Ask A Stair Guy

Ask a Stair Guy

What kind of payment do you take?

Check, Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, Discover and the almighty green back.

What to expect when we arrive?

We set up for dust control and floor protection when needed. Controlled confusion: compressor noise, saw noise, banging, sanding tool noise and the occasional yelp from an installer when they hit their thumb with a hammer or board cut to short. The occasional Irish wit.

How long will it take?

A full staircase can take (treads, post and handrail) 6 to 7 days. The staircase with just post and rails usually takes about 1 to 3 days.

Will I have stairs while you are working on them?

At the end of the day we install temporary treads that allow you access to the above or lower floors.

Do you do the painting and staining?

We do not do any painting or staining but highly recommend the painter that does the refinishing of our work. If you use our painter you would work with him directly and is separate from our contract with you. The benefits in using our painter are they have done over 200 of our staircases and we know what he needs and he knows what we expect of him. We are well coordinate with each other. The average time for them is 1 to 3 days on staining and painting.

My house is well maintained what about dust?

We set up plastic walls and zipper doors to control the dust. If you are getting a full staircase remodel this is a major project and there will be some dust involved, we do our best at dust containment. We have in the past put into the estimate cleaning companies to do a final cleaning after we are done. Some clients like to use their own cleaner’s and we can put in an allotment in the estimate for them.

Who will be working on my project?

You will be introduced to the lead installer Gage Angstrom who runs the project and his helper (me).

What hours do you normally work?

Are normal operating hours are from 8 to 5 Monday to Friday. We sometimes work on Saturdays if you allow. Operating times can vary depending on what the completion schedule is. We have been known to work till 6 or 7 again depending on the completion schedule.

Do you clean up at the end of the day?

We sweep and vacuum at the end of every day, roll back the plastic, unplug all electrical cords, put away all tools and clear the stairs of all tools.

Will there be much noise?

Yes there will be. If you work nights and sleep during the day we will definitely wake you. If you have a newborn or are expecting one, we can talk about work vs. napping schedules.

Who will be working on my project?

You will be introduced to the lead installer Gage Angstrom who runs the project and his helper (me).

Where do you do the cutting and sanding?

We set up in your garage or inside the house. If in the garage we set up plastic for dust control. If inside the house it is usually because the rest of the house is also being worked on i.e.; wood floors getting installed etc.

Should my floor installer do the stair treads?

We really like us to do the tread and riser installation and here is why. In most cases the vertical height of the step needs to be corrected and the tread needs to be level when installed. If not it will show up later when setting a post or baluster. We have experienced more than once putting our work on top of someone else’s and not come out right. If we can do the tread install at the beginning we guarantee it will be and look right.

How do you fasten the tread to the tread support?

We use a Premium Polyurethane construction adhesive (PL) which takes about 24 hrs in some cases. We pre-drill and hand nail the treads. If the PL glue oozes from the joint we wait till it dries before it gets removed.

What is the sequence of the install?

Side skirts, treads & risers, newel posts, handrail and wood balusters. If wrought iron is being for balusters we complete the installation of the handrail and drill out for the wrought iron. Then the painter comes in and does his thing and once he is done we come back and install the wrought iron. This make for a much cleaner job and saves you money on the painting end. The painter doesn’t have to paper and tape the wrought iron to protect it.

Should the stair materials be stained and painted before they get installed to save time & money?

No, no, no. We have to cut, fit, install and sand just about everything we touch. If it has been prefinished and we break the finish surface and stain it will not match if you try to touch it up. A painter’s worst nightmare no matter how good they are.