Living areas and staircases will see the most traffic in a house, which means they’re subject to a significant amount of wear and tear over the years. Maintaining and inspecting your staircase is important, especially for those with large families, kids, and older homes.
Beyond aesthetics and space, you’ll need to consider the safety of your current staircase. Older staircases may need more maintenance and care, or they may need to be completely replaced. You can start by doing a bit of maintenance, paired with a thorough inspection and professional help. During the maintenance, not only will you find potential problems, but you may spark inspiration on whether you’d like to replace your staircase or simply repair and update it.
Creaking or Damaged Treads
Treads in the stairs are typically wedged tightly in position, keeping the stairs secure. Over time and heavy usage, these wedges will loosen. Creaky and insecure stairs occur as a result of loose wedges and worn treads. When this happens, check each stair, starting from the bottom. If it’s only a few steps, you can get away with a few repairs on it. However, if the majority of your steps are creaking and begging for replacement, it’s not a bad idea to consider an entirely new staircase design.
Loose Railings, Posts, & Balusters
During maintenance, you’ll want to remove any loose railings, posts, or balusters for cleaning. After cleaning, you can usually replace them and tighten them back to where they should be. In some cases, the staircase may be too old and they would remain loose. Again, if only a few parts need repair or replacement, that’s a budget-friendly way to go. However, when railings and posts start to go, that’s a sign of aging on a staircase, so it’s not a bad idea to go all-in for a new design.
It’s important to keep your staircase as attractive as it is safe. Many homeowners hang on to the idea that old and original staircases are good selling points, and they’re not entirely wrong. However, safe and attractive staircase designs will provide a much larger benefit than nostalgia. Updating or replacing an unattractive or unsafe staircase will dramatically increase the value of your home.
When looking at your old stairs, consider their location. According to Feng Shui, it’s a bad idea to have a front door that opens up directly to your stairs. The idea is that the energy at the bottom of the stairs can cause stress and is allegedly an omen of financial failure. You also don’t want the stairs to be placed in a location that will eat extra space. Work with a professional project manager, staircase designer or interior decorator to determine which location is best for your staircase. Placement alone is enough to justify replacing your staircase if it’s in a terrible, annoying location.
Stairs come in a variety of shapes and styles. This is your chance to determine if you want to keep what you have or opt for a new layout. Each layout boasts a different benefit that will be perfect for a variety of situations, do some research and show your favorites to a trusted contractor. Straight and spiral staircase designs take up less space than L or U shaped stairs. However, L/U staircases, and 3 section staircases are often the safest, as they offer 1-2 landings in between steps. There are also ladder style stairs for lofts, as well as curved and trapezoid stairs with landings for commercial buildings, schools, and larger homes.
Beyond the maintenance and location, there are a few additional points to consider when inspecting and evaluating your staircase. In most situations, you can completely redesign and replace your staircase in the same amount of time it would take you to refinish your current stairs. You’ll also want to factor in the shape and design of your staircase. Are you partial to larger staircases, or would you prefer a space-saving spiral staircase? After considering the points above, begin to ask yourself questions about location, style, and function. You’ll want to consider ever small intricate detail to your staircase design, including railings, posts, balusters, treads, and whether or not you’d like carpeting.
Ultimately, it’s best to work with a professional project manager or trusted purveyor of staircase design services. Not only will you benefit from having a professional complete your project, but you’ll also be happy that you had an experienced advocate helping you make the best decisions for your new staircase design.
Contact Acadia Stairs today to learn more. You can work with one of our professionals to share ideas and discuss maintenance, inspection, and repair/replacement. Whether you decided to repair or completely redesign your staircase, our skilled contractors will help you every step of the way.