The last time we see our staircases in person is usually when they’re being boxed up in our workshop ready to head out to projects all over the globe. Often the installation itself is carried out by a local builder or tradesman chosen by the owner, but occasionally homeowners also fancy tackling it themselves. One such installation was carried out by a homeowner in Shropshire. When we caught up with the keen DIYer, Chris Pook, he had some tips which may come in handy for anyone planning to take on their own project:
1. Create space
Chris’ first tip is to unpack everything to get a good understanding of all the pieces:
“It helps to have a good sized space to lay out all of the component parts first so you can familiarise yourself with each bit and visualise how it all fits together.”
If possible, it is best to do this in the same space as you’re planning to install the staircase. This will make your life much easier when it comes time to construct the staircase. It’s not a major problem if you have to lay them out in another room just make sure you don’t construct it there – the last thing you need is to put it all together then find you can’t fit it through the door!
2. Read carefully
“Read the instructions through a couple of times before starting, so you can get a clear idea of how the installation will progress”.
Tempting as it can be to rush ahead, it’s important to check you properly understand the different steps and the order in which you need to progress. If you are unsure about anything, simply send us an email or give us a call and we’ll happily clarify what you need to do.
3. Take your time
Whilst relatively simple in their construction, large staircases can be quite heavy, and you will probably need regular breaks to get through the build. Set yourself a reasonable schedule and try and identify natural breaks in the project in case you need to separate the process out over several days.
“I built it in three ‘sittings’ after work each day, but you should allow 3-4 hours on the first session to get the ‘core’ and cast step supports in place.”
4. Tooled Up
If you’re planning on installing a staircase yourself, the selection of tools below will all come in handy:
- Tape measure
- Drill (including an SDS Drill if you’re fixing down into concrete)
- Socket wrenches
- Chisels (including bolster chisels if you’re rebating handrails into walls)
- Mitre saw (this will allow handrails to be adjusted to the angle of the wall).
- Spirit level
- Sharp pencil
5. Have help on hand
The height and proportions of a spiral staircase means you will almost certainly need at least one other person on hand to help out when it comes to installing the particularly long pieces.
“The handrail required an extra hand, not because it was heavy, more because it is awkward and long! “
The last thing you want is to damage the staircase, your home or yourself by trying to handle an ungainly piece alone!
6. Finishing Up
All the solid timber pieces supplied as part of our solid timber and Scandinavian staircases are delivered unfinished. This allows you to pick and choose between different options so you can achieve the precise look you want.
By following Chris’ tips, you should be well on the way to a perfect finish on your DIY staircase. If you are considering creating your own staircase and would like additional support, get in touch and we’ll help to create a design which precisely matches your requirements.