If you have recently, or are soon going to, remodel your stairway or railing system you may want to consider what to do with the components you are replacing. I hope you will decide to keep your old stair parts, which can serve a wide variety of good uses once you’ve decided to upgrade them during your renovation. Sadly, more often than not, the old components are just thrown away to add another layer to the landfill. However, while they may have made a poor, outdated or unsecure balustrade, there are many uses for these components and throwing them out is an unnecessary waste.
Once you’ve decided that you will do something with your old stair parts, even if you are not sure what, the first step is to remove them with a little more care than if they are going to end up in the land fill. I think that this is one of the biggest reasons that they are so often discarded. It is much easier, and honestly more fun, to just lay into the old system with a sledge hammer, destroying it completely before hauling off the rubble. If you plan to reuse them in some fashion, you will have to take a little more time and care to remove the wood or wrought iron balusters, newel posts and handrails more or less intact. Here’s where the possible uses come into consideration.
Here are a few ways that old parts can be reused and one way not to use them. I’ll begin with the one way we do not recommend. Several of our customers over the years, when we’ve made this suggestion have told us that they plant to use the old parts as firewood. Here is the warning, stain, paints and other sealers can release harmful chemicals when burned and it’s not good for you or the environment. I’m not sure but it’s probably better if they end up in the landfill than the fireplace. Ok, so some of the many uses that we do recommend are as follows. Floor level balustrades can actually be reused very easily. Complete sections or the individual stair parts can be resold online through venues such as ebay, or donated to your local charity. Remember someone else may love your previous system, or in the very least it may not be as bad as what they currently have 🙂 My personal favorite is donating to non-profit companies that exist in virtually every location that use old stair parts (especially balusters and newel posts) to make toys and furniture for underprivileged children in the US and abroad. It may take a little research but a Google search will surely uncover some of these companies and you can be assured that your old parts will find a new and often better purpose through them. There are also many high school or trade school shop classes that will take your components to use as education tools for their students. Finally, another easy way to get rid of and insure a future for your old stair parts is to post an ad in your local thrifty ads. There are always hobbyists that can use wood or wrought iron stair parts in their next project, whether for toys, tables beds or whatever.
Hopefully you will realize that it is usually a good idea to keep your old stair parts and give them a future in someone else’s project. Newel Posts and Balusters especially can be used for table legs, decorative embellishments to someone’s hobby project, artistic creations or toys and furniture for children. So, at least give it a thought. If you were planning to haul it to the dump, it may even save you the disposal fee while helping someone out in return. Give us a call if you have any questions about your new replacement stair parts. WoodStairs.com is the largest online retailer of wood and wrought iron balustrade components including handrails, newel posts, balusters, stair treads, tools and accessories. More than this we are always here to help with your project, from design through completion, our Stair Professionals are ready to assist you. 888-390-7245
Article by: Jeremy Trimmer