The first stage in the production of a timber staircase whether a replacement in an existing property or a new feature in a new construction project is to take precise measurements. These are used in calculations to ensure that the new stairs will comply with Building Regulations, the steps must all be of the same height and the treads must be of the correct depth and the gaps in the balustrades to the sides must also be small enough so that a child cannot get stuck in the bars. The only exception to these rules is when a property is a listed building and then joinery may have to be replaced ‘like for like’.
The next stage in the design process is to decide what type of timber you require your staircase to be manufactured from.
A budget wooden staircase which is to be carpeted would probably have MDF treads and risers (the steps and vertical links between the steps) and softwood strings (the sides of the stairs). The same budget wooden staircase would have plain square balustrades (the vertical railings to the side of the stairs) and plain square newels posts (the chunky support posts at the top and/or bottom of the staircase)manufactured from softwood.
For a more impressive staircase, there is a wide range of timbers available (see our timber section) such as oak or ash and various designs of turned spindle. These more exotic timbers and turned components would make your staircase slightly more expensive but the result is well worth it.