Staircase in my house

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DrMetal

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Location
San Diego, CA
Looking to redo the main staircase in my house (the main foyer staircase, leading from the living room to the 2nd floor bedrooms: see pics below).

Rough estimate of the length of the staircase is 425". Looking to replace the entire handrail and the ballusters, and to paint (but not replace) the risers.

Some quotes i'm getting (in San Diego CA) are about $10,000 for the entire job. Does that make sense?
 

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You're asking for an objective opinion, without details of demands or offerings.
 
Thanks. That appears reasonable.

Does their contract have a liability clause for fall offs or are you vacating?
 
What are the treads and risers made from? By the looks of the white extensions of the stair treads where the balusters attach that the treads were originally carpeted.



A project like that IMO is charge whatever the market can bear based around location as much as anything else. There is quite a bit of work there and it sounds like they will be custom fabricating iron work. If you got several quotes and they are all in line it sounds correct. Ask to see some of their similar work.
 
Does their contract have a liability clause for fall offs or are you vacating?

Not vacating, will continue to occupy. No liability clause for fall offs. Is that something I should be expecting?

What are the treads and risers made from? By the looks of the white extensions of the stair treads where the balusters attach that the treads were originally carpeted.

That's correct, there was original carpeting (not changing the flooring).
 
Contractors have specific insurance requirements, for themselves, and you'll find that there will be exclusionary language that receives them of liability.

Have the project permitted.
 
That sounds like a fair ballpark estimate. Make sure you see a portfolio of work done on other jobs. curved railings are beyond my abilities.
 
First a question: Why do you want to replace this custom railing? Based on your photos, it appears to be in good condition. Perhaps the railing needs to be refinished and the balusters need to be painted, but is there another problem? If posts are loose, for example, this can be fixed.

Second - rail parts: With the custom curve and joints, this will be a time consuming project for the contractor - if they do a good job. Each of the parts needs to be carefully fit together, and the joints need to be sanded smooth See this supplier as an example: https://www.jmpwood.com/collections/handrail-fittings (Hence the reason for my initial question.)

Third - treads: Are the treads hardwood? If so, they should probably be sanded smooth, stained to match the adjacent floor and landing, and finished with polyurethane. If the treads are not hardwood, they should be painted with anti-scuff 'floor' paint - and not white. You should try to match the color of the adjacent flooring and landing. Here is an example of the type of paint to use: PPG1240-5 Sorcerer Satin Interior/Exterior Floor and Porch Paint. Benjamin Moore and other suppliers make similar paint. You should spec the type and brand of paint to use, to ensure quality.

Fourth - risers: The risers should be painted white. Here is a tip: use special 'whiteboard' / 'dry erase' paint. This makes it much easier to remove scuff marks. For example: ReMARKable Whiteboard Paint and https://www.lowes.com/pd/Krylon-White-Gloss-Dry-Erase-Latex-Enamel-Interior-Paint-Actual-Net-Contents-29-fl-oz/1000211721

Fifth - safety: Your stairs will not be safe while the project is underway, particularly because there is no interior handrail along the wall. If you cannot live downstairs, it would be very wise to take a short vacation or stay in a local hotel until the new railing is complete. Even if the contractor is insured and the insurance company will pay a claim, death or serious long-term injury could result from a fall.

Sixth - bid price: The bid is fair for the amount of work involved - although you should spec the details noted above. Before you accept a bid for this detailed woodwork, however, you should ask to see previous wood railing or custom cabinet work the contractor has done.

I hope all of this info is helpful.
 
Looking more closely at your pictures, I agree with leaving the existing railing and replacing treads and at most balusters, if you want natural wood finish.
 
First a question: Why do you want to replace this custom railing? Based on your photos, it appears to be in good condition. Perhaps the railing needs to be refinished and the balusters need to be painted, but is there another problem? If posts are loose, for example, this can be fixed.

Thank you, very helpful. There's nothing particularly wrong with the railing, it just looks a little dated and old fashioned, I like the blockier look. I'm going something more like this:

1707106747539.png


Why do you think the risers need to be painted white? I was going to go for black, the match the railing and the ballusters.
 
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