Choosing a staircase is a lot of work, and requires an experienced designer and contractor to do well. Know about what to look out for in choosing your materials, placement, and design.

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.


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!

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!

How to Hire a Sacramento Stairs Contractor

If you plan on trusting a Sacramento stairs company to handle your stair remodel or construction project, there are several contractor-related concerns you should familiarize yourself with prior to making the decision. By knowing some of the keys elements associated with what makes a Sacramento stairs company great at their job, you are much more likely to find a contractor who is reputable and capable of delivering the finished product you want and deserve! iStairs is in fact one such Sacramento stairs company which provides all the necessary assurances and expertise you would expect to find in a trusted contractor.


iStairs – Sacramento Stairs Company Expert

So take the following list of tips and recommendations into consideration while you decide on which Sacramento Stairs Company is ideal for you and your home.

1. Referrals are perhaps the most important aspect of the contractor selection process. Ideally, you are looking for a Sacramento stairs contractor who is known and used by some of the homeowners in your area. Consider asking a reliable neighbor or friend for names if they had success with a recent stair remodel or reconstruction.

2. Research all the options available for a Sacramento stairs company in order to find the best contractor for your needs. It is smart to ask the contractor directly a few questions in order to determine the company’s basic sense of professionalism and experience. Many Sacramento area homeowners find that iStairs is the consummate professional in the stairs construction business simply because of the way they communicate with the customer.

3. Ask all of the potential contractor options for references so you can better narrow down your choices. By seeing how previous homeowners have assessed their experience with the company, you too can make a more informed selection of your Sacramento stairs contractor. Make sure you get answers to the basic questions like, how long ago was the construction project completed; how long did the installation and labor take; and finally, how many employees did it take for the company to complete the project in its entirety?

4. After going through several customer references, ask for the professional references from your list of contractors so as to get a sense of the company’s reputation in the industry. iStairs is one Sacramento stairs company with several professional relationships within the business of construction, all of which reflect positively upon the dedicated experts at iStairs.

5. Similarly, it is also important to do online research with the Better Business Bureau to further investigate the remaining Sacramento stairs contractors on your list, paying special attention to the content of the reviews and what they might actually reveal about the business practices of your stairs contractor.

6. Compare and contrast the price estimations given by the competing contractors, after they have thoroughly inspected the job in order to accurately estimate the costs. iStairs is particularly reputable for the way in which they conduct the price estimation process, as evidenced by customer testimonials and reviews (another important tip to consider!).

7. Last but certainly not least, address concerns verifying the qualifications of your chosen Sacramento stairs company by double-checking that your contractor is in fact licensed and insured, via an online check with the appropriate government website.

If you are looking for a Sacramento Stairs contractor that will go above and beyond for their clients, iStairs is just right for you! Give us a call today or fill out our Contact Us for and we will be happy to help you on your next project!

Installing a Wood Stair Railing Kit from iStairs

Excited to work on your wood stair railing kit? Here’s a nifty guide on how you can start installing your stair railing kit from iStairs:

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Custom Stair Builder Tips: Wooden Stair Parts Guide

Are you interested in building your own custom staircase? As a custom stair builder, iStairs know that customers often wonder about the terminologies involving custom stairs. Over the years, stair parts haven’t changed at all, so being familiar with these terminologies will aid you to understand your custom stair better.


These are the vertical spindles that hold up the handrails of a stair. These are found along the staircase. Balusters are often confused with newels.


It includes the entire elements a stair that makes up and supports the railing. The balustrade includes the handrails, balusters, and newels.


A rail found along the bottom of the balustrade.

Cove Mould:

A decorative mould that provides a smooth progression to the riser. It is installed underneath the nosing of the tread.


Often used as a progression to a balcony or landing, a gooseneck is a handrail fitting with a vertical ‘goose neck’ shape.


A rail at the side of a staircase, serving as a support or a guide.


A platform or wider step, connecting two flights of stairs or at the end of the stairway.


A deep recess, notch, hole, lot, or groove cut into wood that you insert another piece into. Mortises hold treads, often cut into stringers on closed staircases.


Another important custom stair builder part, as this supports the balustrade system. Newels are larger than balusters. Usually, it is placed at the top and the bottom of the staircase, or at a turn in the handrail.


Protruding beyond the edge of the vertical riser beneath it, a nosing is the front edge of a stair’s tread.

Open/closed staircase:

Differences between an open and closed staircase are obvious. If you see the steps from the sides, including the nosing of the tread, and riser, it is an open staircase. If you see that the steps are enclosed, it is a closed staircase.


This is another style a custom stair builder can do for your staircase. This staircase has its handrail run over the top of newels or posts. This is complicated to install.


A variation of custom staircase where the railings connect to the side of the posts or newels. Custom stair builders use this because it’s the simplest and most inexpensive way to join railings.


The pitch or angle of the staircase and handrail.


The vertical part of a step.


A decorative piece of wood attached at the end of the handrail where it meets the wall.


The horizontal dimension of a step, from one riser to the next, excluding the tread nose. The length of all treads combined is called the total run.

Shoe rail:

Found above the steps, it’s a rail that is parallel to the handrail at the foot level. Balusters are anchored in the shoe rail, instead of the usual tread.

Skirt board:

It provides the trim. A skirt board runs along the wall at foot level on the stairs.


Open and close staircases have different stringers. An open staircase has its stringer cut, while a closed staircase has its treads routed to the side. A stringer is found on the sides of the steps, supporting the treads and risers.


The horizontal part of a stair, or step.


Turnouts are used at the start of an over-the-post staircase. A turnout is a handrail that sits on top of a newel that turns away from the stair.


Volutes are used at the start of an over-the-post staircase. A volute is a handrail sits on top of a newel and spirals in on itself.