Staircase Costs: How Much Should You Budget for a New Staircase?

The right flight of stairs will bring your home’s entrance to life – but what can you get for your money? From purely practical to statement designs, Chris Batesmith sets out what to budget for your new staircase
Chris Bates, Editor of Build It magazine
by Chris Batesmith
22nd February 2023

Staircases can become a powerful architectural feature inside your home. The right set of stairs will define your home’s entrance space and set the tone for the rest of the interior decor. The sky’s the limit in terms of what can be achieved (and what you’ll pay for it), but broadly-speaking prices can be bracketed by how bespoke you want to go.

If you’re after the lowest cost, then standard stair kits – easy to order online by punching in the dimensions – are the way to go. Next up is higher quality off-the-shelf designs.

At the top end are bespoke, individual-designed flights. There’s crossover between each bracket, of course, and numerous options in terms of materials and specification that will impact on the final price.

Kit Staircases Costs

If you’re on a very tight budget, these entry-level products are a cost-effective option – and generally available for delivery in under a week – but your design choices can be limited. Prices start from as little as £250 (plus installation) for a bare-bones 12-step flight constructed with softwood stringers and MDF treads and risers.

Depending on the space, you’ll also need to factor in elements such as newel posts, spindles, handrails and sundries (fillets, fixings etc). Taken together, these are likely to push supply-only costs over the £500 mark for a bog-standard straight flight.

Online shops such as Stairbox offer pre-assembled straight flights (just make sure there’s enough room to get it in). You can also have the stair supplied in kit form for you or, more likely, your trades to assemble.

So, be sure to factor in labour costs and remember that, with this route, your team will be responsible for getting the measurements right. Designs with turns and winders are always supplied in kit form.

If you’re going for plain softwood, you’ll need to paint or varnish the timber and carpet the flight – which will add to the final cost but can be an opportunity to add some individuality. You may require landing balustrading, too.

Upgrade to materials such as oak treads and stringers and you can easily triple the supply price (think £2,000+); while adding a quarter-turn can double the cost. Bear in mind that, at this point, you’re entering the off-the-shelf bracket.

Looking for staircase suppliers? Browse Build It’s Directory of established companies

cantilevered staircase by Bisca

This cantilevered staircase by Bisca is central to the design of the oak frame self build home. Featuring raised grain oak treads and a concealed mild steel structure, the flight twists around a curved wall – and is beautifully finished with a low-iron glass balustrade and oval oak handrail. A similar design would cost around £65,000

Customisable Off-The-Shelf Staircases Costs

This option offers significantly more personalisation, and the opportunity to make a statement. You’ll get the chance to personalise a wide range of off-the-shelf flights to better suit your requirements, typically by mixing-and-matching elements from the manufacturer’s pattern book.

This tailored approach is popular among self builders and renovators. It gives you access to a specialist supplier who will usually offer a free measuring service (perhaps initially from your plans, but invariably on site, too) and technical advice for the design and installation.

You’ll also get to choose from a much wider selection of high-quality materials for the components of your new stair.


staircase from Complete Stair Systems with solid hardwood treads and a glass balustrade

This customisable off-the-shelf Model 500 staircase from Complete Stair Systems features solid hardwood treads and a glass balustrade. The open risers and slim steel stringers echo the effect of a full structural cantilevered flight. Prices start from around £10,000 for a 12-riser straight flight with beech treads

Your flight will be built to order and provided with the requisite parts and accessories, so expect lead times of around 4-10 weeks. Most suppliers have a network of approved installers you can access.

Prices for these staircases can start from under £1,500 for a decent furniture-grade pine staircase, rising to more like £20,000 for complex off-the-shelf designs, such as half-turn flights using unusual hardwoods, metal stringers and the like.

Read More: 10 of the Best Staircase Design Ideas to Inspire your Self Build

QUICK COMPARISON Build It Education House Staircase

Completed in late 2019, Build It’s real-life Self Build Education House is set over three storeys and features three different styles of staircase to give you an instant opportunity to understand the cost implications of your choices, and allocate your budget appropriately. Here’s what went into our flights:

contemporary staircase with glass balustrade

Feature Staircase

Our main flight, leading up from the entrance hall to the first floor, is a Kloepping design – this is a bespoke solid ash stair with a structural glass balustrade.

To achieve the floating effect, it’s anchored into the wall with steel bolts and support blades. We spent £23,000 including the landing balustrade – but a flight-only design would have cost around £15,600.

Attic Kit Stair

The access to our loft space is tucked away on the first floor, behind a fire-rated door – so it’s not instantly visible and didn’t need the wow factor of our basement and main flights.

We choose a plain pine half-turn kit from Stairbox, shown here during installation by our contractor’s joiners.

We spent £1,356 on our attic flight (£756 on the kit and £600 on labour).

Basement Flight

Designed, manufactured and installed by Kloepping TSS, our basement flight cost around £5,900.

It features finger-jointed ash treads and risers made up of dozens of smaller interlocking profiles, which is cheaper than solid wood.

Timber handrails and steel spindles allow light to filter through at a lower cost than structural glass.














Bespoke Staircases Costs

If you’ve got the budget and want unrivalled individuality and wow factor, this is the route for you. You will have access to the full gamut of materials options – from high-end timbers through to glass, metal, stone and concrete – as well more unusual features such as helical shapes, floating stairs and more.

What really sets bespoke flights apart, though, is that you’ll engage an experienced designer-maker for a service that looks in depth at all your requirements. This runs from complementing your home’s architecture and decor to working through practical considerations such as headroom and how the flight interfaces with the main building (this is particularly challenging on conversion projects, for instance).

Read More: How to Choose a Spiral Staircase or Helical Design

This bespoke full-turn flight by Glass Solutions appears to float effortlessly with the space. It combines a metal structure with concrete treads and risers, stylish integrated lighting and sleek glass balustrades – along with a matching landing. A similar install would cost in the region of 55,000-£70,000

Many bespoke stair specialists will be keen to work with your architect in the early planning stages to help you get the most out of your flight. Often, the same craftspeople who create your flight in the workshop will go on to install it on site – giving you the security of a comprehensive design and build service.

Costs and lead times will depend on the scale of the project, intensity of the design process and quality of the materials involved. Prices typically start from around £15,000 but can be lower – although it’s not unusual to spend £30,000-£60,000 or even more. While that may seem like a hefty investment, in the right setting it will underpin the finished value of the entire project.


Staircase Labour Rates and Costs

Unless you’re going with a specialist bespoke firm, installing a staircase falls within the remit of a carpenter, who will usually charge on a day rate (you can currently expect to pay around £200-£250 per day).

Most flights arrive flat packed and ready-to-assemble – but there’s still a good deal of skill involved, both at design stage (including ensuring compliance with Building Regs) and on site.

Learn More: How Much Should I Pay My Builder?

staircase made with light-toned solid ash and glass balustrade

This naturally beautiful bespoke flight by SOPA is made from light-toned solid ash with glass balustrades. The clients wanted a seamless transition between the treads and risers, along with built-in storage below the staircase – achieved with handleless push-to-open doors and drawers. A similar project would cost around £14,000

As a guide, a professional team should be able to install a simple straight or quarter-turn flight in as little as a couple of workdays. Fitting the newel posts, spindles, handrail etc will typically require at least another day.

You can expect the process to take longer (and the labour costs to rise accordingly) if you’re taking on a more complex project – especially if any structural work is needed or where an existing flight needs to be removed.

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