Average Labour Cost/Price to Repair/Replace Staircases and Banisters

To clarify the following prices it is recommended that you read the article in the INFORMATION box below the PRICES…

(These prices are based on a tradesman’s rate of £150.00 per day and a labourer if required at £100.00 per day. This includes the cost of buying and collecting any materials, dumping any waste if necessary and any incidental materials they will need. The minimum price will usually be for a half day)

How Much Does it Cost To Replace a Staircase?


Job 1
To get a chap in to re glue and bracket an existing stair will take him a leisurely day so expect to pay

Job 2
To remove all the existing banister in a normal straight 13 tread staircase and replace it with new newel posts at top and bottom, a moulding on top of the string, a new rail and balusters which he has to measure up for and collect from the “merchants” will take him 3 days.

Materials (excluding the new fittings) £30, Labour £480

Job 3
To remove the existing then collect and fit a more complicated banister with a small turn near the top and a run along the landing as well, which might incorporate not 1 but 3 newel posts, will take him more than 4 days so lets say 4.5 days labour plus the price of the fixings he has to buy but not the banister itself.


For your must-see guide to Tradesmen's Rates please click on the map…


A Price Guide and Information Sheet on Replacing and Installing Staircases and Banisters

Well…. we must assume you have one already and as you are visiting this site there must be a problem with it. If the problem is small then the stair is either creaking or moving around a bit as you use it, or the banisters are loose or need replacing for aesthetic reasons.

A normal house stair, the sort with an underside that should only be seen when you put the vacuum away, relies on glue and wedges to keep it together. With time and lots of kids running up and down, the wedges loosen, the glue fails and slowly it begins to sound like Nelson’s flagship and you wouldn’t be surprised if a bloke with a wooden leg appeared at the top looking for his parrot.

(If you’re about 60 I bet you’ve just tilted your head, closed one eye, adopted a bad Devon accent and croaked Ahaaar…Jim lad, I told eee I wanted a Jolly Roger, why as eee brought me that flaaag)? Perhaps not.

This is relatively easy to solve, clear away the golf clubs and the cat box etc. and get a bloke in to re glue the whole thing. He will knock out each loose wedge, re glue it and probably screw steel angle brackets between each “
tread and riser”.

That brings us to a little problem with stairs, do we give you all the technical jargon and regulations regarding staircases and there is quite a bit. I suppose we should do even if only 43 of the 16 million “visits” on this page since last Wednesday are interested, it’s our duty!

A stair composes two quite large timber boards, one at each side, these are called “strings” for some reason. The bit you tread on is the “tread” and the vertical bit between the treads is the “riser”. The big old vertical posts at the top and bottom are the “newels”, the rail you hold on to is the banister rail and the (sometimes) ornamental rods between this rail and the strings or treads are the “balusters”, sometimes (incorrectly in my book), called the “spindles”. The front to back distance on the tread is called the “going”.

Right, here’s the (simplified) regulations for domestic staircases. If a stair doesn’t comply with these it wouldn’t be allowed to be installed
if it were fitted today.

The height of the riser must be between 155mm / 220mm when used with any going length of between 245mm / 260mm.
The height of the riser must be between 165mm/ 200mm when used with any going length of between 223mm / 300mm.

The maximum rise height
and minimum going length must never be more or less than 220mm.

This equation must apply at all times…. 2x the riser height + the going length has to be between 550mm and 700mm.

Handrail or banister rail height must be between 900mm and 1000mm.

I can see your eyes glazing over from here and I haven’t scratched the surface yet! The complete set can be found in the latest version of the building regulations. Put one on your coffee table, be the envy of your guests (if you have building inspector mates).

But….maybe your problem isn’t small, either you’ve just come back from holiday having left the kids to look after the house or a maniac in the 60’s did some alterations and you’ve decided to put it back as it should be. Either way, your
banister is ruined and it’s “new one time”.

There are actually quite a lot of alternative designs about and you can find the actual stuff (as opposed to only seeing pictures on the internet), in good quality timber merchants. The job requires quite a degree of skill so a
joiner as opposed to a chippie will be required. A joiner sharpens his chisels and saws, a chippie chucks them away and charges you for new ones.

Newel posts have to be cut accurately and secured to the relevant floor joists. This means carpets and floorboards up. Banister rails have to be cut to angles and morticed (jointed) into the newel posts, balusters aren’t quite so difficult but if they are “turned” (ornamental) the bits of them that aren’t ornamental (at the tops and bottoms) should all be the same matching length as each other.

Some complete systems come with polished angled brackets which negate the morticing jobs for him but these will all show on completion and unless the design is very modern, they can look a bit strange.

Questions to ask the joiner during his quotation visit.

Where can I go and see actual examples?
Before he arrives, ask him to tell you where to look locally at examples. When he does turn up to quote, you will then be able to tell him what you want and he can factor it into his price.

A-Z of Job Pricing