Renovating? It’s one step at a time

A recent conversation we had with a client about their renovations got us thinking about staircases. Why staircases you ask?  Well unlike kitchens, bathrooms and flooring it’s not really the first thing you think about when considering renovations.  However, as our client was finding out, it can prove to be a larger part of a renovation in terms of time and money than what you may first think.  Here are our top tips to consider.

Renovate or replace?

There are local, specialised staircase companies that can work with your existing staircase to give it a revamp or they can replace the whole thing.

 What type of staircase works best for our space?

The first consideration when planning a stair design is space.  The available styles are going to be dictated by that first and foremost.  Double-sided staircase, L-shaped staircase, straight staircase, spiral, grand or compact will be determined by this.  The next step in the design is deciding on a style. Grand, traditional, modern, floating, timber, carpet are all options.

Balustrades and handrails

Balustrades and handrails are important for safety but also allow you to get creative with your stair design. Glass, timber or metal are all options.  Consider functionality and safety, too, especially if you have kids. Sometimes the newel posts on the staircase are built in a way that prevents them from being removed. A simple balustrade renovation can mean removing the entire staircase, so keep this in mind!


Under the stairs is a great place to create extra storage. If you don’t want to make a staircase a floating design feature, you can enclose the space and install shelves and lighting to create much valued extra space.

Not so fast!

Something that seems simple to you or me, like let’s just rip up the carpet and replace with timber can be far more complex to a builder.  This could affect the finished height of the stairs, causing trip hazards at the top and bottom

Some homes built before a certain period have now got balustrade heights and openings that do not comply with the current BCA (Building Code of Australia) standards. When renovating, it is necessary to keep this in mind as the new handrails and balusters will have to comply with the current BCA requirements.

Be guided by the experts on what will be the most cost-effective approach to achieve the best result.  Be sure to get in touch if you need any advice, we can help put you in touch with the right people.

Posted by Matt Bolin