10. Potential homebuyers may be discouraged from buying your home because of outdated stairs. Unfortunately for many home sellers they do not realize the importance of the staircase or balustrade in making that first impression of their homes interior. In fact they may never realize what they lost in time and money because they didn’t consider remodeling stairs before selling. The value of a well-designed, aesthetically pleasing staircase to help sell the home is evident by the fact that if a home for sale has one, it features prominent in all of their advertising and marketing. Just as true as an ugly banister can discourage a potential buyer, a beautiful design can inspire them.
9. Your stairs creak or rattle when you walk up and down them. You don’t need me to tell you what your noisy stairs are squeaking about every day: Fix me! Fix me! This is often a very easy fix and doesn’t require much remodeling at all. You simple have to find the source of the problem then learn how to eradicate it. You can find out how to repair squeaking treads or rattling balusters in some of our previous posts. Just do a search on this page for your particular problem; chances are we’ve helped other customers in the past.
8. Now is a perfect time. I don’t mean to say this like some late night infomercial. What I mean is that if for any other of the reasons on this list you want to change or repair your stairs or balustrade now may just be the time for you. Perhaps you have a tax refund or are anticipating a family shindig in your home. If you want it fixed and have the money now is a great time to get stair parts. There are more styles, designs and options available today than ever before. Competition is fierce so prices are very reasonable. In fact, most people are surprised at how inexpensive a stair or banister renovation can be. When you consider that this is the largest piece of permanent furniture in your home, with possibly hundreds of parts, you might be fearful of what it will cost. With a little research, you will find that it may not be as expensive as you expected or that you can reuse many of your existing parts and still make a dramatic visual impact.
7. You simply cannot stand another day looking at that pathetic excuse of architectural design or craftsmanship. If things are this bad then it is obviously time for a change. Often your balustrade is not exactly what you’d like but it is really ok. Other times, it is a cheap 1970’s nightmare. In this case, you can be sure that everyone who enters your house is wincing with you. If you are selling your home this is particularly detrimental.
6. You want to revitalize your interior by upgrading to a fresh and inspiring new balustrade. So perhaps your stairs aren’t that bad but like all of us you spend a great deal of time building your home. I don’t mean building your house, but slowly over time making that house your home. Many people imagine a dream home that is very different from their current house. Others realize that with some creativity and imagination most spaces can be transformed. Beautiful doesn’t always mean grand and sweeping but simply inspirational. The internet is full of images of simple yet breathtaking stairs and balustrades in small areas that could very easily have been uninspiring. The difference between those and the run-of-the-mill stairs we see every day is simply a little artistic creativity.
5. You want to use this unique architectural feature to help sell your home. The opposite of number 10, is actually using your stairs to help sell your home faster. Any feature that distinguishes your home from the one down the street will give you an advantage. People shop in areas and neighborhoods that accommodate their budget and usually the homes in particular areas are often very similar. As a homeowner, you already know this. So, any improvements you can make to distinguish your home from the many others each homeowner will undoubtedly look at before buying gives you a great advantage. Often the stairs are in the entry where the first and last impression of your home’s interior is made. Stairs and railings that make a good impression will always help move your home faster.
4. You can do-it-yourself. A major fallacy that discourages people from upgrading their stairs is that the parts and professional installation are expensive. While it is true that stairs and railings span a large range of prices, and can be expensive, they don’t have to be. If you are someone with a small amount of woodworking skill and a few tools (all of which you can rent) you can probably handle a typical stair project. There are enough how to and instructional resources on the web that you can find answers to virtually any situation. Basically, a staircase and banister is a collection of individual components. If I were to ask you if you could install a single newel post or baluster, for most the answer is “of course”. If you can do that then you simply have to do it over and over again. It will take some time and patience but remember it is just repeating a few procedures many times. Personally, I have no understanding of engines but I have replaced starters, brakes, and a few other items simply by buying what I need than replacing the old with the new. Often you can do this with stair parts, keeping those that “work” and replacing only the bad ones, such as wood balusters with new wrought iron balusters.
3. Money! Many people think that stairs will cost them money. This is true if you are renovating a home you plan to keep. However, if you’ve ever watched a home remodeling or flipping show you already know that stairs feature prominently in their to-do lists. The reason for this is that a well-designed and budgeted stairs and railings add more value to your home than they cost and they can elicit those emotional impulses that encourage people to buy. So in addition to selling your home for more money, as I mentioned earlier you can sell it faster too. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to scrap your entire system for a new one. It could be as simple as repainting or staining or just updating a few components. Often this is done by replacing outdated wood with iron balusters or attaching newel post; just a little something to add value and make your home stand out. This is a win-win for you and the buyer.
2. Your stairs and railings are not up to current building codes. Building codes have evolved over the years to deal with inherent dangers. Guardrail heights have risen slightly to provide fall protection for people leaning against or over them. The maximum baluster spacing has been reduced to prevent injuries to children and pets and to add strength to the balustrade as a whole. Many people think that the 4” sphere is ridiculous because no one could ever get their head stuck between them even at 6”. While this is probably true, the real issue is that fewer balusters mean less strength even if the railing feels secure. If someone were to fall against the balusters, the closer together they are the more they can withstand.
1. Your stairs or railing system is unsafe and dangerous. Most people don’t realize the inherent danger in stairs and railing systems. Like number 2 above, this reason for remodeling your stairs or railing system should never be overlooked. Consider the following statistics from the National Safety Council.