Stair Replacement  



Hi all,

We are looking at replacing our stairs (including stringers/banister/newel post etc) as ours are beyond making good. Can you remove the whole staircase without affecting the structure of the rest of the house? How are the stairs connected to the ground floor and upper floor? I've had a look on the forum but can't find anyone who has done this? Would it just be better to remove the current wood that's covering the metal and just replace that?



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here is a recent stair replacement I did solid oak very nice! 

9 Answers

Hello Jo, Yes you can safely remove the stairs without affecting the structure of the building.

The staircase itself is pre-formed in one piece on top of which timber treads were placed.

I've attached a photograph below to give you a better idea.

I've never removed a staircase myself so I can't advise you on exactly where the fixing bolts are located but I suspect it will be bolted to various points on the underlying frame.

I also suspect that the staircase itself would probably need to be cut using an angle grinder to make it easier to disassemble.

Many people have already done this with some very pleasing results.

I myself tend to take a slightly easier approach by installing laminate flooring onto the treads and the risers. I'll try a find a photograph for you but if I don't have one on my laptop, I'll take a picture tomorrow for you, but this only really helps if you already have flooring throughout the house.

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That's great news - thank you for your reply.

So i presume that the newel post we currently have at the top of our stairs doesn't actually support the stairs themselves like a normal newel post would? (As in its not locked in to the stringers/treads?) 

Thank you for the pics - very helpful.

I wouldn't have thought of using laminate - they look great!




Here's the stairs covered in laminate flooring.

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Hi Jo, much will depend upon your current configuration and if you have the original bannister rail in the house.

If original, you should see several steel spindles which pass down through the timber tread where they are bolted to the underside of the stringer.

They are very easy to remove. (see image below)

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So we've managed to remove our newel post no problems! phew! So we can leave the staircase as it is and just renovate it. After taking up the wooden landing banister and spindles, underneath we can see two metal rails that have been cut down to floor level (These are attached to a steel beam on the landing?) but nothing seems to be attached to the staircase so it will probably be easier if we leave it as they have done.

We will probably build a half wall in replacement anyway so they will be covered.

Sorry i haven't got any photos to upload as it would probably make more sense.

In you stair pics - have you covered your metal stringers with wood or have you just painted the metal white?

Ours are currently painted white but have a wooden piece of batten on the top (painted white) - i'm not sure how best to go about it to make it look better.

Hope you had a great weekend.



Hi Jo, sounds like you have been very busy.

The side of my staircase has been partially covered and I chose to block off the main door into the kitchen and build a stud wall 3/4 of the way along my hallway to contain a cloakroom type area, as it seemed such a waste of space to leave a long hallway leading to nowhere. I also fitted a chain screen as opposed to a doorway simply because I preferred this over a solid door and the room it takes up in order to open.

I'll take a quick pic of my staircase from the side and add it to the bottom of this post but essentially yes, I simply sanded and painted the stringers in water based gloss which in reality, gives more of a eggshell finish. 

I've not yet seen the anchor points for the landing spindles but if you do get chance to grab a quick photo, that would be great.



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When we purchased our house the staircase was open to the living room (no hallway) - is this the original design or was our hallway knocked down? We do have a porch so don't really need a hallway. However, we do want to block off the stairs with a wall because we lose so much heat from the living room. (We only have one radiator in the living room and its against the kitchen wall underneath the stairs).

Here are some pics.... i hope you can see the small rods coming from the 2 rails and going through the joist. I guess it must attach to a metal beam perhaps somewhere?

If we take up any floor boards i'll send some more photos and i'll keep you posted on the final result.



Hi Jo, thank you for sharing the photos, they are a helpful addition to anyone else facing a similar challenge.

All BISF houses were built with a stud wall separating the staircase from the main living room (incorporating the hallway). So yes, it would appear that at some stage, your original dividing wall has been removed.

Many people do indeed choose this option for their layout and I myself considered this for my property at one stage, but, my main concern was the amount of heat that would be lost from the main room, as you yourself have experienced.

There is also a fire safety element too, as there is no physical barrier between the ground and first floor to prevent the spread of fire, in the unlikely event that one should take hold from the kitchen etc.

The majority of people that I have met that are happy with this layout configuration will often have a high output heat source in the living room, such as a wood burning stove, which in most cases is fully capable of heating the entire space.

I myself have a relatively low output flueless gas fire fitted, which does not require a flue, can be fitted onto any wall (providing you can fit a gas pipe to it) and is 100% efficient. It's very cheap to run and is perfectly adequate to heat my living room and open plan dining room and kitchen but it would not be powerful enough to heat the house if the hall wall had been removed.

I think it's a bit horses for courses because despite my reservations in the total removal of this wall, those that have done so are generally very happy with the alteration and few complain of any heating issues but as stated before, they do generally have a higher powered heat source than the average home.

Wall removal does provide the benefit of additional space though and I have seen a few cases where a new stud wall is installed on the actual side of the staircase ( which I think is what you are referring to). This would help to retain some heat but unless this new enclosed stairway has a door fitted, some heat loss will still occur but it should be better than what you're currently experiencing providing it doesn't concentrate any downward draft as the warm air rises causing the cold air to rush down the the confined channel.

I'll have a root around in my files to see if I have any images to share with you.

Thank you. Yes i completely agree - the decision we are facing is do we lose space from our living room of which we have filled already! Or sacrifice heat loss. Hopefully... the plan is (attached) to add a stud wall to the stairs and block off with a door and potentially extend the porch and open the space up. It will require more work but we just love our spacious living room :). We are wanting to have a log burner installed too for extra warmth in the winter at some point. We currently have a gas fire fitted although it's been capped off so we're not really sure what has been done behind there! I guess it will be a surprise when we get to that stage!

Thanks for the pics, i love seeing the different combinations people have done and as always, thank you for your quick reply.


Here's a few variations of partial and full staircase enclosure

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bisf house living rooms (86)
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And here's a couple of images of a staircase being partially enclosed which was posted by our member Silent Assasin during a full stripdown of his house.

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Brilliant work there Gez, looks like you're undertaking some major improvements.

Did you have the staircase custom made and how was it to fit in place?

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