Prefabricated stairs benefit from the ability to build
them to close tolerances in a factory environment and
install them in just about any weather.
Pre-assembled stairways can be installed as soon as
the structure is framed, the foundation excavation has
been backfilled, and the final grade in proximity to
the entrance has been established. Once stairs are in
place, workers have a permanent, safe egress to and
from the house.
Want to benefit from the same efficiencies, precision, and
affordability gained by buying your interior stair(s) from
a prefabricator? Well, prefabricated exterior stairways are
becoming increasingly available in a broad range of materials,
configurations, and designs. Units feature easy setup and
can include features like integral rails, landing platforms,
and various entry configurations. Treads can be ordered in
lengths from 24" to 48".
Materials available range from fiberglass reinforced plastic
over a treated lumber frame to pre-cast concrete to wrought
iron. The opportunity to cast or assemble a unit in a controlled
factory environment presents economies that allow pre-manufactured
stairs to compete handily with the costs of custom built stairs.
Because a prefabricated unit can be used as soon as it is
secured in place, unlike site built concrete stairs, installation
can be scheduled over a wider time interval and concurrently
with other activities.
Ease of Implementation
Most entrances that can be accessed with site built stairways
can also accommodate prefabricated units. Many of the manufacturers
deliver with a vehicle capable of moving the unit into place,
so driving access to the location is all that is needed. The
manufacturer will recommend the method of securing the unit
in place and whether a footing, excavation, or stoop ledge
at the foundation wall is required.
Prefabricated stairs can be priced as low as $170 for a three
tread (32), 4 riser, and handrail one side version to
$850 for a precast concrete unit with a 48 deep landing
to $1,500 or more for a metal 8 metal spiral staircase
Some units will weigh enough to require a crane for placement in an excavation
or on top of a footing. Others may only require a hard surface,
such as a 4” slab. Either way, planning that is not required
for built-in-place stairs is required.
Prefabricated stairs require adherence to planned topography
and foundation elevation(s) in order to provide satisfactory
egress. On sites where this degree of precision is possible,
builders can benefit from the affordability and flexibility
that prefabricated units provide.