Builders will generally provide the most basic staircase thats affordable for them to provide however its not something that can be upgraded later on. Even for basic changes to a staircase that can easily add $5k and go up from there. The labour side
The main parts of a standard staircase, which you may consider upgrading, are:
- Stringers (see Image 1) –
- Closed stringers – These is a standard option normally and allows you to use MDF treads and carpet.
- Open stringers (sawtooth stringer) – This adds a cost of a few thousand. You also cant use carpet or do your treads like laminate after handover as the balusters are installed with the staircase and would interfere with that floor.
- Mono stringer – These can be manufactured out of steel and can add a lot of cost to the design.
- Steel – These are the cheapest as they just need to be installed and dont require another trade to paint them.
- Pine – These would be painted and come in different shapes like chamfered ones for about $4 extra each
- Wrought iron – Not much more than painted pine but it depends on the style
- Glass – This can add around $10k vs standard
- Posts – A square post without any detail and a flat top is standard. 115sq or 155sq posts are upgrade options. There’s not much choice of styles in the range but you can do something custom which would cost a lot more. The difference in cost between the 115sq and 155sq is around $200 but just based on retail pricing so a builder would add margins onto this.
- Recess – These add to the character and would likely cost around $120 extra.
- Tops – These are around $75
- Treads and Risers –
- Carpet – This is the cheapest option as the treads and risers are cheap MDF and just requires carpet over the top of it. Requires a closed stringer.
- Laminate or similar – This is similar to carpet with MDF as the base however the cost difference is laminate vs carpet. Requires a closed stringer.
- Timber – Out of the common options Maple is the cheapest, followed by Victorian Ash and then Oak. Oak can cost around $1500-2000 extra.
- Painted – This is another cheaper alternative which can look nice where you have white painted risers in a Hamptons/Provincial look.