Basement Staircase Cost

How much does it cost to install a basement staircase?

Homeowners need to consider many things, and one of the most important is the safety and stability of the building in which they live. One area in which many accidents occur, and which could have been avoided, is on staircases. When these become too worn out to be simply repaired, they must be replaced. For this discussion, we will look at the costs and requirements of installing a straight staircase leading to a basement area.

According to, a set of straight stairs will cost roughly $1,000 to $2,000. This figure uses a set of pre-built wooden stairs along with a custom-made hand rail 1 as a base price indicator. Since basement stairs are rarely decorative, this project will not include newel posts, balusters 2 or platforms. Additionally, because basement stairs are not as heavily used as standard interior stairways, they can be made from softer materials such as pine, but many homeowners prefer to rely on hardwoods such as oak in order to get a longer lifespan out of the structure.

Is this a DIY project? The simplicity of a set of pre-built stairs makes it a good choice for the fan of DIY work, but it usually requires at least one additional person to get the job done. The average time span required to assemble and mount a basement staircase by a professional carpenter or experienced homeowner is two to eight hours, and the only tools necessary are usually hammers, a level, and a powerful drill. Because it is simple to make dangerous mistakes with leveling 3 or mounting 4, however, many people will instead opt to hire a pair of carpenters to install their pre-made stairs.

Cost breakdown

The average costs and materials associated with this project include:

  • Purchase and Installation - Most manufacturers of pre-built staircases will charge between $800 and $1000 for a set of straight basement stairs, usually all stringers 5 and precut lumber is included and will need to be installed according to manufacturer recommendations. If carpenters are hired for the work (at a cost of roughly $45 per hour - and requiring around $750 for the work) it is important to ensure that they follow all local building codes and are insured, licensed, and qualified for such an important project.

Additional considerations and costs

  • If sealing the stairs is part of the project, it is best to apply as many coats as possible before mounting the units together, and to the stringers 5. Many homeowners will also opt to paint and stain their basement stairs to help with wear and tear and prevent any insects from ruining the raw lumber.
  • There are also substantial freight or delivery charges that must be figured into the budget as well, and these can often run between $300 and $600.
  • Many homeowners opt to use a kit staircase that relies on steel instead of wood. These are far less expensive and cost from $400 to $1500. There are also combination kits which use metal framing and wood treads, and these are available for $1500 to $5000, depending upon the design.
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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Rail: A long bar designed for a person to hold onto, giving them support. They are usually found on the sides of staircases, and can also be found in bathrooms, for example, to help persons with disabilities
2 Balusters: Small pillars that are used to support a railing, such as on a staircase.
3 Leveling: The process of evening out the ground's surface, making it either flat or sloped.
4 Mounting: A support on which something is attached or hung
5 Stringers: An inclined structure used to support the treads and risers in a staircase

Cost to install a basement staircase varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Aliquippa, PA
Alpharetta, GA
Altamont, NY
Anaheim, CA
Annandale, NJ
Athens, GA
Atlanta, GA
Aurora, NE
Austell, GA
Baltimore, MD
Boca Raton, FL
Brooklyn, NY
Cambridge, MA
Carmel, NY
Champaign, IL
Chantilly, VA
Chicago, IL
Cincinnati, OH
Cleveland, OH
Cleves, OH
Columbus, OH
Cumming, GA
Dallas, TX
Dekalb, IL
Denver, CO
Detroit, MI
Durham, NC
Fishers, IN
Fremont, CA
Gadsden, AL
Grayling, MI
Hamilton, GA
Hazelwood, MO
Herndon, VA
Humble, TX
Jacksonville, FL
Jamaica, NY
Kalamazoo, MI
Kansas City, MO
Lincoln, NE
Little Rock, AR
Louisville, KY
Menasha, WI
Miami, FL
Minneapolis, MN
New Albany, IN
Northvale, NJ
Oceanside, CA
Omaha, NE
Ottawa, IL

Labor cost in your zip code

Methodology and sources