Five Signs That It’s Time to Remodel Your Staircase

remodel staircaseStairs. We take them for granted every day. And when we do that, eventually they will wear out and need repairing, remodeling or replacing.While a staircase is rarely the first element most people think of for renovation plans, it is vital to your safety as well as your home’s style and functionality. Let’s look at five clear signs it’s time to remodel a staircase before it’s too late.

Creaking and Rattling

Loud creaks might be a common occurrence within older homes, but they’re also annoying. They could be due to something simple or they could be a sign that there’s a structural problem.

If you’re hearing creaks where you tread, the fix should be relatively simple.If you hear creaks and groans from the railings or balustrades, you need an immediate repair because safety could be compromised. The end result will be a quieter and safer home.

Loose Railings

This problem goes further than the creaks mentioned above. A loose railing is  hazardous. If your railing begins to move when pressure is applied to it, it’s time for remodeling. Delaying could lead to staircase falls and injury, as well as possible insurance claims against you.

Stairs No Longer Meet Building Codes

remodel staircaseBuilding safety codes have changed in recent decades, and that includes staircases. Some of those changes involved resetting minimum guardrail heights (to prevent falling from leaning over) and baluster spacing (so people, especially children, can’t slip through the gaps). If you have a 1970s home or older, it’s possible that your staircase doesn’t meet modern codes. Get it remodeled because the last thing you want is an injury to a family member or visitor, which could result in court cases and insurance claims. You also want your home to pass inspection with flying colors should you decide to sell it.


Cement or even stone staircases can be prone to cracking. This issue develops over time, especially in a seismically active area like Southern California. It can be very difficult to tell if the cracking is a just a cosmetic issue or a sign of structural weakness and instability. You don’t want to take any risk. Call in the experts to inspect, upgrade and remodel that staircase. Safety comes first.

Powder Deposits

On painted staircases, a telling sign of a structural issue is the presence of powder deposits. These deposits might be left by insects after they burrow into the staircase and embed themselves. Beetles and termites, for example, are known to infest wood and weaken it. So, if you see powder on or around your staircase, that is definitely a sign for you to seek some advice about repairing and remodeling.

On top of everything else, a new or remodeled staircase could provide just the lift your home needs. A basic old staircase can be made to look stylish and become an architectural highlight of your home. So watch for the signs that your staircase may need remodeling and contact the experts if you are ever in doubt.

Romney Tripp of RWT Design & Construction“Romney Tripp started construction in 1977 and formed RWT Design & Construction in 1992, eventually setting up the shop in Burbank. From the mid 1980’s Romney has been working on building recording studios as well as…” Read more.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to RWT Design & Construction.

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