How Much Does a Spiral Staircase Cost to Install?

When space is at a premium, an eye-catching spiral staircase could be the perfect solution. The spiral staircase cost ranges from $1,000 to $20,000, with the national average at $10,400.

By Katie Flannery | Published Feb 1, 2024 3:30 PM

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Brown spiral stairs snake down into a bright room.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Highlights

  • The average spiral staircase cost is $10,400, though the typical range is $1,000 to $20,000.
  • The size and material of the stairs, installation location, and labor rates are the primary cost factors for spiral staircases, in addition to the choice of handrails and balusters.
  • Spiral staircases offer homeowners a number of advantages, such as optimized space, versatility, improved aesthetics, and an easier installation than a traditional staircase.
  • Most spiral staircases come as a kit, which might be possible for homeowners with construction experience to put together. However, there are strict building regulations to follow that a contractor will be familiar with, so it’s best to let a professional handle the installation to ensure the stairs are safe to use.
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Spiral staircases can be a functional element in a home and a stunning architectural feature. For homeowners considering installing a spiral staircase, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the associated costs and factors that can contribute to the final price.

The cost of a spiral staircase can vary based on several factors, such as the type of material, size, design, and installation requirements. According to HomeAdvisor, the average spiral staircase cost falls between $1,000 and $20,000, with many homeowners spending $10,400. The dimensions of the spiral staircase are an important consideration when homeowners are determining the cost. A small spiral staircase may be more budget-friendly, while a larger one can increase the price significantly.

Tony Caciolo, president of Monogram Custom Homes and Pools in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, recommends homeowners test out spiral stairs before deciding on this style. “The stairs can be as small as 4 feet [in] diameter to over 8 feet,” he says. “We’ve found that 5 feet, 6 inches is the minimum comfortable size that also meets the code. Many spiral stairs don’t meet stair code, so the most important feature is to ensure that the size that is purchased meets the stair code for tread depth, riser height, and handrail specifics.”

Compliance with building codes is crucial when homeowners are installing a spiral staircase, especially when it serves as the primary access point to a basement. If the price range for a traditional spiral staircase is beyond a homeowner’s budget, they may want to explore a spiral staircase alternative, such as s prefabricated modular staircase or custom-designed helical staircase, which can offer more flexibility in terms of design and cost.

Factors in Calculating Spiral Staircase Cost

Black metal spiral stairs are seem in the corner of a room, connecting it to the room above.

Photo: istockphoto.com

When it comes to calculating the cost of a spiral staircase, there are several factors to consider, including the staircase size and material, installation location, and local labor pricing. By considering all these factors, homeowners can make an informed decision that meets both their design preferences and their budget.

Staircase Size and Material

The dimensions and materials of a spiral staircase significantly influence the overall cost. The size of the staircase, whether it’s a compact design such as a small spiral staircase or one with more generous dimensions, directly affects the number of materials required for construction. Larger spiral staircase dimensions necessitate more materials, leading to an increase in cost. The average dimensions of a spiral staircase are 8.5 feet high by 3.5 feet wide. Homeowners can use one of the best digital tape measures to estimate if their space is suitable for a spiral staircase.

Materials play an important role in a spiral staircase’s aesthetic appeal and cost. High-quality materials such as hardwoods, metals like wrought iron and steel, and even glass can elevate costs due to their durability, aesthetics, and often intricate designs. In contrast, more cost-effective materials may reduce upfront expenses, but they might also compromise the longevity and visual appeal of an indoor spiral staircase. Some of the most common materials used for spiral staircase design are aluminum, glass, steel, Trex, wood, and wrought iron or cast iron.

Installation Location

The installation location of a spiral staircase is another important factor that influences cost. For outdoor spiral staircases, exposure to the elements introduces a need for materials that will withstand weathering, such as corrosion-resistant metals or treated wood. This can contribute to a higher cost compared to their indoor counterparts. The terrain and landscape of the outdoor space may require additional prep work, adding to the overall installation expenses.

Indoor spiral staircases have different considerations, such as the need to integrate seamlessly with the existing interior design elements. Factors such as the type of flooring and the space available for installation can influence costs, since adjustments or modifications may be required.

A spiral staircase to a basement must comply with code regulations and safety standards. Ensuring proper egress and meeting building code requirements can add complexities to the installation process, potentially increasing the overall cost.

Labor

The hourly rates or project-based fees for skilled technicians, carpenters, or contractors can vary widely from one region to another. Areas with a higher cost of living or high demand for skilled labor tend to have higher labor rates. Regions with a shortage of skilled workers may also experience increased competition for their services, potentially leading to higher labor costs, while areas with a surplus of skilled labor may have more competitive pricing.

Local building codes and regulations can influence the installation process, so building a code-compliant spiral staircase requires knowledge of local building practices and regulations. The expertise needed to navigate these requirements may affect labor costs.

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Additional Costs and Considerations

Beyond the fundamental elements, such as size, materials, installation location, and labor, there may be other factors that influence the total cost of installing a spiral staircase. Some considerations can include the installation of handrails, balusters, and treads.

Handrails

Handrails not only serve as a safety feature but also contribute to the aesthetic and functional aspects of the staircase. Wood, metal, and PVC materials all come with their own price points, but any detailed and intricate designs can also increase material expenses.

Many building codes mandate the inclusion of handrails for safety reasons. Ensuring compliance with these codes may involve additional design considerations and adjustments, affecting both material and labor costs. The average price to install handrails for a spiral staircase is $900.

Balusters

Balusters are vertical or slanted posts that connect the handrail and treads of a staircase, providing structural integrity and safety. They play a crucial role in a spiral staircase since they affect the design and may become a statement piece of the stairwell. Balusters may or may not be included in the spiral staircase cost, with an average price range of $1,200 to $1,600, or between $3 and $17 each before installation. It’s common for staircase remodel costs to increase if all the balusters need replacing, since they are the focal point of the stairs.

The most common baluster materials are wood, wrought iron, and other metals. If the design of the balusters is intricate or customized, the manufacturing and installation costs may increase. Balusters with unique shapes or patterns will require specialized craftsmanship to ensure a high-quality result that lasts.

The number of balusters needed is directly related to the design and dimensions of the staircase. Larger or more elaborate designs may require a greater quantity of balusters, contributing to increased material and labor costs.

Treads

The installation of treads, or the horizontal steps of a staircase, is another element that significantly influences the overall cost of installing a spiral staircase. Treads provide a safe and stable surface for the stairs. Some of the most popular material choices are wood and metal, though many homeowners opt for a decorative material such as glass, tile, stone, or composite.

Elaborate or custom designs for the treads, such as intricate patterns or nonstandard shapes, can contribute to increased costs. The number of treads needed depends on the height and design of the spiral staircase. More treads typically means higher material costs, and the installation process may become more intricate as the number of treads increases. Staining, painting, or other protective coatings might be needed for certain materials, which will also increase the cost.

Carpeted stairs connect a foyer to the upstairs of a large home.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Spiral Staircase Cost by Type of Material

The choice of material for a spiral staircase significantly influences the overall cost, with various options catering to different preferences and budgets. Each material type comes with its own set of characteristics and considerations, contributing to the overall expense of the installation.

Type of MaterialAverage Cost (Materials and Labor)
Aluminum$2,500 to $20,000
Glass$2,500 to $20,000
Steel$1,000 to $4,400
Trex$4,000 to $8,000
Wood$2,000 to $20,000
Wrought iron or cast iron$1,000 to $4,600


Aluminum

Lightweight and corrosion-resistant, aluminum spiral staircases are a durable and low-maintenance option. This weather-resistant material is often used for outdoor spiral staircases, but it also works well indoors for certain styles. Homeowners can expect to pay between $2,500 and $20,000 for an aluminum spiral staircase, depending on the size.

Glass

Sleek and modern, glass spiral staircases provide a visually stunning option. The cost tends to be higher than average, ranging from $2,500 to $20,000. Glass is a popular option for contemporary and modern homes, and it can be paired with steel or wrought iron for seemingly endless design possibilities.

Steel

Known for its strength and versatility, steel offers a balance between durability and cost. Average prices can range from $1,000 to $4,400, making steel spiral staircases a popular choice for those seeking a sturdy yet budget-friendly option.

“We like [spiral staircases] built out of steel,” says Caciolo. “Due to the nature of the tread mounting, the steel holds up well and feels rock solid.”

Trex

Trex is a composite material made from a blend of wood and recycled plastic. It offers the appearance of wood but requires less maintenance. Trek is known for its durability and resistance to the elements, and spiral staircases made from this material are known for their longevity at a good price point. The average price typically ranges from $4,000 to $8,000, depending on the design and any customizations.

Wood

Traditional and timeless, wood spiral staircases add warmth and character to a home and have a price range of $2,000 to $20,000. The cost variations are based on the type of wood chosen and any custom features. Staircases made from pine, oak, and other basic wood varieties are typically priced on the lower end of the price range, while high-end wood, such as mahogany and walnut, will be considerably more expensive.

But wood isn’t always the best material for this type of staircase. “Sometimes wood can be a little noisy and we’ve also had some cracking/checking/splitting due to the pressure placed on the treads since they are only supported on one side,” explains Caciolo. “There is incredible downward pressure on the outermost part of the tread which can often cause stress cracks in the wood near the mounting point.”

Wrought Iron or Cast Iron

Wrought-iron and cast-iron spiral staircases are known for their durability and intricate designs. These staircases are often considered a work of art and can significantly enhance the visual appeal of a space. Wrought-iron and cast-iron spiral staircases can average from $1,000 to $4,600. These materials are best for indoor use since they are susceptible to weathering.

Benefits of Choosing a Spiral Staircase

Spiral staircases are a popular choice for homeowners who want both functionality and style. The spiral design can be necessary due to space restrictions or specifically chosen for aesthetic reasons. The unique design of a spiral staircase offers advantages that include space optimization, versatility, aesthetics, and easy installation.

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Space Optimization

One of the major advantages of a spiral staircase is its ability to save space. Unlike traditional straight staircases, spiral staircases take up less floor space since they have a smaller footprint. This makes them perfect for small homes or tight spaces where an ordinary staircase may not fit.

“The biggest benefit [of a spiral staircase] is the small footprint,” says Caciolo. “A reasonably comfortable-to-walk-on spiral stair can fit in a 5-foot, 6-inch by 5-foot, 6-inch square, whereas a regular stair could need close to 3 times that space.”

By choosing a spiral staircase, homeowners can maximize their usable floor area while still having a stylish and functional staircase. If a homeowner has the space for a standard staircase, they may want to ask a contractor how to build stairs that have under-the-stairs storage.

Versatility

Spiral staircases come in a variety of designs and materials, making them incredibly versatile. Whether homeowners prefer a sleek, modern look or a more traditional style, there is a spiral staircase option that will complement their space. Spiral staircases can be customized to fit almost any height or angle, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. With so many options to choose from, homeowners can create a staircase that fits their style and enhances the overall design of the space.

Aesthetics

Spiral staircases are not only functional but also visually appealing when designed to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any space. Whether homeowners choose a staircase with ornate ironwork or a simple and minimalist design, a spiral staircase can become the centerpiece of their home. The spiral shape also creates a sense of movement and flow, adding an interesting visual element.

Easy Installation

Another benefit of choosing a spiral staircase is its ease of installation. Unlike traditional staircases, which require extensive construction and can be time-consuming to install, spiral staircases can be relatively quick and simple to put together. This means homeowners can have a beautiful and functional staircase in a fraction of the time it would take to install a traditional staircase.

Spiral Staircase Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

When it comes to installing a spiral staircase, homeowners may be unsure whether to take on the task themselves or hire a professional. Both options have their pros and cons, and it’s important for homeowners to weigh them before making a decision. One of the biggest advantages of tackling a DIY spiral staircase installation project is the cost. Experienced DIYers can consider installing a spiral staircase kit to save money on labor costs.

“There are many companies that offer DIY kits that work great for homeowners,” explains Caciolo. “Assuming the site is spiral stair ready, a homeowner can easily assemble the kit stairs.”

However, there are some drawbacks to the DIY approach that are worth noting. Installing a spiral staircase requires precise measurements and knowledge of building codes and regulations. Any mistakes can lead to an unstable staircase or costly repairs. The project can also be time-consuming, and if a homeowner is unfamiliar with the construction process, it could take much longer than expected.

Hiring a professional to install a spiral staircase ensures the job is done correctly and efficiently, especially if it’s a custom spiral staircase. Professionals have the experience and expertise to handle all aspects of the installation and can ensure that the staircase meets all safety standards. Contractors might also have access to a wider range of materials and finishes, which allows the homeowner to customize their staircase to fit their preferences.

“[If] the area was not designed for a spiral stair, hiring a professional can help avoid some future issues. For example, all of the weight of a spiral stair lands on one small point at the central post. The flooring system should be reinforced to handle that 1,000-pound [and up] point load. Without reinforcement, there would likely be floor sagging. In addition, there are often railing modifications that are needed at the second floor landing area if the area wasn’t designed for a sprial stair.”

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How to Save Money on Spiral Staircase Cost

Installing a spiral staircase doesn’t have to break the bank. By following a few savvy strategies to trim costs, homeowners can still achieve a stylish addition to their homes and stay within the expected budget.

  • Use cost-effective materials. Choosing more budget-friendly materials can significantly reduce costs without compromising on quality and durability.
  • Consider DIY installation. For those homeowners with a knack for construction, opting for a do-it-yourself installation can save on labor costs. Modular kits are available for straightforward setups, although attention to detail is crucial.
  • Choose a standard design. Elaborate and intricate designs often come with higher installation costs. Opting for a standard or simpler design can keep costs down.
  • Get multiple quotes. Homeowners are encouraged to get at least three quotes from reputable installation professionals to find a price that works with their budget.
  • Explore secondhand options. Homeowners can also investigate the availability of secondhand or salvaged spiral staircases. Reclaimed materials or pre-owned staircases may offer a cost-effective alternative.
  • Minimize customization. While customization allows for personalization, it can also drive up costs. Minimizing bespoke features and sticking to standard dimensions can result in substantial savings.
A close up of brown wooden spiral stairs.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Questions to Ask About Spiral Staircase Installation

Asking the right questions is important when homeowners are considering hiring a professional for a spiral staircase installation. Gathering extra information can ensure a clear understanding of the installation process and prevent miscommunication.

  • How many years of experience do you have installing spiral staircases?
  • Can you provide references and examples of your past work?
  • What design options do you offer?
  • Can I customize the staircase to suit my preferences?
  • Are there standard designs that might be more cost-effective?
  • What materials do you recommend for my needs and budget?
  • How do these materials perform in terms of durability and maintenance?
  • Are you familiar with local building codes, and will you obtain the necessary permits for the installation?
  • How do you ensure compliance with safety regulations?
  • How long will the installation take?
  • What are the potential disruptions during a spiral staircase installation?
  • Can you provide a detailed cost breakdown, including materials and labor?
  • Are there any potential additional charges I should be aware of?
  • What is your payment plan?
  • Do you offer a warranty on the installation and materials?
  • What kind of after-sales service or support do you provide?
  • How can I leave a review of your work?

FAQs

Some common concerns among homeowners considering spiral staircase costs are whether there are potential disadvantages, whether the staircase will add value to their homes, and whether they need a permit for the staircase installation. Answers to frequently asked questions can help guide homeowners through the process.

Q. What are the disadvantages of spiral staircases?

The tight, spiral design of these staircases can pose accessibility challenges, primarily for individuals with mobility issues or those needing to move furniture or large items between floors. While the cost to install a stair lift can be high, it’s a good option for those with limited mobility, but it’s usually compatible only with traditional staircases.

The treads of a spiral staircase can be narrower than those of a traditional staircase, potentially making them less comfortable to navigate, especially for people with larger feet. If a homeowner is considering a new staircase due to the age of the existing structure, knowing how to fix squeaky stairs is a valuable skill that any homeowner can use.

“[Walking] up and down a spiral stair is not near as comfortable as a traditional stair, which is why we only suggest them for secondary stairs and never the primary stair,” says Caciolo.

Q. Do spiral staircases add value?

Spiral staircases can enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of a home. Their unique design often attracts attention and can contribute to the perceived value. In homes with limited space, a spiral staircase’s compact design can be an asset. Potential buyers may appreciate the space-saving qualities of the staircase and its contribution to the overall architectural style of the home.

Q. Do you need a permit for a spiral staircase?

Whether a homeowner needs a permit for a spiral staircase installation depends on local building codes and regulations. In many jurisdictions, any structural alteration to a property, including the addition of a staircase, typically requires a permit. It’s important for homeowners to check with their local building department to understand the specific regulations governing staircase installation.

Sources: HomeAdvisor

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