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Taking on large scale renovations: Stairway Relocation

When the desired improvements to your home are intended to impact functionality first and aesthetics second, more often than not, you’re looking at something in the realm of a large-scale renovation. Such improvements are often needed to maximize the living space in the home, whether for a growing family, to create a multi-generational living space, or to create an income property.

Stairway relocation tends to be among the most intimidating home renovation projects, since the stairs are such an integral part of a house’s structure. People simply don’t think about moving them. However, at times, particularly in older homes, the stairway is either too small, to steep, or poorly placed. This can mean that the staircase either needs a major renovation or to be relocated entirely.

Choose Highly Experienced Professionals

Relocating the staircase in your home requires the services of a highly skilled and experienced contractor. Be sure to conduct a very thorough search, because this is definitely an area of the home that you don’t want to take risks on.

If you’re planning to take on a more customized project, such as a relocation and redesign, you may also need to contract the services of an architect.

Your contractor and architect can also talk to you about the rules and regulations that need to be followed, when installing new stairs. This includes things such as riser height and baluster spacing. These are details that are essential to ensure that your new staircase will be up to code.

The Possible Task

Moving your staircase is not impossible. In fact, it’s a very possible task. It can greatly improve the flow of your interior and give it a more open and airy feel. If you’re already planning a renovation, don’t be afraid to talk to your contractor about making the move.

Making the Right Move

The most important question to ask yourself prior to taking on this renovation is “where would you like the stairs to go?” You’ll want to consult with your contractor and perhaps an architect to come up with the best option.

Keep in mind that this move will not only alter the floorplan of the main floor, but of the upper floor as well. This means that you’ll need to be prepared to make some big changes in both areas.

Not only can you relocate to a different part of the house, but you may wish to flip the stairs front to back, so that they no longer begin at a front hall. Alternatively, rather than having them run from the front to back of the house, there may be room for them to run along the back of the house.

Types of Stairs

In addition to moving your staircase, you may also wish to opt for a different layout. Here are some common options:

Straight Stairs

Straight stairs are exactly as the name suggests. They are placed in a straight line, either with or without a landing at the centre. Staircases that are higher than 12 feet or that feature more than 16 steps will require a landing.

Quarter Turn Stairs

Quarter turn stairs are a variation on the straight stair. This option features a landing in the middle, which transitions into a 90-degree turn. This option works well if you wish to move your stair to a corner.

Switchback Stairs

Switchback stairs consist of two parallel ascending and descending lights of stairs, joined by landing in the middle.

Winder Stairs

Winder stairs are similar to Quarter Turn stairs, but with the addition of pie-shaped steps in place of the landing. Due to their compact design, this option is a good choice for homeowners looking to reduce the footprint of their staircase.

Taking the Next Step

Ready to get started on your project? Visit the listings here on to find qualified stair builders in your area. Read reviews, visit their websites, and get connected, today.

This article is the first in a series about Taking on Large-Scale Renovations. Throughout this series, we’ll touch on several different big reno projects, including: Stair Relocation, Adding an Addition, Basement Lowering, and Converting a Garage Into a Room.


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