chose a design from our Scandinavian spiral stair range. Drawing on the minimalist traditions of northern Europe, these staircases combine solid wood treads with simple metal spindles and a choice of wooden or metal handrails. We can craft these staircases in a range of Grade A hardwoods and the Pook family chose to have the treads, risers, newel posts and handrail crafted with solid oak. The staircase was designed with 4 circular profile aluminium spindles per tread, ensuring it is fully compliant with the Building Regulations.
Just in time
With the design agreed, our foundry team got to work casting the spindles and other metal components whilst our cabinet makers carved all of the timber elements. Whilst the Scandinavian design is purposefully stripped back, the finished staircase still includes some beautiful details such as a taper at the base of the newel. Once cast, all of the metalwork was powder coated with a grey finish at our workshop and packaged ready for delivery.
It was first-class, old fashioned customer service – you knew you were talking to someone who was both passionate and an expert in their product. They went out of their way to meet our deadline (our third child was due very soon and I promised my wife the extension would be finished before the birth!) – Chris Pook, Homeowner
Once we delivered the pieces, Chris Pook took on the challenge of fitting the staircase himself in the days running up to Christmas.
“It was actually fairly simple, provided you follow the instructions and have a fairly logical brain. I used to love building Airfix models and things like Mechano as a boy and enjoyed woodwork whilst at school so I knew how to handle some of the ‘finishing’ elements like plugging the holes with dowels and using a chisel to achieve a flush finish. The hardest part of the installation was fitting the free length oak hand rails at the top of the stairs as I had to chop these down and work out a way of fitting them securely to the adjacent stud walls – in the end I did this by rebating them in to the stud wall and fitting a timber noggin to screw the rebated end to for rigidity. The decorator then made good.” – Chris Pook, Homeowner.
Chris was able to complete the initial installation over a couple of days and then spent the next two days giving everything a final sand and then oiling it all.
“The team at British Spirals and Castings patiently answered my questions and offered pointers as to what would look good and I’m pleased to say it looks exactly like I envisaged and we were able to complete all the work on the extension a full 24 hours before our third child arrived!” – Chris Pook, Homeowner.
If you’re interested in installing your own bespoke staircase, Chris has some top tips to help you. You can browse all of our traditional and modern designs in our gallery. Once you know what you’d like, submit a quote and we’ll get to work on your own staircase.