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rate for rough framing stairs

jimatgreatwhite's picture

Hey all just wondering about a ballpark on labor rate for stair framing

Per riser or what you might charge hourly

typical straight set with lvl stringers

per landing

spiral, floor supported

spiral, sight laminated stringer,

need to know if I'm in the same place
Jim at Great white

(post #120203, reply #1 of 5)

I charge everything by the hour.   If your the Jim that submitted those great articles to the mag, thanks. I picked up a few of your pointers.    As you are well aware stairs are one of those things that separates the ameteurs from the professionals. (unlike grammar, spelling and computer skills!)

Have a good day


(post #120203, reply #2 of 5)

the one and only thanks for the recognition

do you mind if I ask a ballpark of your rate?

(post #120203, reply #3 of 5)

I always figured half day for a set with a landing. Straight sets were about 3 hours. My best time on a straight set was 1.25 hours.

I forgot the rest of the question: circulars stairs were 8 hours.

Edited 3/6/2009 11:10 pm ET by jimAKAblue

Edited 3/6/2009 11:11 pm ET by jimAKAblue

Is anybody out there? 

(post #120203, reply #4 of 5)

You're fast (or I'm slow). We make the treads and risers from 1 1/8" ply.

By the time I rip up the treads and risers, bullnose the treads if it gets carpet, cut and fit the stringers (LVL's), assemble the whole thing with glue (PL) and screws, it's pretty much an all day job for me, or close enough to call it all day.

When I started we had the stair shop build rabbetted stairs. As I remember even though it was all pre cut at the shop, the install still took the stair guy two or three hours.


(post #120203, reply #5 of 5)

That doesn't sound slow to me considering the details. The "record" stairs in question that I did were basement stairs and after building 200 sets of them, I pretty much had my system down pat.

The stairs I did in 1.25 hours were routed "let-in" closed striingers. I had router patterns for them and I hogged them out with a big old Porter or two horse or something like that (30 minutes). I cut and assembled all the parts (30 minutes) and I needed about five minutes with two helpers to slide them into place and secure them.

When I cut and assembled them, I would gang cut the treads and risers (stack them all and run the cut through. I can whack 14 pieces of risers and 13 treads in very short order that way.

I assembled the treads and risers usinga five pound hand sledge (my routed slots were snug...not tight, not loose. I preglued the slots and glued all the riser/tread connections. I shot everything with a gun after putting a few handpounded sinks in  to "clamp" everything together.

It would take me at least four hours today for that same set and I wouldn't preassembe (too heavy).

Is anybody out there?