Relocating stairs? Rough cost?

domino3October 1, 2012

I'm playing with some layouts for my home and wondering how expensive it is to modify my stairs. It is a 1950 ranch with a staircase straight down from the main level to the floor below (garage level). My home design would greatly improve if I could turn the staircase 90 degrees or do a switchback or L stairway (not sure the real names for these - I'm making them up ) but I can work around it if changing stairs is a budget buster ...

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1950's stairs will not pass current building codes for rise and run. If you touch them at all, you'll have to comply with the new code and they will take up more room. Again, they will swallow up more space, so you HAVE to account for that in your plans.

If you are not moving the opening to the second floor, then it's less of an issue about restructuring, but it still will not come cheap. The only way to know is to get several local quotes from from contractors. I'd bet that 5-7K would cover it for a basic stair with carpeting. If you wanted to get more upscale with wood treads and iron spindles and a complex landing layout, you could easily double that price.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 10:37PM
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Stairs are one of the components in a house that seem deceptively simple, but may not be! For example, are there walls enclosing the existing stair and are they load bearing? If you relocate and/or reconfigure the stairs what will happen to the adjacent rooms or spaces where the new stairs are proposed to be located?

How will you support the new floor opening required for the new stair shape/location? Are there affected HVAC, electrical or plumbing?

Relocating or reconfiguring stairs can be done but it may take experience and skill to recognize all of the issues beyond just the carpentry to build some new stairs somewhere. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 8:55AM
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As you've heard from other posters, it isn't exactly cheap. However, it is a shame when someone does a major remodel and accepts a poor layout because they were worried about how it can cost "so much" to move the stairs. Yes, it will cost extra, but it might be only $7-$10k extra and if you are doing a significant renovation you may be able to make other changes to accomodate that.

For instance, you might determine that changing the stairs creates a layout that is SO much better you're willing to use a more common flooring material or do all the finish painting yourself in order to afford it. Definitely get estimates from local builders & find out what the current code for stairs is in your area.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 12:25PM
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Thank you all so much for the helpful answers - they were exactly what I needed.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:51PM
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