Custom Stairs

By Todd Fratzel on Finish Carpentry, Framing, Interior Decorating

Custom Brazilian Cherry Staircase

In our new home we built the custom stairs with Brazilian Cherry treads, handrails and newel post. The risers and stringers are made from poplar. Brazilian Cherry is a really beautiful wood and extremely dense. I’m told it’s about 100 times harder than red oak.

As you can see in the photos the design of our stair case included a landing allowing us to access the stairs from the foyer and the breakfast nook. This was a wonderful design idea we came up with and it really helps the daily flow of traffic. It also helps open up the space and fits very well with our “open” floor plan.

Ordering Stair Parts Online to Save Money

I ordered all of the Brazilian Cherry parts from an online vendor, All of the parts were of great quality and craftsmanship. My only complaint was the lead time was much longer than they advertised.

Having said that I’d still purchase stair parts from them again because of the quality and price. I had a local custom stair builder give me a price of $8,000 to build this stair case. I spent about $2,400 on parts and another $1,200 on labor and probably another 20 hours of my own time.

If you’re going to go this route be sure you understand how a stair is built and what parts you’ll need to buy. For this project I purchased the Brazilian Cherry parts, balusters and newel post. The framing, risers and hardware were purchased locally.

Are you interested in building your own stairs? If so check out one of our articles on how to build stairs. We also have a free stair calculator to help you figure out the rise and run for a staircase.

The bottom line is having custom stairs in your home can increase the houses value. If you do-it-yourself you’ll save lots of money and realize an even great ROI.


About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Anita says:

    Gorgeous – and I love the landing design. We’re planning on a Brazilian Cherry floor upstairs when we start renovating up there because the stuff is tough as nails and so pretty too.

    Hey – is that a baby gate in that picture there? I’m laughing to myself because I see you guys have the same high-baseboard dilemma we have. Our baseboards are 7 1/2″ – so we always have a sizeable gap under our baby gates… enough so that our 3 year old is teaching our 18 month old to do the limbo in order to escape. :)

  2. Todd says:

    That is indeed a baby gate. I actually interupted the baseboard nd installed a narrow block of wood that I’ve attached the gate hardware to. It allowed me to set the gate a tad lower and also helped me mount the gate out away from the wall a bit further. Nothing like a great new staircase with a fine baby gate attached!

  3. Kim says:

    Wow, your stairway looks so crisp and clean for having any kids around! I’m in awe. Baby gate and all.

    • Todd says:

      Kim – Thanks! Between the Brazilian Cherry being tough and the Urethane we used being bulletproof them have stood up very well. Still look new.

  4. Todd,
    Your stairs are beautiful. I’m especially interested in the landing design as I live in a one hundred year old home and I think that a landing like yours is the answer to our remodel design. Would it be possible for you to provide more pictures of your stairs at different angles/views? I’m interested in seeing what the landing looks like if one were to look at the staircase head-on. I’d greatly appreciate your time!

  5. Todd,
    Oops! I apologize! Please disregard my first comment. I was so excited by the design, color, etc. that I didn’t look close enough to see the WALL of the landing! LOL!

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