Staircases are among the essential elements of homes, whether they appear indoors or outside. In most cases, home builders install staircases during initial construction, which makes the price difficult to isolate. In other situations, homeowners may need to add staircases, either to provide access to newly constructed or remodeled rooms, to give access to an outdoor patio or to replace a functional or aging staircase with a new or more attractive one.
Homeowners shopping for staircases or soliciting construction quotes need to start with a basic understanding of which type of staircase they want. Interior staircases save space and are generally more narrow while exterior staircases use more weather-resistant materials for increased durability. Staircases also cover different lengths while some feature custom sizes and elements. The type of staircase in question, along with its specific elements, will have a significant effect on its price.
According to the Family Handyman website, a basic staircase, such as a short set of steps for connecting an outdoor deck to your yard, can cost as little as $500, as of June 2011, if you use a standardized building plan and perform much of the work yourself. At the other end of the spectrum, a customized circular interior staircase can cost upwards of $100,000, according to the Home Building Club website. Between these extremes, Home Building Club notes that a basic circular staircase may cost around $10,000 while a simple set of straight stairs is likely to cost between $1,000 and $2,000.
A staircase's style is only one factor in determining its price. The materials also play a major role in cost; hardwood costs more than composite materials while for exterior staircases different grades of stone and brick affect prices greatly. Labor is also a contributing factor. Simple staircases that you can assemble yourself are the most cost-effective option while decorative custom jobs may require a crew of skilled workers and several days to complete.
When you build a staircase you'll need to comply with your local building codes. For example, adding an electrical outlet on the staircase or routing wires to provide lighting may require a building permit, which can add to the cost and time required for your project. Another important consideration is the fact that a staircase can add to your home's value, especially if it replaces a staircase that needed repair. While this will increase the amount you can sell your home for, it will also increase your property tax liability for as long as you own your home.