of the stairs people commission to be purpose built are utility stairs. Completely functional and with a wide choice of newels and ballustrading. These styles range from the pleasing natural square edges that sit comfortably with any interior decor subtly complimenting it, to a barley twist with a dark finish giving a more classic feel.
Whatever your taste there is something for all. Utility stairs, whether for your cottage, house or flat, are the most economical way in regards to materials used and the finish applied to get from A to B. Generally utility stairs are built using softwood throughout, or with modern composite boards that can be used for certain stair components. They will take paint well which contrasts nicely with carpeted steps or even a coat of stain or varnish. This will always be the mainstay of our work but I have noticed the change in trends over the last 10 to 15 years in particular as the choice for oak has gradually increased. Not just a beautiful wood but hard as nails durable.
We can't get away from the fact that timber costs in general have risen considerably in the last ten years. Being a natural product wood is pleasing to the eye and warm to the hand. Wood has other inherant properties to such as knots, sap, splits, cambers or shakes. As a regular and constant buyer of wood I feel it is important to give the customer the best possible timber available. To achieve this I hand select all boards from source at our timber importers.
Our aim is to set a fair price as a hand crafted bespoke oak staircase for example can represent a considerable investment. While prices remain higher for woods such as oak and walnut, equally beautiful and amply durable woods such as the brightly coloured ash, or neutral maple, the rich utile to name a few, remain original alternatives. For soft woods people will always appreciate the simple and natural qualities of pine. Maybe this will come back in favour with the masses for that natural finish? Southern yellow pine, douglass fir or hemlock give a soothingly warm feeling to a naturally finished staircase. At Allstairs we continue to enjoy making stairs whatever the spec.
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