Need help on estimating cost of replacing balusters

spookyoldtreeDecember 25, 2008

Hello All,

I'm currently thinking about replacing my wooden stair rails with the iron balusters. The first picture is my current stair. And the second one (in the immediate reply) is what I want it to look like. Could you kindly shed some light on the ball park costs of both materials and labors on:

1. replacing the wooden rails with iron ones as shown in the picture.

2. replacing the outer edge of the staircase (circled in red in the first picture)with new red oak.

Thanks a lot for your inputs.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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second pic here

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 25, 2008 at 11:48PM
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About 8-10,000

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 11:54AM
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Boy, 8K-10K seems high to me, although I realize the new material you want is very ornate. A lot of it depends on whether you are having things custom made or buying off the shelf and how involved it is to install. I could get a few estimates from good carpenters who have done this before. Not sure if you're concerned about resale, but this is something that won't pay for itself, so anything you put in is for your own wow factor.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 1:05PM
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Thanks very much for the replies. 8-10k does sound higher than I originally expected though I don't have much of an idea.
One thing is that I don't have to have solid wood treads as shown in the second pic. I can leave the steps with carpets and replace the white trims (as circled in the first pic) with new ones so that they fit the new iron rails.
BTW, I'm not a handy person at all. So I'd prefer to have the job done completely by professionals.
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 2:51PM
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To give you an idea, I had a similar thing done last April (new wood rail and iron balusters), but my staircase is shorter than yours. It all depends on how ornate the balusters you select are and the finish you choose. I went with a simple design in a standard black finish (two simple straight balusters followed by a more ornate one; I didn't want it to be too busy; as it was mentioned earlier, I was afraid that "too busy" would get old after a while and that it would get rapidly out of style). My balusters were however more expensive because they are in a textured finish, instead of a plain finish. The whole job cost 1200$ in material (42 balusters and solid maple hand rail) and 300$ to have them install (but not including varnish; I did this myself). Don't forget that you could keep the same handrail and change only the balusters; this is what they have in the target picture: a wood-iron combo. This is also what I did.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 8:49PM
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Thanks for sharing your experience. It's very helpful and encouraging! I'm curious that in your case, did you also get the new stair brackets (that the bottom part of the baluster is put into)? If not, how did your balusters fit into the holes of the original brackets?

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 10:43PM
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I'll show pictures because I think we did almost exactly what you're wanting to do. Here's our before:

And the after:

Our cost was $7000. This was custom, though, they made the newels, I think they're called, to match other woodwork in our house, we chose the handrailing, etc.. We did replace the stair brackets as well.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 2:03PM
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Thanks all for the responses.
I have contacted a stair contractor about replacing the rails only. Got a quote which seems acceptable to me. It's about $20 per rail including both labor and materials. Will keep you updated once I have it done (probably in February).

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 3:22AM
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