It’s all about timing

So far in 2017, we have replaced the treads on two staircases we have supplied and have had to order a complete new flight for one customer.  This is because our clients have installed the stair too early in the build process and damage has occurred. Our staircases generally have exposed hardwood treads which, in a building site environment with tradesmen pounding up and down, can be badly damaged –  even if protected.

We supply staircases for a living and through experience know when the time is right for the stair to be installed.  Unfortunately, some of our client’s and their project managers, whilst experts in their own profession, prefer to ignore our advice and insist on getting the stair in place too early.  It can be a costly error.

When to order your staircase

Order your stair comfortably ahead of schedule.  As a guide, our delivery period are generally 9 weeks from drawing approval with the drawing preparation and approval generally taking 1-2 weeks.  Do not however leave it this late as pressure and undue stress can cause mistakes in measuring, drawing or production and it could have so easily been avoided.

Placing the order for your stair doesn’t mean production must commence at the same time.  If you can order the stair say, 6 months ahead of when you need it will give us enough time to fine tune the overall design and to get some initial drawings prepared and tweaked.  So, when the production button is pressed, everyone if comfortable and confident with the product and the timings.

The measurements need to be ‘as finished’ accounting for any floor finishes, architraves, radiators window sills etc. These dims need to be taken as late as possible to allow for one final draft of drawings before production.  The earlier the site measurements are taken, the further they will be from the finished build.


When to install your staircase

Our custom-made stairs are generally constructed with high grade hardwood, beautifully lacquered or oiled with elements of stainless or powder coated steel and glass in the structure.  All these materials are liable to be damaged if the stair has been installed to early and openly used by tradesmen.  We always advise that our staircases should be one of the last items to be installed – perhaps a few days before the new property is fully occupied.   The walls should be plastered and painted and the finished floors laid – certainly downstairs.   Some builders like the staircase fitted halfway through the build but this is mainly so they don’t have to use ladders. They are probably also more familiar with conventional timber staircases which will later be carpeted.   Don’t be fooled by believing protecting the treads will be sufficient.  A visibly protected stair might actually encourage people to use it.

Communication and planning is the key to any successful project.   Schedule the install and order the stair in the early planning stage and plan to confirm production 10-11 weeks before it if required on site.  Keep in mind that the original date for the stair install might well shift due to other delays with the build so alter it accordingly and keep us informed.  Be careful with this as we do not have storage facilities and must deliver the stair once produced.

Please take our advice!  Due to damage, the three clients mentioned above have had to purchase new parts for their staircase and of course wait for them to be produced.

Want More Advice?

Get in touch with us now if you want to know more on this subject or if you want to discuss your staircase project.

You can call us on 01794 522 444 or email us at

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When To Install Your Staircase (Blog)