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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Achieving a Bolstered Beauty with Balusters

Wrought Iron Balusters

Home and building owners are always considering ways to enhance the value and appeal of their real estate properties. Balusters can function as a safety feature for pretty much any building. In addition, they can add to the aesthetic appeal of the space.

Balusters are popularly used on stairs between the handrails and the landing. But they can also be used for other areas of a building. They are also handy for enclosing play areas for small pets and toddlers. You may even use them to support pretty much anything. Other creative uses include using them as wall ornaments and candle holders.

They create a barrier that keeps the things you want inside. Depending on how they are installed they can prevent a creeping baby, a toddler or even a pet, for instance from falling from a ledge.  An exciting game of indoor football can go on without too many extended breaks since the stair balusters can prevent the ball from getting too far.

You can dress up your balusters with a creative paint job. Different varnish shades also go a long way in enhancing the look of these safety/decorative stair parts. These stair parts can be found in pretty much any material, steel, concrete, wood you name the construction material and there is likely a dealer who can provide the balusters.

They also come in a variety of styles and designs. As with anything else you are encouraged to shop around when looking for these creative stair parts. Ensure that all your wood products are treated before purchase, unless you plan to do some treating yourself. The best way to ensure that you get properly treated wood is to buy from a reputable dealer or manufacturer.

Finding the Right Stair Parts for Your Home Decorating project

Wood Baluster Installation

Whether you are remodeling your home or planning the interior design for your new home you will want to explore your interior and exterior design options. The appeal of the home is determined by the location as well as its appearance. There are a number of options that will allow you to increase the physical attractiveness of your home. These include hardware items such as stair parts. These are very handy whether you are just installing your stairs or enhancing the existing ones.

Designing the interior of a home is serious business these days. A great design can add to the appeal of the home thereby making it more attractive to prospective buyers or renters. It can also make the space more attractive to those who share it.  Adding a little pizzazz to the stairs is one way to enhance the appeal of any home. This can be done for interior as well as exterior stairs.

When browsing through the options, ensure that you consider the theme that you have in mind for the building. Also consider the size and style that you would like for your project. There are a few questions that you want to ask yourself as consider your options. Some of these are; What shape and size do I want for my hand rails and balusters? For how long will I be keeping this stair case? and How easy will these parts be to assemble? The last question is especially important for those who plan to approach the project as ‘do it yourselfers’.

The advantage of wood is that it can be easily tailored to suit changing needs. A little sanding and trimming, for instance or a little sand paper and varnish can add spice to the appearance of the hand rail on your stairs. You should note though that untreated wood can cause serious problems later on. It is best therefore to ensure that your dealer is providing you with properly treated wood products before embarking on any deal.

Using the Bore Buster to Drill Handrails


Drilling a stair handrail to accept dowel top wood or wrought iron balusters is a relatively simple concept that can be easily done by a skilled craftsman or using the correct tool.  Each baluster requires a hole drilled plumb into the handrail centered over the baluster itself.  The hole must be centered in the rail, correctly spaced and drilled to the correct depth and most importantly be drilled plumb.  While it is possible to drill the holes correctly simply using a drill and a good eye, by far the fastest and most accurate method available is using LJ Smith’s Bore Buster®.  This is because drilling one or more of the holes at a slight angle causes a number of issues.  First the miss drilled holes may cause the balusters to pull the handrail and the balusters out of plumb, they may cause the balusters to be very difficult or impossible to install or they holes may chip out under the pressure of trying to rectify the situation.
While our typical blogs do not address specific tools or products available on our site, LJ Smith’s Bore Buster® is so perfectly suited for its job that it warrants special attention.

This tool dramatically increases both the quality and speed of balustrade installation. It allows you to drill precise perpendicular or angled holes into straight or curved wood handrails.  It is lightweight and extremely tough and fits most handrail profiles.

The baluster holes are laid out on the bottom side of the handrail, Bore Buster® is attached to the handrail, adjusted to the correct pitch and then each hole can then be then drilled, automatically centered and to the correct pitch.  The unit is then moved to each subsequent layout mark in order to precisely drill that hole and so on and so on.  LJ Smith really has thought of everything with this tool, in addition to drilling for balusters, the Bore Buster® makes handrail end and rail bolt drilling fast and easy as well.

Remodeling your stairs to sell your home

Stairs to Sell Home

One of our largest categories of customers at is remodelers.  We’ve been asked countless times over the years how important is it to remodeling your stairs to sell your home.  While I admit we are definitely not the most unbiased of sources for this information ourselves we have had thousands of customers who’ve shared their experiences.  The overwhelming majority of customers who we’ve heard from regarding their decision to remodel their stairs in an effort to either help sell their home or to increase its value maintain that a balustrade remodel does both.  We tend to agree.  Our business is in large part based on remodeling customers.  With so many customers seeing the value in replacing their outdated balustrade, it is no surprise to us that home buyers feel the same way.  Of course, remodeling your stairs is only advantageous if your existing version is in some way outdated, unstable or just plain ugly.  Basically, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

Otherwise, stairs and railings are often ba major architectural feature of your  home.  Your finest piece of permanent furniture.  Especially entry stairs and railings that in large part, establish the first impression of a home’s interior upon entering and leaving behind the “curb appeal” of the exterior.  They also serve to reinforce the overall tone of your home as you leave through the front door.  If they are outdated, insecure or dilapidated, a potential home buyer’s impression may be the opposite of what you’d hope even with an otherwise beautiful home.  Many people doing walk throughs are mentally noting the renovations they themselves will have to make in order to turn your home into theirs.  Many are hoping the home is ready to move in; others will personalize minor details such as paint, window treatments, etc.  Stairs and railings can seem a daunting project for someone unaware of the options.  This could be a big deterrent to a potential homebuyer who may be concerned with having to settle for a less than ideal staircase in their new home or the thoughts of having to add additional money on top of the sales price.