Sunday, 24 April 2016

Remember! Staircase Remodeling is not a DIY Project!

Doing your own home repairs and renovations is a great way to save money; also, you enjoy the satisfaction that derives from a well-done DIY project. However, there are some jobs that even a skilled home handyman should not attempt, because of the specialist skills and knowledge required.

Some other jobs, if not done properly, could have serious consequences for the security of the building and the people who live there. Remodeling a staircase is one such demanding project. Here are listed a few aspects of the project that require the skills and technical expertise of an experienced professional.

Building regulations

There are very detailed building regulations for both a new staircase and a remodeled one. It is not just a matter of dimensions and size: the construction of the staircase itself is subject to very strict controls to ensure its safe use.

Understanding the specifications is hard enough, and following them is even harder. For example, will you be able to ensure that there is “a minimum 2,000 mm of clear headroom above the pitch line” or “a maximum pitch of 42°”?

Removal of old layers of paint

Using a belt sander is something most home handymen can do. But if the old paint is lead based, it will be dangerous to deal with. Even the use of protective gear will not suffice. This hazardous job is best left to professionals.

Lead-testing kits are available at most hardware or DIY stores, but you cannot completely rely on them. Repainting over a smooth old painted surface is an easy option, but the paint will not last as long as it should.

Fixing new treads

This is among the most common aspects of remodeling; however, it is a lot trickier than it may appear. It’s not just a matter of cutting out the old pieces and fitting in the new ones. The new treads need to be shaped properly to ensure perfect fitting.

Gluing must be done with care so that they do not become loose. If the new treads are to be screwed into place, they should be countersunk below the surface to accommodate filling and painting later on.

Managing creaks

Creaks are usually caused by the rubbing together of pieces of lumber. Screwing those pieces of wood tightly into place may not fix the problem once and for all.

At times you may need thin strips of wood that are planed off to slight taper across the width; they should be inserted into the gaps to tackle creaks effectively. Furthermore, locating the source of the sound is not easy. A creak at the top may be caused by an issue somewhere else on the staircase. You need to know exactly where to look for.

Repairing/renovating a staircase is always best left to professionals. They will be able to not only execute the work maintaining high standards, but also ensure the best looks. Once they complete the project, you will not be plagued by imperfections or safety/quality issues – the telltale signs of an improperly renovated staircase.

Moreover, the cost will not be as high as you may assume. A professional renovation will last for a very long time as compared to a DIY job; consequently, the savings, both direct and indirect, will be quite significant.