The UK housing market is still looking sluggish, according to a report released yesterday by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – and things aren’t likely to improve any time soon. Inquiries from new buyers fell in January for the tenth month in a row, and the number of sales also saw a slump, according to the institution’s monthly survey – which is seen as a useful guide to future property trends.

With spring just around the corner, now is the time to act if you’re hoping to sell this year. In the current difficult market, making your home look as desirable as possible will not only help attract those elusive buyers but could also lead to higher offers.

When you start the sprucing-up process, there is no better place to start than the stairs and hallway. Frequently neglected when it comes to home improvement projects, the staircase is usually the first thing visitors set eyes on when they come into someone’s house. Never underestimate the importance of first impressions – rumour has it that viewers make up their mind about a property within 60 seconds of stepping through the door. It stands to reason, therefore, that refurbishing or replacing such an important central feature could make all the difference between a sale and a fail.

Oak and glass staircase 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 StairCreator design tool for an instant quote. A standard straight flight of softwood stairs can cost as little as £460 plus VAT, with a normal lead time of only 7-10 days after receipt of a confirmed drawing. If this is too much to contemplate, you can give tired stairs a new lease of life by changing the balustrade. Spindles, handrails, glass panels, treads, newels and all accessories needed for stair refurbishment are available in our online shop.

Design and buy staircase