Choosing Your Staircase

Decisions on Choosing your Staircase Outlined

    This is an overview that breaks down the individual major decisions that you have to make when deciding on your staircase. With all of the decisions outlined, you will visualize your stairs and the way you want them to look in your house. You can read this executive summary, and if you would like a more detailed description of an individual step, then there are hyperlinks that go to the particular section in the Tour.

 Decisions include:

  1. Overall Style of your Staircase (circular, straight, spiral) look at different completed stairs-

  2. Type of Staircase Construction- Post to Post or Over the Rail, 

  3. Type of Stair Components- Rail, Balusters and Posts.  

  4. Choose the Type of Wood you will use

  5. ESP Stair Initial Consultation

 Choosing the Overall Stair Style

The overall style of a staircase is the first decision a home builder has to make concerning their stairs.  This choice is dependent on your house design and whether you want a circular, straight, or spiral staircase.  On building or remodeling a house the homeowner usually has somewhat of an idea what kind of a stairway they want.  Often their architect has suggested certain styles and their contractor adds their suggestions also, but ultimately this is the customer's choice.

Once you have made the overall style of your staircase, our recommendation is to look at our photos of finished staircases and see what ones you like the best. By visualizing what you want your staircase to look like, it will help you to make decisions on your stairs.  Once you find the style you like we will talk to you about the feasibility and code specifications of your choice.


Choosing the Staircase Construction

The next major decision is the type of stair construction that you want.  There are two types of stair construction; the Post to Post or the Over the Rail Construction.  Look at photos of completed staircases and see if you like the over the rail or post to post staircases.  For this decision, one type of construction will complement your house better than the other or give you the feeling you like.  Generally, Over the rail staircases are more intricate, showy, elegant and costly.  The post to post stairs are bold and traditional and lend to the simple, classy, ranch or impressive style house.


Choosing Stair Components: Rails, Balusters, and Posts.

The best way to choose your stair components is by seeing what looks good and by handling the samples we bring to you upon our initial visit.  When we first come to meet with you on site, we bring an assortment of samples nicely displayed so that you can compare the styles "hands on".  This will help you make these style decisions.  Right now you can look at the different styles of Rails, Balusters, and Posts through our website to see what you like by its looks.  Our component section of the website will show you a variety of choices, point out popular items, and point out stair vocabulary to help you communicate with us.  When we come over, you can then get the feel of your choices and pick our brains to see what works best from a technical and feasible standpoint.  

There are three main stair components; hand rail, balusters, and posts.  The handrail is the top of the stairs that you run your hand along for balance.  There are 6 choices of handrails that you can choose from.  Balusters are the "pins" that run between the posts.  The posts are made thicker than balusters and thus structurally stronger to support your handrail.  The balusters run between the posts and have to be a maximum width apart to meet code specifications.  Balusters are set apart so that a child's head cannot fit between them.  

Type of Rail:  Look at our Rail Choices page to see photos of the railing.  You can also get the feel of our samples to see which fits best in your hand and what you like the best. There are 6 main rail choices, and you can see the looks of them here.

Type of Balusters and Posts:  There are several combinations of Balusters and Posts that complement each other.  You can see the suggested matching balusters and posts in the catalogue.  Generally, you will base this decision on looks, cost, and feasible combinations.  


Choosing the Type of Wood

Types of Wood: The type of wood you choose depends on whether you are going to paint all or parts of your stairs.  If you want the natural color of the wood to show, you should choose the wood color you like best.  You can also choose to have your wood stained, thus getting a certain look to the wood.  


Initial Consultation

Initial Consultation- When we come to initially meet with you (or your contractor) at the building site, we take measurements so that we can tell you what stair system is feasible for the space available.  We will bring samples that can help you with deciding on what balusters, posts, and rails to incorporate into your staircase.  We will discuss with you the building codes that affect your stairway such as baluster spacing, handrail height and handrails that are code rails.

Step 8 
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Contact us for more information about our Furniture, Stairs, and Stair Parts at (800) 768-5606 or e-mail ESP Stairs & Elite Wood Products today. (pssst... please mention our Web site)  

Elite Wood Products

415 Harris Street
Big Timber, Montana 59011
(800) 768-5606
fax (406) 932-4952

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