Attractive Staircase Design | Things to Consider

staircase design

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Staircase is a part of a home that is one of the most functional ones, and what people might not realize is that they can have more of an impact on how their staircase looks and feels. There are different layouts and designs for the stairs that can create a more open concept feel to your home, or make it feel grander with a grand staircase. 

We wanted to give you a guide with tips and tricks to consider when designing out a staircase for your home.

Determine your Budget

It’s important to figure out what your overall budget is. Once you figure this out, you’ll be able to narrow down design ideas, what type of wood to use, and what you can hire out versus DIY.

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Assess the Space you are Working with

It’s important to look at the current space the staircase is in, to see how much or how little room you have. You might want a large double staircase in your front entrance, but the reality is, you only have a small hallway to walk through.

Instead of a grand entrance, you can get creative with the space you have and create storage or create a small reading nook within the staircase. 

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Consider your Needs and Lifestyle

This is an important question to ask when deciding on how to design out the new staircase. Thinking of the kids in the house, if there are any. You might want a staircase that is safe for a child, so having carpet on the stairs would be the safest option, and easy to clean stairs would be helpful. 

If you’re a bachelor and want a bachelor pad, you might go with a more modern set of stairs, that becomes the focal point of the home. Whatever the case is, evaluate and determine what would work best for you. 

Choosing Material 

While the placement of your staircase is important, the materials used to build your staircase are just as important to how you portray your home and your overall design style. Timber steps and rails that match your home’s interior can offer a more cohesive feeling for your home, that’s comforting.

On the other hand, using different materials and maybe out-of-the-box materials helps you draw attention to a home’s individual characteristics.

There are a ton of materials to choose from, so this is something to keep in mind, when it comes to your budget, space, and lifestyle. Understanding the theme for your space and the decor can help narrow down the staircase designs as well.

If you have a modern house, then a modern staircase with open sightlines and metal stair spindles would be your vibe. Here are the pros and cons of the types of materials you can use for your staircase.


Wood is the perfect option for those on a budget or those wanting to go all out with a grand staircase. The magnitude of the variety of timber materials that can be used in construction means there’s something to suit every project – and budget.

It’s super versatile and easy to work with, so this a great material to consider. 

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Metal staircases are great for those who value more of a modern type of home and also like function and low maintenance. It is easy for metal to take on an industrial feel if you don’t consider the other elements for your staircase, so make sure you think of the width and height of your staircase and how you want the spindles to look.

Stone and Concrete

Stone or concrete stairs will give a home a more contemporary but also that simple feel. It’s versatile and is a statement piece in your home!

They are generally more expensive, so it’s important to keep that in mind. For a cheaper alternative, stone panels can be adhered to existing stairs for a similar look.

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Know Building Regulations

There is a standard code of practice within building regulations relating to staircases which will apply to all new staircases. It’s important to do the research to see if your dreamy staircase design is in line with these regulations before starting this project.

Tips on Building your Staircase

When we decided to redo our staircase, we knew this was something that Jamie could do. If you’re handy, redoing your staircase is something you can do yourself. 

Our staircase railing cost us around $1k to do ourselves, if we were to be hired to do someone’s staircase railing, we would charge around $3k for time and materials. Once you decide on the scale of the staircase and the design, you can then decide what you can DIY versus what you hire out.

Maybe, it’s hiring someone to design it and demo and then rough it out, but you do the other work. Or it’s hiring someone for the full time. We have a blog post where we talk through how we DIY’d our staircase railing. For the full version, check it out here

Tips & Tricks to DIY Your Staircase Railing

Don’t demo what you don’t need to

Sometimes we have clients that hire us for their renovations but do the demo themselves, and at times, demo more than they needed to. It ends up costing them more time and money.

Here’s a perfect example of what Jamie did. He wanted to get rid of the colonial newel post (the ball top had to go), but with a craftsman-style slip-on box post he made, he didn’t need to demo out the original post.

It was still very sturdy and anchored into the floor joist system so he kept it and used it as his mount. You can find a video of him installing it here. If it can be preassembled, do it. Cutting and measuring perfectly takes time and time is money. 

Pre-assemble is key

What takes Jamie the most time when it comes to any carpentry project is pre-assembly. He spends hours, if not days, out in the shop, getting everything cut perfectly and pre-assembled before he does any assembling on the job sites. 

Tools & Materials Needed

When it comes down to doing it yourself or hiring it out, one of the biggest factors remains: do you have the tools needed for the job? Here is the full list of tools and materials that we used to complete our staircase railing project: 


  • Table saw
  • Miter saw
  • Level
  • Drill
  • Impact Driver
  • Square
  • Angle finder
  • Miter clamps
  • Tape measure


  • Spindles
  • Handrails
  • Base trim
  • 1 x 6 
  • Lag bolts
  • Newel Posts (we made our own, but you can buy pre-made)
  • Wood glue
  • Wood filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint & Stain

Timing and Pricing

For the size of our stair railing, which the bottom rail is 50″ and the top rail is 52″, we spent $1,011.72 on all materials needed. If you were to hire this same job out to someone, we would charge around $4-5K for the job. 

Often people ask why it’s so expensive when hiring it out. And if you do the math you’re probably thinking, you work a couple of weeks and profit $3K, and I’m sure you realize, that’s not all profit.

Designing out a staircase can be a lot of work, but seeing the final product is SO worth it! We hope this guide will help you when deciding on how to build your new staircase. 

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