A Dangerous and massive Hillside Staircase to Tear Out And Replace

If you have a large property that has a large deck or hillside staircase, replacement can be a major project. I didn’t make this one of my first posts but perhaps in hindsight, it should have been. When we were in the purchasing process for our house, one of the snags we ran into was the staircase going down to the lake.

Our Hillside Staircase may need to be repaired prior to a home purchase

We knew the stairs needed to be replaced but did not account for the bank to come back and require replacement prior to closing. They felt that is would be required as it is attached to the house foundation through the lower deck. AWESOME – the owner said they would not agree to pay for the steps to be repaired. They had already made enough concessions and a handshake on total costs. If we wanted to move forward it had to come out of our pocket. As you may have experienced with buying a new house it can get expensive quickly especially when talking repairs. We had to work in good faith that the house would sell to us. A small, but real risk.

Repairing a Deck or Hillside Staircase, the scope of our project

As you can see, it is a long way to the top or bottom depending on which way you are going. To be exact from the beach to the top step of the deck it is 109 steps. Total of 97 steps for the staircase. I like to use 99 just to reference it is almost 100. This project while focusing on our Hillside Stairs, it is very similar in nature to building a staircase for your deck. Either way, if this is something you want to tackle yourself consult with a professional to review what should be done. Sometimes they will charge a small fee for consulting but it can save you tons of time and effort.

Repairing A Deck Or Hillside Staircase
109 steps in total and 97 of them to be totally ripped out and repaired

Tear out and Replacing a Deck or Hillside Staircase

So with that, I asked our realtor to get the green light from the owner and we started to tear down the staircase. I had already started a conversation with my main contractor that I have used for years. This job was time sensitive and needed to be done ASAP. As I stated, I had to pay for it up front so I needed to have an understanding of two things. A. Will it be done quickly. B. Will it be affordable. We checked with Home Depot and they had the lumber we needed. With that they came back with an estimate of $3400 to do the complete job. Tear out, remove and reinstall essentially the same Staircase. We negotiated on a couple of items and settled at a price of about $3,000. As you can see, many of the boards were just worn out as they were put in place in the 1990’s

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These rotten boards have seen better days. Hence why the bank made it a requirement to replace our staircase.

Unfortunately, when time is critical you pay a premium for immediate help. I would not have the time nor the ability for a month or two to do this work myself. We only had 5 days left and it started to rain and the forecast was to rain ALL week. The hill was very slippery with recent falling leaves and the guys struggled with getting everything squared away.

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Finally, two days prior to the closing, we got word that everything was completed. We called up the the county inspector to review what was done on the staircase and he gave us a thumbs up the next day! All in all, we had a great group of people to help us and we moved forward. THANK GOODNESS for good contractors. Now we have no excuse to get exercise. Go up and down those stairs and it will get you in shape! We use this staircase frequently, maybe not daily, but at the very least weekly.


Project Costs for Replacing a Deck or Hill Staircase:
  • Tear-out and removal: $800
  • Build New Staircase with Supplies $2,200

Until next time!