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The Ultimate Stair Guide - From Paper To Completion (Part Two)

16 May 2019

The Ultimate Guide:  How Your Stairs Go From Paper to a Completed Feature In Your Home

This is Part Two of our Ultimate Guide series for homeowners.

Part One of The Ultimate Stair Guide discusses how to choose your design.

We finished Part One with an accurate quotation for your stairs.  We now move on to….


Getting Your Plans Approved – Building Consent

Most types of stairs and balustrades will require a PS1 ( in order to get the rubber stamp from council.

Exceptions are:

  • Carpet quality stairs
  • Wooden stairs
  • Exterior wooden stairs

Almost everything else will need a PS1 and relevant design documentation:

  • Steel stairs
  • Balustrades – wooden, wrought iron, wire rigging, steel, and glass.

Often, your stairs will need to be custom designed and engineered rather than being able to use an ‘off-the-shelf’ design.  Bear in mind this could add time to your project, so this should be organised four weeks or more before you plan to submit your plans for building consent.

Our quotation will usually include a PS1 and design where applicable.  If you wish to proceed with this, there may be a small deposit payable so check with our team if you are unsure about payment terms.


Site Measure & Design

Once your home is underway, we’ll keep in touch with you and your building team for site timing.


You (or your builder) should arrange a site measure once your floor levels are in place and you’re beginning to close in.


Our site measurer will bring back all the details to our design team who will start work on your stairs.  Once the design is ready, 3D images will be sent through for your final approval before we move on to….



Our factory team will begin to make all your components.  With care, attention to detail and a strong focus on quality.



We’ll coordinate with you (or your builder) to install your stairs.  This happens at different times depending on your chosen design:

Floating steel stairs

  1. The steel is usually installed first, and temporary treads fitted by your builder. This allows safe access on site for your team, yet avoids damage to finished timber components.
  2. The timber treads are installed once your home is close to being finished and is unlikely to get damaged by construction traffic. Tread protection can be supplied for extra peace of mind if required.
  3. The balustrades will be either installed at the same time, or right at the end of the project, along with the handrails. Glass balustrades require an extra trip as we will firstly make templates to ensure accurate sizing, before returning to install the glass panels once they have been made.

Timber stairs

  1. Timber stairs are usually installed close to the end of the project to avoid any damage from construction traffic.
  2. Your balustrades will usually be installed at the same time (unless arranged otherwise). Glass balustrades will be templated first, and then a second installation visit made to install the completed panels and handrail.

Carpet quality stairs with feature balustrades

  1. These are mostly installed by the builder so can be sent to site when they’re ready, usually as soon as the building is protected from the weather. If they’d like easier access sooner, we can also supply a weatherproof stair for installation before your home is closed in.
  2. Your balustrades will be installed towards the end of the project. Glass balustrades will be templated first, and then a second installation visit made to install the completed panels and handrail.


Finishing timber components

If our quote does not include clear finishing of the timber, you will need to co-ordinate this with your painter once the stair components are on site.


Be aware that…

Glass is prone to damage including scratches or chips.  Occasionally when this is delivered to site by our supplier, we have to reject panels that are faulty.  This could mean that final completion of your stairs is delayed.  Unfortunately this is out of our control, but we will ensure that we communicate this with you so you’re aware of any changes and updated project timing.


Project Review

All is complete!  Stand back and admire your stairs, and wait for the compliments to come!

The rest of your home is probably looking pretty awesome too, so congratulate yourself for taking the huge step of building your dream home, and start settling down to enjoy it.

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