DIY

Want to start a small project for your stairs? Our DIY guides can help you through picking, installing, and maintaining your stairs.

Stair Design 101: Installing A Stair Handrail

Anyone can build a house, but it takes a little something to build a home. When it comes to turning your house into a home, there’s a very special feeling you get when you know you did a part of your house yourself.

How To Install a Stair Design Handrail

A simple stair handrail may not be too special, but knowing that you installed it yourself will make it the best handrail around. So let’s start with your DIY handrail installation!

Step 1: Do the necessary preparations

If you already have a previous handrail and you just want to replace it, it will be a lot easier than if you would have to install a handrail for the first time. We wouldn’t recommend installing the first handrail by yourself because you might end up spending a lot more than if you have specialists working on it. Most of the time, the reason why you would want to replace your stair handrail is because you’re trying to change your stair design. Or, if the installers placed a handrail that does not much the stair design you have. (Friendly note, you would never have mismatched stairs and handrails with iStairs).

So if you ever have a need to replace your stair handrails, the first thing you need to do is to plan your handrail installation project. Think of the handrail you wish to install. Does it match your stair design? Is it made of high quality material? Are your brackets screwed tight enough? Do these checks to ensure that your handrail will be able to provide the support that it should provide. Should you need help in matching handrails to a stair design of your liking, iStairs can surely help you.

If you have old rickety brackets or loose screws, replace them with new ones to ensure that you will have a perfectly steady handrail.

Step 2: Cut and install the handrail

When you have chosen the handrail that fits your stair design, buy the perfect material for it. Make sure to measure it accurately so it will fit correctly. Make sure to properly saw the ends of each handrail and also make sure that it will perfectly fit with where you wish to install it. Screw your handrail tightly and securely to avoid accidents and to ensure that you have a handrail that you can count on.

Step 3: Sand and coat the handrail

Make sure to sand your handrail smooth so that you won’t get scraped off when you use it, even if you’re in a hurry. Don’t miss the bottom of the handrail!

Coat your new handrail with varnish and stain to give it a good shine. Once dry, buff it up for the perfect look.

ENJOY YOUR NEW HANDRAIL

There you have it. Your DIY Handrail installation project is complete. Should you need more technical help, you can always ask iStairs for help. It’s always great to be able to do things yourself, but to ensure that everything’s done efficiently, call the experts at iStairs and we can send our professionals to help you install the perfect handrails for your home!

How to Fix Stair Scratches

The beauty of hardwood stairs does not have to fade with the accumulation of scratches due to the natural wear and tear of foot traffic, so long as you know the proper way to fix and repair stairs with scratches.

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Great Ways to Decorate Your Stairs

Gone are the days where stairs, to be considered beautiful, must be polished, carpeted, or made from the most expensive materials. Nowadays, there are creative ways to make your stairs look stunning. To turn your ordinary stairs to extraordinary ones, try one of the following:

[Read more…]

Stair Ideas for Small Spaces

When it comes to choosing the best staircase design for a small space in your home or business, there are several ideas and layouts that you can discuss with your Sacramento stairs contractor in order to make the most efficient choice for your living space. A smart space-saving design for a staircase can add value and unique appeal to a room’s interior, and there are a variety of layouts which a professional Sacramento stairs company could easily customize to the designated area of your home or business. [Read more…]

DIY vs Hiring a Sacramento Stairs Contractor

A stair remodeling project is by no means a simple task so if you find yourself contemplating the DIY approach for a construction task of this magnitude, make sure you are fully prepared for what you will be in for! While doing a stairway remodel on your own is likely to save you a considerable amount of money on labor-related costs, the benefits associated with a DIY approach do not necessarily outweigh the costs of hiring a professional contractor. There are a few key elements to stairway remodel you must keep in mind when you are choosing between the options of hiring a professional or the DIY method. But remember, no matter what option you decide, make sure to still consult the experts at a Sacramento stair company for any questions and advice!

Why Hire a Professional Sacramento Stairs Expert?

First and foremost, you must consider the fact that any sort of construction taking place on the stairs of your home is going to seriously alter the way you and your family move inside your home (for the time being of the remodel at least). It is therefore essential to understand that doing the stairway remodel yourself requires a large investment of your personal time, and will also alter the accessibility of the stairwell for potentially days at a time.

Moreover, keep in mind that prior to the construction even taking place, you must first pull the appropriate permits and research the latest building codes for Sacramento stairs in your area. This step is very important because you could actually lose value on your home if you fail to maintain the proper dimensions and codes. If, however, you chose to hire a professional Sacramento stairs company, concerns like maintaining a strict time schedule as well the permits and codes, would all be handled for you.

As a stairway remodeling is potentially a weeks-long project, it is best to be cost-efficient by maintaining a consistent work schedule–a task which is more realistically to be kept by a contractor who isn’t prone to distractions because he doesn’t live in the house (unlike you if you were to DIY)! Similarly, one of the best parts of hiring a professional Sacramento stairs company is the fact that deadlines are a guarantee of the contract between you and your contractor, which ensures you that your life will not be interrupted for long!

The next issue you want to consider while making this decision involves gauging to see if you actually posses the necessary skills for a construction project of this type, since a remodeling of an entire stairwell is not exactly comparable to the repairing of a few loose steps.

More importantly, this remodeling project does require the appropriate dimensions in order for the Sacramento stairs to be safe and functioning, something that you might not even be able to tell that you did wrong. Thus, it often makes the most sense to leave the stairway remodel up to the professionals!

As a homeowner, make sure to take the time in making the best choice for completing your stairway remodel, and remember to consult the expert Sacramento Stairs Company, iStairs for further advice!

Creative Spaces Under the Staircase

If you find your home is need of an interior boost of creativity, some extra storage space, or even a small reading nook, the area directly underneath your staircase provides an excellent space for such an addition! [Read more…]

How to Build Your Staircase

While a staircase is simple and uniform in assembly and appearance, even a small discrepancy between the stairs can cause a potential tripping hazard. As a homeowner, it is therefore essential to regularly consult the building codes and to consistently follow all the necessary calculations for creating the proper dimensions of a staircase. Since one small error or incorrect measurement can compromise the entire staircase, many homeowners trust a Sacramento Stair Company to do the job right, from start to finish. The professionals at your Sacramento Stair Company iStairs are experts in building safe and quality staircases, as they maintain strict adherence to the proven step-by-step stair-constructing formula. [Read more…]

How To Paint and Stain Your Stairs

When redesigning homes, we tend to keep work on the stairs into a minimum. Stairs are positioned in places where they are always needed, so having no stairs to use one for a day or two would cause a lot of trouble. That’s why stairs are almost always taken for granted. However, stair designs are not permanent and they do experience wear and tear, so these will really need some refurbishing at some point in time. [Read more…]

Wood Stair Maintenance

Maintenance is key to keep the beauty of wood stairs for as long as possible. It is true when they say that the best stair design is a well-maintained one. It doesn’t matter how exemplary the stair design is, if it is neglected. Other than the looks, maintenance also extends the life span of the stairs.

Here are a few iStairs-quality tips to keep wood stairs at their finest:

 

  1. Regularly clean the stairs.

Spring should not be the only season when the stairs are cleaned. In fact, cleaning should be done as often as deemed necessary. Sweeping and vacuuming the stairs should be a habit. Take note, however, that when the stairs are in need for some wet-cleaning, only use products that are meant for the material used for the floor finish. This goes for all stair designs. Ensure no wet spots or spills are left for too long because these may stain or warp the stairs.

  1. Prevention is better than cure (or fixing).

Safeguard the stairs early on to prevent damages. Gravel and other material stuck on the bottom of the shoes may scratch not only the stairs but also the floor, especially the wooden ones. This can be prevented by using rugs right at the entrance for people to use. Stilettos and other hard heels are not friendly for soft wood stairs so these must be avoided. When moving furniture up or down the stairs, make certain that the legs are covered with paddings, socks, of bubble wrap. Some carpets complement wood stairs, while keeping these away from damage as well.

  1. If scratches or dents do appear, wax them up immediately.

Don’t let a perfect stair design be adulterated with even small scratches or dents. For waxed wood stairs, top the damaged area with a new layer of wax then buff it up. Doing this will not only hide these spoilers, but would make the stairs even more beautiful.

  1. Don’t wait for the entire stairs be worn out before applying a new finish.

Refinishing wood stairs should be done to worn out spots as soon as they appear to prevent further damage, and to maintain an unblemished stair design. Some areas of the stairs are more stepped on than others so wearing out won’t occur at the same time for the entire floor of the stairs.

Steel wool can be used to apply a penetrating finish to worn out areas. Sand off the old finish completely, smoothen the area, clean up, then apply a new finish.  It’s better to call up iStairs Sacramento stairs to ensure a wonderful refinishing job is done.

  1. When molds appear, kill the mold spores.

Wood stairs on a humid area make an ideal breeding ground for molds. Molds do not only cause serious harm to a once flawless stair design, but also a pose a threat on people’s health. Wiping the molds off does only half of the job since these would continue to reappear as long as the mold spores are there. Commercial sporicides are available, but mixing a quarter to half a cup of bleach to a gallon of water and using the solution to clean the stairs can actually do the trick. In addition, it is best to use a finish that prevents mold and mildew from growing.

 

These are some steps that homeowners can take on their end to properly maintain wood stairs. Keeping the stairs clean and preventing damage are essential to preserve both the beauty and the strength of any stair design. To further guarantee the maintenance of stairs, consult iStairs Sacramento stairs and ask for professional help. iStairs Inc is not only the ultimate source for custom staircase installation, but also for its maintenance. Routinely avail of iStairs-quality maintenance services to keep stairs looking as good as new.

Stair Railing Parts: How to Fix a Rattling Baluster

A common problem with stair railing parts, like wooden and wrought iron balusters, is an irritating rattle every time someone walks up or down the stairs. It is not unusual with balusters, especially if they have a dowel top connecting to the handrail. Even the best installation from a stair railing parts company may leave you with loose, rattling balusters, so don’t fret about a couple rattling ones, especially if the overall job is secure.

However, if you do want to solve this harmless but annoying problem, there are a few simple do-it-yourself solutions you can use:

Determine How Your Baluster was installed

First, recognize how balusters are installed (the layout from the stair to handrail). Balusters are installed into holes on the floor (or a “shoe plate”), or the stair itself, and then connected to the handrail. Focusing on wooden balusters, they are usually secured in place with wood glue in the holes of the handrail and floor, and then nailed into place. Depending on how the nail was placed, it may have curved into the hole during installation, causing rattling. This is a natural occurrence — not to be blamed on the installation company. Even an accidental bump to the baluster (especially a hard bump) can cause rattling, as it breaks the delicate connection between the baluster, glue, and handrail.

From here, the best and most common option is to simply repair your rattling stair railing parts by using a simple item that can be found around your home. All you will need are toothpicks (for best results, use flat toothpicks), wood glue, and a utility knife.

Easy Remedy: Gluing Your Balusters

First, add a small amount of wood glue to the side of the toothpick that will be facing the wood rail. Then, push the side without glue against the baluster to move it into the space between the baluster and handrail. Use your fingers at the bottom of the toothpick to gently push it, and get the toothpick wedged in as far as possible. Stop when it won’t move any further with your fingers, or you feel you can’t move it anymore.

Don’t stop there! Using the utility knife, place it as if you were to cut the toothpick (but don’t cut it yet), move the blade a bit below the handrail and use the utility knife to push the toothpick up father into the space between baluster and handrail. The blade should help slide it into the hole, but use caution so the baluster, toothpick, or your fingers won’t be cut. When you feel resistance and feel you have to force the toothpick further, this is the best place to stop. Always use caution when using the utility knife.

Once the toothpick is deep enough, and the baluster feels or sounds secure (don’t worry if it takes more than one toothpicks, it may in some cases), carefully trim the toothpick with the utility knife. Next, wipe off excess wood glue that may be left on the handrail, baluster, or have dripped down the baluster to the stair.

This method will also work with wrought iron balusters. You can gently shake the balusters, or have someone (or yourself) walk near it to make sure the balusters don’t rattle. Again, don’t worry if you need more than one toothpick, and be sure to place the next toothpick on the opposite side to avoid using too many toothpicks.

Advanced Repair: Nail Gun and Finish Nails

If this method doesn’t work, the next method uses a nail gun and finish nails.

Using the nail gun, shoot a finish nail into the top of the baluster. Place it so the nail goes through the top of the baluster and into the space where it meets the handrail. This method can also be used with the toothpick method after it, to insure maximum security and no rattling.

Do not use this method if you have wrought iron balusters; instead use the toothpick method. If you haven’t used a nail gun before, this method is also not recommended.

These are very simple ways to fix rattling balusters. The problem may seem frustrating, but the solutions are very easy. Remember to be careful in placement, and if using the toothpick method, don’t worry if you are using a few toothpicks in between the baluster and handrail.

If all else fails, or you’re afraid you may ruin your balusters and handrail, call iStairs Sacramento Stairs and Stair Railing Parts Company for help! Our experienced stair repair team will get the job done swiftly!