How long to build switchback (u shaped) stairs.

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Old 09-21-19, 09:33 AM
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How long to build switchback (u shaped) stairs.

I'm getting some quotes to build switchback stairs between 2 floors. Nothing complicated, it's over 20ft high (2x 10ft rooms plus joist space).
how long would this normally take? A week, less?
My quotes (material plus labor) seem to be coming in at 12k Canadian (9k usdollar) , which seems very expensive to me for just structural framing and some wood finishing with rail?
 
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Old 09-21-19, 09:49 AM
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1 week? Less? Do you think they will have 20 guys working on it while being filmed by a TV crew?

This is a diy forum. If you want to do it yourself, just ask. If you have questions about work you are having a contractor do, ask him those questions.
 
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Old 09-21-19, 11:11 AM
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I'm trying to figure out whether this cost is reasonable or whether to do it myself. Most of the posts on this forum are to avoid having contractors do work to save costs
​​​​​​ Was thinking that by myself it would be a two week job with lots of stops to research things.
framing doesn't look too hard as long as calculations are correct but the railing might be more tricky?
 

Last edited by qwertyjjj; 09-21-19 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 09-21-19, 12:15 PM
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Most of the posts on this forum are to avoid having contractors do work to save costs
​​I'm not pretending to speak for anyone or everyone else, but I'd like to think that this and other forums are more than just about avoiding contractors and money. Sure, I've saved a lot of money doing things for myself over the years, whether servicing and repairing vehicles, lawn equipment, appliances, etc., replacing roofs, doors, and windows, building a couple of homes and garages, and on and on. In addition to saving money, which, in my mind is the same as making money, I had full control of the schedule, did not have wait for anyone else to finish the job they were on or get back from vacation, and I could implement any changes or add any features without ado. And I know what's what, so in a power outage or whatever, I am at least familiar with important things like the breaker panel, furnace, or whatever, But still, there are times when it makes sense to hire a pro.

Nothing complicated, it's over 20ft high (2x 10ft rooms plus joist space).
how long would this normally take? A week, less?
It really doesn't matter how long someone here says it will take, so as Sleeper said, you would need to discuss the timing with the contractor. But I can tell you that yes, a structurally sound and compliant 20' stairway is complicated, and at a minimum I would think you want the experience of having built a full set of stairs. And even then someone might find themselves over their head in short order.
 
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Old 09-21-19, 02:35 PM
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I guess I won't know until I try but the framing looks fairly easy if you take your time. Studs, frame for landing, stringers, allow for flooring measures, etc.
the part that looks difficult is the finishing.
 
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Old 09-22-19, 04:51 AM
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The first thing I sometimes do with someone new is play dumb. I ask them to show me how they figure out the stair geometry. I'm looking for them to easily run through the math to figure out the rise for each step and the run length and landing size to make sure it will fit. If they scratch they head or get the math wrong it's not a good sign.

After that getting bids from multiple contractors is the only way to know if the price is fair. Prices in my area have risen recently because of the labor shortage and there is plenty of work to go around. Contractors, especially good ones, can mostly set their price and you can take it or leave it.
 
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