Summer is traditionally a popular time for moving house – but not this year. The economic turmoil of Brexit and political uncertainty following the General Election have created a general feeling of anxiety which has spread to the housing market, dampening demand. Many potential buyers and sellers are playing it safe and opting to stay put while they wait for things to settle down.  

So if you can’t move, what do you do? Maximising the value of your current home could be a worthwhile solution in the short term. Not only will you be able to enjoy more pleasant surroundings in the meantime, but you will also put yourself in an ideal position to make a quick sale - and, even more importantly, get the best possible price - when the market starts to recover.

There is no better place to start than the staircase. Frequently neglected when it comes to home improvement, this is nevertheless the first thing visitors normally see when they come into your property. If you do eventually decide to move on, then replacing or revamping this important central feature could make all the difference between a sale and a fail.

Three staircases by Pear Stairs

A new staircase may not cost as much as you think. At Pear Stairs we offer very competitive prices – have a play with our online design tool for an instant quote. However, if this is too much to contemplate, there are a few ways you can give tired stairs a fresh lease of life that won't bust the budget:

Stained and painted stairs

Change the balustrade: Replacing dated spindles for more modern ones can make a big difference to the appearance of your stairs. There are many designs available, ranging from wrought iron-effect or chrome metal spindles to both traditional and modern style wooden balusters. Glass panels, in particular, have seen a huge increase in popularity due to their light-enhancing properties. To complete the look, you could add a new handrail and newel caps.

Use paint or stain: Painting your stairs is a relatively easy way to add individuality, smarten everything up and make your home stand out from the competition. You may decide to paint just the treads, the handrail or the spindles – or decorate the whole lot for a complete transformation.

Alternatively, try freshening up your stairs with wood stain. Available in a variety of colours, the treatment will bring out the full beauty of the grain as well as nourishing and protecting the timber. Finish off with a layer of polyurethane varnish to seal the surface and guard against scratches.

Replace the carpet: New carpet can make all the difference to a tired staircase – although you may not want to cover it up completely. When it comes to stairs made of timber (rather than, say, part MDF or plywood) and in good condition, a popular option at the moment is to fit a runner – a thin strip of carpet – down the centre of the stairs and treat the rest with wood stain, varnish or paint.

Go back to basics: The current fashion for natural timber in interior design has led to many home owners ripping out their stair carpet to expose the wooden treads underneath. Timber looks good in modern and traditional settings alike, and will not easily go out of date. However, if you have young children or elderly relatives we would recommend fitting rubber anti-slip grippers on the edges of the treads as a precaution.

Carpeted and uncarpeted stairs

So don’t despair about Brexit, a hung parliament and the state of the economy! Whatever political upheavals lie ahead, a few well-chosen improvements could at least give you some peace of mind on the home front, if nothing else, and put you well ahead of the competition if you decide to sell in the future.

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