Here is a checklist of questions to ask about any stairs you're thinking of buying:
1. Are the stairs joints bolted or welded together?
This is important because bolts will eventually work loose, leading to what I call 'caterpillar creep' over time.
All Bulfin Staircases have welded joints.
2. Do the stairs comply with building regulations?
All stairs should comply with Technical Guidance Document K: Stairways, Ladders, Ramps and Guards. This document ensures safety issues such as balustrade bars being close enough together that a child cannot get their head caught, for example. It is a legal requirement that all EU stair-manufacturers follow this. However, the Regulations can change and we advise that you check with your potential stairs provider that they are aware of the up-to-date Regulations (which you can check for yourself here). Also, note that non-EU stairs, such as kit-stairs from China do not have to follow these regulations at all. All Bulfin Staircases are built to the exact standards of the up-to-date regulations.
3. Will you be able to check out the showroom, and meet the craftsmen who will be making your stairs?
This is important to get a feel of the standards achieved, and to be sure the person making the stairs knows what you want.
You are welcome at the Bulfin Stairs showrooms at any time.
4. How will the stairs be finished?
The options are either paint or baked powder finish. Paint is cheaper to use but does not last as long nor does it feel as good under the hand.
All Bulfin Stairs are finished with the baked powder finish.
5. Who exactly is building the stairs? Who will fit them?
It's good to know who's going to be responsible for these two essential jobs.
All Bulfin Stairs are built and fitted personally by me.
6. What is the proposed life-span of the stairs?
The manufacturer should be able to tell you how long the stairs are expected to last for.
Bulfin Stairs are expected to last for hundreds of years.
7. How thick are the treads (if they are wood)?
This is an important question to ask because over time you will need to sand back the wood and re-varnish; you need there to be enough wood to allow this process to happen many times without the treads getting too thin.
Bulfin Stairs all have a deeper-than-average tread to allow for sanding and revarnishing over the lifetime of the stairs.
8. Can you view finished samples of the stairs? Can you walk on them to test how solid they are, and how the bannisters feel under your hand?
It's important to see physical actual stairs that this company has manufactured, rather than just see pictures out of a catalogue.
Again, you are welcome at any time to the Bulfin Stairs showroom to see our physical stairs and experience them.
9. In what way does this company stand over their work? What is their after-care policy?
You need to know what guarantees you are getting, that the company will not just fit your stairs and then disappear on you.
Bulfin Stairs' philosophy is that we do not have unhappy customers. We do the job right, first time, and if there are any small details to be attended to, we sort them out immediately.