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  • Writer's pictureStairworks

Frequently Asked Questions

General Staircase Questions

Can you do standard timber staircases (wooden stairs)?

  • Stairworks do not design build or install standard timber stairs, carpet stairs, or pre-cast stairs. As we are a metal fabrication company, our staircases are predominately steel framed, bespoke items. However, we do use timber elements on our stairs, and can also incorporate concrete, glass and carpet finishes in elements such as treads, handrails and balustrades.

How do you work out the length of a staircase?

  • If it is the only staircase in the dwelling, it depends on the classification of the staircase. For standard residential dwellings, we can take a 255mm tread length with a 25mm overlap between treads (which is the minimum) and then divide the floor to floor height by 180mm which is the maximum riser height. However, you can go smaller if it’s only accessing a single room or if there are other staircases. If this is the case, we take the floor to floor height and divide it by 180mm (the maximum riser height) to get the nearest whole number of risers required. This will let us know how many treads we need, as well as help us further calculate the tread length (255mm is the minimum tread length including a 25mm overlap between treads) as well as the overall tread depth (generally 280mm).

What’s the height of a handrail required on a staircase?

  • Minimum requirement for a handrail above the pitchline measured off the nose of each tread is 900mm with a maximum of 1,000mm.

What’s the minimum height for a balustrade around a landing void?

  • 1,000mm

How much is a staircase?

  • There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the materials required, floor to floor height, number of treads required, style of stairs, and onsite conditions. As all staircases built by Stairworks are bespoke items, we are happy to provide a quote taking all of these variables into consideration. When it comes to a quote, there are two options: 1.) All we require for a quote is the floor to floor height and any design criteria you have, including images of stairs you have seen/like. 2.) Stairworks can take the lead and come up with a design based on your preferences if you don’t have an idea of what you want.

How long does it take to build a staircase?

  • This is a difficult question to answer, but once we have an agreed upon design and we are able to take the necessary onsite dimensions - depending on the complexity of the project - Stairworks will normally build and install the staircase in about 4 weeks. Bear in mind that you will want to get the the final finishes on the staircase installed towards the end of your project to avoid any damage. We can provide the necessary structure and framework needed as an access staircase until the final finishes are installed.

At what point in our project do we need to install the staircase?

  • In most scenarios, you would want to get steel framework before gib to allow us to fasten to an existing structure of the building and conceal any onsite brackets or bolts required. Finishes can then be installed at a later date when construction is finished to avoid damage.

Questions about PS1's

What is a PS1?

  • A PS1 is a Producer Statement for Design which demonstrates what specific clauses of the New Zealand Building Code the design complies with and how.

Do we need a PS1?

  • 99% always yes. Some instances of when you we have to provide a PS1 to prove that the staircase is fit for purpose are: a.) If it is a new build or renovation b.) If the engineer hasn’t designed the staircase as part of the consent package c.) If the staircase has changed from what the engineer originally designed

Can Stairworks provide a PS1?

  • Yes this is part of the Stairworks design package.

What is the cost of a PS1?

  • Depends on the complexity of the stairs but starts around $1,500.

How much time does it take to get a PS1?

  • We can work to make sure it goes in with part of the consent package to keep with the timeline.

Can Stairworks manufacturer stairs to an existing PS1?

  • Yes Stairworks can work to any preexisting drawings from either an architect or engineer to create the staircase you already had designed.

Questions about Spiral Stairs

What’s the minimum diameter of a spiral staircase?

  • The answer depends on the floor to floor height of the stairs themselves, the required rotation of the spiral staircase, and the surrounding headroom constraints. If the staircase is the only access between floors in a dwelling, then it is very difficult to get one to pass building code that is smaller than an 1800mm outside diameter.


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