Replacing banister and balusters
I will apologize in advance for the number of questions as well as my complete ignorance in this matter!
I need to replace the banister and balusters on my staircase and I have no idea where to start. The previous owner said they were stolen shortly after he closed on the house and he put up basic lumber, just to have something there. Now, I am getting the stairs stripped and would like to replace the banister with something a little more period appropriate since the house was built in 1881. Here are some pictures of what it looks like now:
I have been to salvage places and no one has a banister that would fit. A couple of places had balusters but I didn't know if I needed to find the banister first.
So, I've accepted the fact that I will have to purchase new pieces but do I need to pick the balusters before the banister or the other way around?
What information do I need to gather to make sure I buy the right type of balusters?
Is there any way I can tie a new banister in with my old newel post? I can't imagine having to lose that. The top comes off so I could replace that, if I absolutely have to.
What features of the banister and balusters would make them more period appropriate?
Any idea of the approximate cost of a job like this? I'm sure the type of wood used would factor into that and I know nothing about wood species so I have no idea what considerations I need to make on that front.
The recurring theme here is that I know nothing so any and all feedback will be very much appreciated! :-)