Deck the Halls and the Staircase, Too!

You read that right, folks! This year as you and your family decorate the tree and your home for the holidays, don’t forget to incorporate your staircase into the decorations for an added sense of originality and holiday flare. And why wouldn’t you take advantage of the fact that the staircase of your home is the natural focal point people look to when they enter the house, by decorating your staircase for this Christmas season! Below are a few ideas to inspire your staircase decorating ideas.

  • Keep it Simple: You can decorate your staircase in a charming and festive way without going overboard by incorporating a few select decorations. Use a simple staircase decoration for example that incorporates a few strands of white or colored Christmas lights by intertwining them along the handrail. Or instead of hanging your stockings from the mantel this year, try using your staircase as a stylish way of displaying them.
  • Classic Seasonal Style: For more of a classic look this holiday season, you can decorate your staircase with traditional Christmas decor, including wreaths and garland, big red bows, pine needles, pinecones, and snowflake ornaments to name a few. Ideas like wrapping tinsel around the railings of the staircase in alternating white and red colors for a fun candy cane look!
  • Go for Something Unique: Finally, you can try and go for something totally unique this year when incorporating your staircase into your home’s holiday decorations. Think outside the box and experiment with creative ideas, such as using the treads and balusters of the staircase as a means of displaying some holiday cheer! You can use oversized bulb ornaments and fasten them onto colorful ribbons, and hang those at different lengths from the balusters for a unique holiday staircase decoration.

Do I need a Professional Railing Installer?

Every now and then, we release tips and guides for those who would opt to work on their homes. Do-it-yourself or DIY projects are very popular and we try to help those who are interested in them to use their own skills and knowledge. We at iStairs, one of the best known names in Sacramento for stair installation, are particularly fond of people who are inclined to DIY projects. For some people, DIY works, but for some, they end up coming up with results that are way different than what they intend to do.

When it comes to railing installation, when really does one need professional help? Is railing installation a task that can be entrusted to yourself?

The answers to the above questions depend on the complexity of the stair and the railing that you wish to install. Take note, however, that your mathematical and carpentry skills will be taken to the test!

If you believe that you have what it takes to be able to install your stair railings properly, then your DIY railing project may just be a success. But if you are worried about how your railings will turn out to be, then you should consider getting professional help from top Sacramento stair installation companies such as iStairs!

Things to consider when deciding whether or not to get professional railing installer

If you are still thinking whether or not you will need professional help with your railing installation, then the following may help you decide:

  1. Installing a full balustrade railing is like a giant puzzle.

 A lot of us learned to construct with puzzles and with blocks. Installing railings is somehow like playing with puzzles, only with giant pieces, and you will need lots of different tools to install a full balustrade railing.

  1. You will need knowledge on different stair parts.

Not all railings are the same. Depending on the design you chose, and the type of stairs you have, you will need different materials for your railings. If you opt to continue with your DIY railing installation project, our friendly staff at iStairs will gladly help you out in choosing the right parts.

  1. You will need different tools.

You will also need to be familiar with the different tools needed for rail installation. Not only will you need to know your tools, but you need to have such tools. A professional railing installer is equipped with the needed tools but how about you, do you have what you need for a DIY railing installation?

Finally, you will also need to know how to use these tools so that you can come up with the desired output.

So, do you need a professional railing installer?

With above considerations, you will now have a better idea whether or not you can do the railing installation yourself. If you think that you lack the needed skill or knowledge required to successfully install railings, then you really do need to get professional help.

For the best partner in railing installations, get in touch with Sacramento’s number one stairs installation company, iStairs!

iStairs will help you with all your stair needs. With our help, your railings will be installed perfectly! iStairs is excited and willing to help those that are wish to do their railing projects themselves by giving tips on how to do the job right. But for those who need professional help, iStairs is ready to serve!

Eco-friendly Ways to Add value to your home

For homeowners we know that there are a lot of other vital home repairs that accompany a newly renovated Sacramento staircase. Home repairs can be an expensive and time-consuming investments, so it is so important to consider which repairs are going to add value to your home when it comes time to sell, or which investments will help you save money now on energy bills.

Low-energy lighting

The average household spends about 5% of its energy budget on lighting, so switching to low-energy lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bill. Decisions regarding low-energy lighting not only save you money right away, but they also add value to your home, making it a more attractive option when you decide to sell.

As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy, light bulb alternatives include compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs). Both will help you save on your monthly energy bill.

A typical CFL uses about one-third the amount of energy as a standard light bub and it pays for itself within nine months. The LEDs are one of the most energy efficient and rapidly developing technologies. They last up to 25 times as long as a traditional bulb and they use about 25% of the energy.

Natural floors

For such a utilized asset in your home, it is essential that you make the best choice when replacing flooring. Again, choosing natural floors can save you money and more importantly, increase the value of your home. Your main options include bamboo and cork.

Cork floors offer many exciting eco-friendly benefits. The natural elasticity makes these floors comfortable, while not compromising on durability. They are hypoallergenic meaning they will not attract dust, they are fire resistant and best of all they serve as a natural insect repellant. Also, the bark of the cork oak tree from which the floors are produced, naturally grows back every three years, so there is no harm done to the trees whatsoever.

Bamboo is another sustainable, green flooring option. This wood is very durable and lasts longer than most tradition hardwoods, such as maple or red oak. Other natural benefits are that the bamboo floors are naturally water resistant and insect repellant. They make a fantastic option for an eco-friendly staircase or for the accompanying rooms.

Water-saving repairs

Any repair done in the kitchen or bathroom should definitely be done with the intent of water-saving in order to reduce energy and water bills. 60% of your water consumption comes from the kitchen and bathroom so those are the main areas you will most likely want to invest in water-saving repairs.

Key signs that you need a bathroom water repair are faucet leaks, showerhead leaks, tub leaks, or toilet leaks. If a faucet leaks just ten drips per minute that totals to about 500 gallons of wasted water per year.

In the kitchen, your main indicators are water puddles found underneath the fridge, dishwasher leaks, or faucet or sprayer leaks.

All of these eco-friendly repairs are additional ways for you to add value to your beautiful home investment.

Guide to Refinishing Your Worn-Out Staircase

After a while your hardwood treads for your Sacramento stairs could potentially experience some wear and tear. Especially the high traffic staircases in your house that squeak or have become discolored, might call for some additional attention.

If your wood stairs need a makeover, start by checking for any needed repairs. Loose or rubbing parts often cause squeaks, a common problem. You can try to heal the squeaking tread by nailing down a part that has begun to separate from the riser, or it might be time for a renovation with new treads.

If the necessary repairs are strictly cosmetic you might want to consider taking on a refinishing project so that your wood staircase looks brand new.

Sanding

Your first step is to sand your tread and the bullnose on the front. This will require you to rent a floor edger-sanding machine which can be acquired at any local hardware store. For rough or painted boards you will want to start with 20- or 30- grit sandpaper and then move on to 50- or eventually 90- grit sandpaper. However, if your treads are already varnished, it is recommended that you start with a 36- grit sandpaper.

The sander will do a good job at basic coverage, but you will want to perfect your sanding job with a hand scraper for small scratches or areas that the sander missed.

A vital step for standing is removing the dust after all the sanding is completed. Dust can collect in the internal pores of the wood and cause problems during staining, so be sure to do more than just a surface sweep. The best method is to run a vacuum over the stair to make sure all the dust is sufficiently removed.

Staining

The best way to ensure that you will be satisfied with your staining project is to experiment first on a scrap piece of wood. Especially water-based stains, sometimes will need to be diluted or maybe they will need extra coats in order to achieve your desired shade. It is so important that you apply the stain and the intended top coat so you know exactly what to expect from your finished project.

When brushing on the stain be sure to move quickly across the surface for an even finish. Then, be sure to use a cloth to remove all excess stain and be sure to leave no puddles. Using a stain pillow to apply the finish is a good investment because they let you move fast and stretch your coverage.

Top Coat

When it comes to choosing a top coat you have two option, water-based or oil-based. Each have distinct pros and cons.

A water-based top coat will dry really quickly and have little odor. However, they do sometimes raise the grain.

An oil-based top coat is generally a more durable, long-lasting option that flows better onto the surface than a water-based option. On the down side, they do take much longer to dry, up to four hours.

Once you decide which top coat option works best for you be sure to apply multiple coats and give each enough time to fully dry.

If you’d rather have a professional take care of this, please give iStairs a call. iStairs is your Sacramento stairs contactor.

Best Staircase Flooring

At iStairs Inc.,lopped we are devoted to making your vision for your customized staircase a reality. The choice of floorings for the staircase is a vital piece of your vision. Each style needs to be considered for its visual appeal, safety and price.

Find the perfect option for staircase flooring

Carpet

One of the most popular stair floorings is a carpeting option. Its timeless appeal is hugely versatile with a wide range of colors, textures, and styles. One option is a loop style carpet in which the strands of looped back into the carpet and left uncut. They are usually used for a shaggier, more casual look for a residential staircase. Another style is a patterned look crafted with dramatic visuals woven into the carpet. This style usually has a shorter cut height and a more formal look. One more option worth mentioning is the frieze style. This style has a soft, twisted look, also recommended for more casual settings.

Besides the versatility in style, carpet flooring provides safety. The safety of your home and family is too important to make compromises. Staircases are already an area of the home prone to danger, so little adjustments to enhance safety should be strongly considered.

Other considerations to be made are the shorter life of carpet flooring and the costs of cleaning. It’s recommended that carpet is vacuumed twice a week. (which depending on the stair width can be difficult) and professionally cleaned once a year.

Hardwood

Another visually appealing flooring option is hardwood. Hardwood staircases are elegant, durable and ageless. While hardwood does not offer the same safety benefits as carpet, it can be kept much cleaner. Dust and dirt that collect and sink into carpeted flooring can be quickly swept up from a hardwood floor. Not to mention a spill that would stain a carpet can be wiped up with no long-term problem.

There is also a wide variety of hardwood options to consider for your beautiful staircase. There are so many colors, styles, and stains available that no matter what your unique needs and preferences are you can find a wood option that fits your home. A few popular options include white oak, red oak, hickory and Brazilian cherry.

Price, of course, varies depending on the style and species you choose, but out talented estimators can give you an accurate quote for your project when you fill out a bid request .

Eco-Friendly

For those of you who are looking to support the health of our planet while building your dream staircase, you have options.

  • Cork: This option’s natural elasticity makes it comfortable, provides thermal insulation and it recovers quickly from mark or dents. It can serve as a natural insect repellant and it’s made from the bark of the cork oak tree, which grows back every three years.
  • Bamboo: Bamboo is a harder than your maple or red oak options and naturally water and insect resistant. Bamboo grows quickly and abundantly, so it is a sustainable option for flooring.
  • Carpet Padding: Some carpets come with padding containing plastics from petroleum. An eco-friendlier option is to choose a carpet with lightweight padding or a padding specifically made from recycled materials, such as 100% recycled cotton.

The experts at iStairs are familiar with all these options and are ready to help you achieve your dream staircase. Call us today to find out how we can help!

Why Balusters are Important to Staircases

If you’re currently in the process of having a custom staircase designed or installed in your home, then you are going to come to the point when you need to decide between installing your painted balusters at the same time as the stairs, or after.

First and foremost, you need to understand what these are, why they are an important component of your stair system. The balusters are the vertical shafts, sometimes called the stair spindle or stick, made of either metal or wood which stand on top of the unifying footing, while supporting the handrail of the stair system. Sacramento Staircase contractors and designers implement a variety of styles when creating balusters for custom staircases, so there are many looks to choose from.

If after choosing your staircase design and materials with your Sacramento stairs contractor you have decided to have a stair system with balusters in a contrasting material to that of the handrail and footing, then your Sacramento stairs contractor will need to know when you prefer to have the finished balusters installed, either with the staircase as a whole, or after they are painted and finished? In other words, if for example, you want an oak staircase with painted balusters, do you want it installed with the stair already pre-painted, or after once the stairs have been finished?

Installing Balusters

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you might want to have these installed at the same time as the stair for your custom staircase.

Basic structural strength of the staircase:

Staircase engineers will tell you that the structural integrity of the rail is at its optimum when the rail is set directly onto the balusters, rather than gluing the pre-finished balusters onto the rail after the stair has already been set into place. Having the balusters installed at the same time as the stair also helps to prevent dangerous, unnecessary rail movement, as well as allows for the proper amount of cure time before the staircase is used.

Safety concerns:

When you have it installed after your stair is finished, you run the risk of having an accident happen since there is a temporarily an empty spot where those should be.

Additional construction means more time:

Having the balusters installed after the stair also means that you need to remember to schedule additional time near the end of construction (i.e., when the painting process is about to start) to have the balusters installed, which basically just means more steps added to the process.

Consider the finished result:

The rails will need to be removed and then re-set if it is to be installed after the stair is finished, which means that much of the handy work, like the sanding off the joints, will also need to be redone.

 

Now you know just how important it is to the staircase unit as a whole, and you can be sure to ask your Sacramento stairs contractor and engineer the right questions regarding balusters and your custom staircase design. Call iStairs today to find out how we can help you build the perfect stairs for your home!

 

Why Open Rise Stairs are Gaining Popularity

In the same way that one does not need to be an art aficionado to appreciate beautiful artistic creations, you don’t have to be an architect to be able to recognize when a house or another structure is beautifully designed and constructed.

Such is also the case when it comes to the appeal of open riser staircases, a design that is gaining in popularity among both residential and commercial property owners.

The rise of a staircase system refers to the vertical part of the stairs that connects the adjacent treads (the part we walk on), but with an open riser staircase design, the risers are purposefully missing (i.e., ‘open’) to create an airy and open feel. But why are home and business owners alike choosing this particular staircase design more and more often?

For some of the reasons, take a look at the handful of bullet points below.

  • An open riser staircase system creates a unique modern style that very few other staircase designs can compare to. One of the main appeals of an open riser staircase is that by design, the stairs lets in light and thus create the perception of a larger space, a feature that homeowners often find adds character to their homes as well!
  • The construction of open staircase can be arranged in a variety of different layouts and styles, no matter what look you want to express in your home.
  • Another reason why open riser staircases are spiking in popularity is because their design is ideal for both residential and commercial settings, as well as both indoors and outdoors, opening up the possibility for a variety of creative opportunities.
  • The versatility of an open riser staircase structure means that it can be accommodated to match with nearly every style of design and architecture.

Now let’s take a look at some of the specific options available when working with an open riser staircase:

  • A residential curved staircase that offers a unique combination of open and solid elements, such as with beautifully stained wooden treads and custom designed wrought iron handrails, complimented by the airy nature of the open risers, this particular design has an elegant, yet charming appeal.
  • An L-shaped open riser staircase system designed for a commercial space, displaying glass features and stainless handrails, as well as wooden treads. Such a staircase offers excellent lighting and provides an especially luminous ambiance to the entire building.
  • A modern straight open riser staircase for the exterior of a home or building, featuring a single stringer staircase, steel cables, and hand-crafted metal handrails and newels, this popular open riser staircase design is perfect for complimenting a structure with straight, clean lines.

Last but not least, when it comes to any major staircase construction project, the end result can only be as good as the engineers, contractors, and laborers who create and assemble the open riser staircase from start to finish.

That is why it is essential to invest in a professional stairs company like iStairs, with a reputation for providing high-quality work for every client they serve, so don’t hesitate to call iStairs when you are ready to get started on your open riser staircase!

 

Benefits of a Metal Staircase

A metal staircase is alluring and unique, sure but did you also know that one of the main benefits of having a metal staircase is related to the versatility and durability of the material itself?

That’s right folks, a metal staircase is indeed beneficial in more ways than one, and even allows for a wide range of designs and styles!

To gain a better understanding of the benefits of metal staircases, take a look at some of the reasons listed below, and get in touch with your stairs contractor, iStairs, if you have further questions!

  • Extreme utility: The versatile nature of metal lends itself well to the construction of stairs, and as such, there are a number of unique shapes, sizes, and layouts that are possible to make when creating a metal staircase.Homeowners are also pleased when they learn that there are any numbers of styles on which to build a metal staircase, whether that style is traditional, simple, modern, or elegant. A metal staircase is also an ideal model for both indoors and outdoors, no matter how big or small the size.
  • Cost-effective installation and labor: Relative to other building materials, a metal staircase is one of the cheaper stair products to produce and install, which means that you end up saving money while still benefiting from the high-quality staircase made and assembled by professional stair engineers and contractors.But more importantly, you won’t have to compromise on style just to save a few bucks with a metal staircase.
  • Minimal maintenance and upkeep: Also unlike most other staircase materials, a staircase made of metal is incredibly easy to clean and maintain, a feature that will continue to benefit you for as long as you live in your house.As compared to a traditional wooden staircase upholstered with carpet that needs constant maintenance and care just to look presentable after a few years, a metal staircase requires very little cleaning other than the basic dusting and sweeping every so often.Many families also come to appreciate the fact that having a metal staircase is much less noisy to move around on than say, a wooden staircase.
  • Longevity and durability: Yet another reason why having a metal staircase is beneficial is the fact that they are very durable and will last as long, if not longer, than any other building material.A metal staircase will be a solid investment for your home, and with just the right design to complement the individual character of your home; such an investment can even add value to your home as well.

Now can you understand a little better just why metal staircases remain such a popular choice among both homeowners and contractors alike? And given the fact that your chosen professional stair contracting company will work to deliver a product that suits your unique style and taste, while also providing the benefits listed above, what’s not to love about a metal staircase?

For further help on how to make this become a reality for your home, contact iStairs, stairs company today!

A Custom Staircase can Make Over Your Home!

Are you looking for a unique and creative way to makeover your home but aren’t exactly sure which project will create the aesthetic appeal that you are searching for?

While many homeowners are likely to choose some new paint or other interior decorating changes as a way to makeover their home, one of the most overlooked yet powerful makeovers a home can have, is a makeover that includes the addition of a custom staircase.

A custom staircase designed by you with the guidance of a professional stairs contractor can be exactly what you are looking for when it comes to making over your home! But why are custom staircases so appealing and what is it about a truly unique set of custom stairs that can set a home apart from the rest?

  • Unlike traditional straight or spiral staircases, a custom staircase design has the ability to express a family’s unique styles and tastes in ways that other home makeover projects just can’t compare to.

    When you enter someone’s home for the first time, open the front door are greeted by a staircase design that you have never seen before, it can really leave a lasting impression of class and taste.

    So just think about what kind of a statement your home will make, with the addition of an original custom staircase design built and installed by a professional stairs company that has been making custom staircases for homeowners for years.

  • Another reason why homeowners tend to gravitate towards a custom staircase when looking to make a statement and add character to their home is because a custom staircase made right really is a piece of art. A custom staircase also has the potential to make over your home in more ways than one; in fact, custom staircases can even add value to your home in addition to providing architectural appeal.
  • Custom staircases are also the perfect home makeover endeavor because the process of choosing and planning the design alongside a professional stairs builder is not only rewarding and fun, it also really allows homeowners to gain the new perspective with regard to their homes and how much they value them.

    Additionally, the process of designing a custom staircase gives homeowners the opportunity to explore new design elements and themes that they would not have otherwise explored without choosing to make a custom staircase.

  • Finally, once you have decided upon pursuing a custom staircase project to makeover your home, there are a few different ways in which you can go about it, depending on what your preferences are.

    While your stairs contractor will obviously walk you through every step of the process, it really is up to you when it comes to choosing your desired staircase style and product.

    Remember that this is not something that you want to rush and jump into, and that’s why your trusted contractor is there to remind you that this is just as much as an investment in your time as it is in your money, but also that your patience is guaranteed to pay off when your custom staircase is completed to perfection.

Why Do Customers Love Round Staircases?

When you walk into a home or a building for the first time, what’s the first element of the space that grabs your attention? More often than not, it is the staircase that stands out immediately when walking into space and the reason is simply that staircases are eye-catching by nature of their design, they draw our attention upwards, and they can instantly reveal a home’s sense of style. Now when it comes to a specific design of staircase that is especially captivating to everyone who sees it is the round staircase design. But what are the reasons behind the popularity of round staircase designs among today’s homeowners? Let’s take a closer look at a handful of reasons why the round staircase is the choice of homeowners looking to make a statement with their home.

  1. The First Impression: Nothing is quite as wow-worthy when it comes to staircases, as is the round staircase, and that’s partially due to the dramatic element that comes along with such a design. The first impression made by someone entering into the foyer of a home with a round staircase is one of strength and beauty. In addition to making a statement to all of your guests, the round staircase serves as one of the essential focal points of your whole interior design scheme.
  2. Functional Charm: Round staircase designs, including the spiral staircase design, are often more efficient than traditional staircase layouts as far as space is concerned, allowing you to maintain functional movability in your home without compromising style or charm. Moreover, there are numerous ways in which to design a spiral staircase or similar design, in a way that uniquely compliments the style of your home.
  3. That Classic Southern Feel: It seems that one of the most common images conjured up by people when thinking about a home with a round staircase is that of an elegant home in the South somewhere, with high ceilings and a sense of elegance and tradition, probably because that’s exactly what round staircases represent-style, elegance, and charm.
  4. The Perfect Sense of Curvature to a Home: Another reason why homeowners are so attracted to round staircase designs is simply because of the shape and curvature of the lines in a round staircase. A custom round staircase has the potential to add the exact amount of curvature and shape you are looking for to complement the interior of your home.
  5. Craftsman’s Touch: The professional homebuilders and architects of today will often use a round staircase as a signature statement for their residential projects, giving their clients that one-of-a-kind feel to really make their house stand out amongst the rest. And what better way of making a statement than to have something as original and stylish as a custom designed and built round staircase for your home?

Now that you know some of the specifics of what makes round staircase designs so popular among today’s homeowners, be sure to get in touch with your Sacramento staircase contractor, iStairs, today to discuss all the available options for your very own custom staircase!