If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact

Replacing Old 1980s Staircase

  • 13-03-2013 11:37pm
    Registered Users Posts: 169 ✭✭


    I have the attached staircase at home. My toddler has started to sneak in through the railings to get onto and up the stairs. I stuck and painted plywood to the 3 feet of landing, so that works up there, but need to change the stairs really.

    I am trying to find online, ideas to just change the railings and handrail. Anyone done anything similiar. I heard that the spindles are cheap, and I preume the posts at the end and top, can't be a crazy price. Want to keep the existing carpet, so no disruption.

    so, price, any recommendations, viewpoint, etc, please


  • Registered Users Posts: 439 ✭✭North West

    Hi Johnny
    You will need: Handrail - baserail - ballustrades.
    Before you start are your newel posts top & bottom in good order. Any movement in newels, Are they solid and sound.
    1. take off top rail first, get the baserail which will sit on top of the side on stairs put a few tacks in it just to hold it for the time being.
    2. Get a handrail long enough to fit and position it with the top of rail at the same height as rail you are taking down. Position the handrail in the centre of newel top and bottom. Cut two ballustrades to height require and position one about 1' from bottom newel and the other the same from the top newel.

    Level up with spirit level. You can then fix handrail to newels. When I done mine I counter sunk two screws and glued at each newel post. Recheck with spirit level to make sure baserail and handrail are level. Then tack and glue baserail. Cut your ballustrades and away you go. Just remember measure twice cut once.

  • Registered Users Posts: 30 glencoe

    It would look as if there is not much gap between the rail and the panelling on the landing. You need up to 50mm to avoid trapping fingers. A simpler solution would be to add in 2 new rails same thickness as the existing

  • Registered Users Posts: 169 ✭✭Johnnyq79

    Many thanks guys. 1st doesn't sound too hard. And 2nd, Thanks. Good idea, but thinking the upright one might look nice. I know not as cheap though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 237 ✭✭chris445



    Here's a couple of pictures of a job I've done replacing the exact same as what you have at the moment. It might be a bit easier when you can see what it should look like finished.

    I used a mahogany handrail and mahogany newel caps. More expensive but looked very nice when the spindles were painted white and the mahogany varnished to a nice shine.

    The post above is spot on for the construction going up the stairs and I would recommend putting a return on the landing in place of the current plywood. Again, it will cost a little bit extra for materials (1 handrail, 1 base rail, half newel + cap and some spindles) but I think it finishes the job off nicely.

    For this lay the base rail out flush with the edge of the stairwell and cut the carpet to suit. Fix the baserail and return it to the centre of the newel with a 90 degree mitre. Do the same with the handrail and keep it the same height by using spindles in from each end as before.

    Remember when measuring out for the spindles coming up the stairs to measure at 90 degrees to the newel and not to the pitch of the stairs. Get your measurement from newel to newel (at 90 degrees) and find out the width of the spinles your using. This will allow you to calculate how many spindles you will need with a spacing as close as possible, but not more than, 100mm. AFAIK the current building regs are that a 100mm sphere shouldn't be able to pass through any gap in the spindles so this may need to be taken into consideration if choosing turned spindles that get narrower in places.

    Hope this is some help and keep us updated as to how you get on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 169 ✭✭Johnnyq79

    Lovely job. Have you any picture with them painted and from down stairs. Would like to see it how it's joined up to the bottom railing.

  • Advertisement