FAQ

Questions?

Want to find out what measurements you need to order a spiral stair kit? Are there special considerations if you have children or pets? We have the answers.

  • Are there any special building code requirements to consider when installing a spiral stair kit?

    There is no simple answer to this question as different areas have different building code requirements. Many areas follow BOCA codes or variations of the BOCA code. Other areas do not follow any building code in regard to spiral stairs. We recommend that you contact your local building inspector to find out what code applies to your area and how that code is interpreted. The Iron Shop has spiral stair kits to meet all building code requirements. Call us at 1-800-523-7427. As the largest manufacturer of spiral stair kits, you can be certain that we have a stair kit to meet your requirements.

  • I plan to attach the spiral to a loft. Are there any other measurements needed for this application?

    Obviously, for a loft application, you do not need a well opening measurement. However, you should make sure that you have enough room for the entire stair (diameter) at the location you plan to install it. One easy way of doing this is by marking off an area on the floor (with masking tape) with the same diameter as the stair.

  • What measurements do I need to order a spiral stair kit?

    Depending on where you plan to install your spiral stair, there are two critical measurements for ordering.

    First, you need to measure finished-floor to finished-floor height. For the base of the stair, that’s easy — for the top of the stair, you can’t just measure to the ceiling height. If you’ve already cut your well opening, simply measure to the top of the opening, including finished floor. If you have not yet cut your well opening, you must factor in the height of your rafters, subfloor (usually 3/4″ plywood) and the thickness of your finished floor (wood, tile, carpeting, or other).

    For standard, square “through-the-floor” installations, the second measurement that you’ll need is your proposed well opening. Your finished well opening must be 2″ larger overall than the diameter of the stair you plan to install. Remember, this is a finished measurement, so please factor in the width of any wood, drywall, or other finishing you plan to use to complete your well opening.

  • I plan on installing my spiral stair outside from a deck. Are there any special considerations?

    The Iron Shop spiral stair kits are ideal for decks and outdoor applications. In most environments, our metal can be installed outdoors by replacing our standard hardware with galvanized hardware. We recommend you order galvanized hardware, or standard interior hardware will be shipped. Also, the stair should receive two coats of rust-inhibitive, oil-based enamel. For ocean, lake, and other waterfront environments, and for any ocean-area setting, we have popular hot-dipped galvanized metal and all-aluminum stair kits. Our Victorian One® spiral stair kits are ideal for outdoor applications because of their cast aluminum construction and stainless steel hardware. These attractive stair kits are designed to withstand the rugged elements of salt, sand, wind, and rain without rusting. Our oak spiral stair kits are not suitable for outdoor use.

  • Can I use a round well opening?

    Yes. The same 2″ rule applies as with the standard square opening. Also, you will need to order a special round landing. Call The Iron Shop for details on landing options.

  • How long will delivery take and can I pick up my stair kit?

    Most metal spiral stair kits can be picked up at any of our locations; call first for availability. Or The Iron Shop can ship your spiral stair kit directly to your door. Delivery times vary depending on the type of spiral you order:

    Basic metal kits: Two weeks from payment
    Basic oak kits: Four weeks from payment
    Oak stair kits with solid oak handrail: Six to eight weeks
    Victorian kits: Eight to ten weeks
  • Are there any special spiral stair kit ordering considerations I should make for children or pets?

    For small children and pets, The Iron Shop recommends that you order and install in-between spindles. Our CODE stair kits come standard with in-between spindles, which provide less than a 4″ spacing between verticals. We also have several recommendations for nonskid tread surfaces. In addition, you may want to use a gate at the top of the stair. Of course, as with any staircase (straight or spiral), you should never leave small children unattended on or near it.

  • How long does assembly take? And do I need a contractor to help me install my spiral stair kit?

    Installing a stair kit from The Iron Shop is a two-person job. For the typical do-it-yourselfer, the stairs can be installed without the help of a contractor. However, we do recommend that everyone (experienced or not) consult a qualified contractor for cutting and framing the opening. The contractor will help identify whether any additional structural support will be required, and he or she can reroute pipes and electric lines.

    For two do-it-yourselfers, the typical Metal and Victorian One stairs can be assembled in about one full day. All Oak and CODE Metal stair kits take slightly more time to assemble — we estimate two days for complete assembly. For all stair kits from The Iron Shop, all you will need are basic hand tools and an electric drill.

    Before installing your spiral stair kit, we strongly recommend that you read through the entire installation manual, and for the metal kits and oak kits, watch our video. Then refer to it again during setup. This will help you visualize the entire process and identify potential difficulties up front. And if you are able to read through the instructions during business hours, you can call The Iron Shop during your read-through for assistance. This will prevent you from running into a problem while installing your stair kit during the weekend, and being forced to stop.

  • I want to paint my spiral stairs. Should I paint them before or after assembly? Should I use any special paint or finish?

    We recommend that you paint your spiral stair after assembly. This will prevent scratches that could occur when you are installing and positioning the treads. For Metal and Victorian stairs, you should use an oil-based enamel paint. Do not use a latex paint. Also, consider the application of the stair when choosing your paint. For example, exterior stairs should be painted with an oil-based enamel paint with rust-inhibiting additive.

    Primed stairs should be painted after assembly. *Note – Galvanized stairs must weather before painting. Once weathered, contact your local paint store for the appropriate primer and paint for something that has been galvanized.

    For oak kits, you must use at least two coats of polyurethane finish within a week of installing your stair. This will protect the wood from damage.

  • What if something goes wrong?

    By reading the instructions before assembling the stairs, you should identify any problems before you start installing. However, if you run into a problem, simply call The Iron Shop at 1-800-523-7427. Our technicians can help you with almost any problem that may arise during assembly. Our kits are all quality-checked before shipping to ensure that you get all of the right components. What’s more, all of our stair kits are guaranteed for one year from the date of purchase.

    Most importantly, The Iron Shop has been around since 1931 because we stand behind our stairs. If you ever have a problem with your spiral stair kit from The Iron Shop, EVER, call us and we will work with you to remedy the problem. It’s why we’re the leading manufacturer of spiral stair kits.

  • What if I lose my installation Manual?

    Our installation manuals are available for downloading as PDFs on our Resources page which you can view on-screen and print as a hard copy.

  • What if my building department or inspector asks for an ICBO number?

    There are no Stair Companies, to our knowledge that have ICBO numbers on their staircases.

    The Iron Shop, while building stairs for code in California for over 25 years, has the following available:

    LA City Standard Plans for spirals:

    Std Plan 111 City of Los Angeles for UBC Metal Spirals 5′-0″ Diam (Requires LARGER finished opening and footing) to 7′-0″ Dia

    Std Plan 111 has also been adopted for City of San Diego California.

    Std Plan 125 City of Los Angeles for UBC Oak Spirals 5′-5″ and 6′-0″ Diameters (Requires LARGER finished opening and footing)

    Std Plan 139 for 5′-0″ and 6′-0″ Victorian Spirals (Requires LARGER finished opening and footing)

    The Iron Shop is proud to be:
    City of Los Angeles Licensed Steel Fabricator #1150
    City of Los Angeles conducts random inspections on our fabrication plant in Broomall Pa.
    County of San Bernardino Licensed Fabricator

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