Home improvement and renovation projects can be an exciting process, allowing you to pick and choose every element to create a space that is truly yours. However, when you are working to a budget, it is important to prioritise where to spend your money and where you can look for savings with cheaper, more standardised options.
For example, there are now several kinds of ‘kit staircases’ available for order online. Whilst these often seem relatively cheap, they can have a number of drawbacks and hidden costs which are important to be aware of.
Potential problems with cheap kit staircases
Kit staircases are usually much cheaper as they are mass produced to standard sizes outside of the UK and often supplied to a number of different countries. Building requirements can vary quite significantly from region to region, which potentially means that a kit staircase will not be designed to be compliant with the Building Regulations in your region. If issues are found, you may be required to extensively alter or replace the staircase, costing you more money.
Quality control issues
Another potential pitfall with this mass-produced approach is that the quality of materials and finish can be lacking. We have been asked to replace kit staircases where the owner described the handrail as being “like pipework”. Even if the construction is sound, the finish might not live up to expectations and, in cases where the staircase is painted or powder coated, it may be difficult to touch up or recoat over time.
Unclear instructions and poor support
We’ve all run into issues with poor instructions when trying to put up flat pack furniture. The same is true for many kit staircases. In addition to adding a lot of time and frustration to a project, this can also introduce safety issues if key pieces are improperly fixed. This issue is made worse where suppliers have only limited technical support and cannot provide effective advice and guidance if you run into issues.
Difficult to adjust
Our homes and buildings come in all shapes and sizes, and this makes it hard to match up a standard staircase with a given space. In addition to the challenge getting the stair heights to match the floor level precisely, uneven walls and floors can also present significant issues. In the case of spiral staircases, you’ll also be limited on the diameter of staircase that is available – this means it can end up either narrower than you’d like, or eat into the floor space in your room.
All of these factors above mean that you can actually end up spending a lot of additional time and/or money during the project trying to get the cheap spiral staircase to fit within a space. One of our customers recently had this precise issue. Having ordered a recommended kit staircase, they found it was poor quality and didn’t fit properly within the space. As a result, they ended up starting from scratch and ordering a bespoke staircase from us that properly matched their vision and space. This meant that the whole project was delayed for several weeks and obviously incurred more costs.
Benefits of a bespoke staircase
Here at British Spirals & Castings, we believe bespoke is best. In fact, the whole reason we got started was that our owner, Richard Harding, was unable to find a suitable spiral staircase for his home and so decided to make his own! Our bespoke staircases can offer a number of benefits.
Work to meet your budget
Bespoke staircases will always be somewhat more expensive than kit alternatives. However, our priority is always to ensure you get the best value from your investment. Where budgets are tight, we can make recommendations on how to keep costs down through design choices. For example, our Scandinavian staircases can be supplied with plywood treads which have a modern aesthetic but come at a lower cost than hardwoods.
Designed for you and your home
With a bespoke staircase, you get exactly what you are looking for. All aspects of the design will be tailored to your tastes and needs from the width of treads to the design, materials and finishes. We offer a wide range of different designs of straight, spiral and kited staircases along with balconies and railings and can also create entirely bespoke designs to your own patterns or to match ones that you like. We also use the latest computer design approaches to develop your design, meaning you can perfectly visualise how it will look before we start work on your staircase.
End to end quality control
All our pieces are manufactured right here in Britain. Our cast aluminium staircases and balconies are cast at our specialist Staffordshire foundry using traditional methods and high-quality materials. Each piece is then finished and quality assessed by our workshop team in Derbyshire, ensuring it meets exacting standards. This means you can have complete confidence that the fit and finish will be of the highest standards.
All our cast staircases and balconies are manufactured from aluminium at our foundry. This provides the look and feel of cast iron but is far lighter. In addition to making it a bit easier to manoeuvre into place, this can also substantially reduce the structural loading requirements when fitted inside a building (particularly for loft conversions), or the size and extent of foundations when fitted outside. This can help to reduce the cost of installations.
A family business prioritising your needs
We are truly a family business and bring that ethos to all aspects of our work. Richard and his son Ben are both directors and many of our workshop team have been with the company for many years having joined originally as apprentices. For this reason, we take real pride in ensuring that all our pieces are of the highest quality and are backed up with excellent services at every stage from the initial design conversations, right through to delivery and long-term maintenance. Whatever you need, we’re here to help. This ensures you can be confident that pieces will arrive on time and that some one will be on hand if you or your workers need help or advice during installation – ensuring the best possible final results.
If you need a staircase, railing, balustrade or balcony for your own project then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01663 750716. You can view a wide range of our designs in our gallery and submit a quote directly from there.