The trade of stair-building, while a part of the general work of joinery, is usually taken up as a separate trade and is done by men who do nothing else. For this reason it is better, if possible, to have the stairs figured and built by a regular stair-builder, who will have the special tools, moulds, and stock necessary for this branch of carpenter work.

There are usually in every house, two sets of stairs, one in the front part of the house and one in the back part. Sometimes the stairs are so arranged as to land together in the second story, but divide somewhere in their height upon a common landing, one part, the more ample and elaborate, running from the front hall, and the other from the back hall or kitchen. This is called a combination staircase and is often an economical solution of the problem of front and back stairs. See Fig. 14.

When two separate staircases are put in, each will have a distinct character, and it is this condition that we shall consider.

Front Stairs. The front stairs of ordinary width and elaboration, say from 3 ft. to 4 ft. wide with turned balusters and moulded rails and posts, in white wood or North Carolina pine, may be approximated at $3.50 to $4.50 per step, complete. This is on the basis $1.50 per step for labor, the remainder for the stock. Panelling in connection with the stairs should be figured at $.40 to $.50 per sq. ft. of which one-half will be labor and the other half the stock. For ash add 50 per cent, for oak 75 per cent.

Fig. 14. Combination Staircase.

Fig. 14. Combination Staircase.

Winding steps will cost about double the price of straight steps for material, but the labor will be increased only about 50 per cent. This price will allow of hard pine treads and plain moulded rail with 1 1/2 in. turned balusters, two to a tread.

No more definite data can be given as to front stairs, as there is such a wide variation in design and finish, and such a wide range in selection of posts, rails, and balusters.

In general a good moulded and panelled newel may be had for $5.00 to $8.00, landing posts $3.00 to $4.00, rail 15 to 18 cents per lineal foot, balusters 9 to 12 cents each. Balusters turned in colonial pattern with an upper shaft, a square, and an urn-shaped turning at the base, will cost, turned to detail, about 18 cents; if twisted, add 30 cents. See Fig. 15.

These prices are for open string stairs, if brackets are used on the outside stringer, it will add 12 to 15 cents per step.

Back Stairs. Common box stairs, for general use in the back and attic portions of a house, will cost about $1.60 per step, this includes 85 cents for stock and 75 cents for labor. Winders will be used more frequently here than in front stairs and will cost about double the price of a straight step. Open cellar stairs of plank with no risers will cost about 65 cents per step, giving 20 cents for labor and 45 cents for stock.

Summary. From the foregoing it will be found that a flight of front stairs in white wood will cost, at the average run of 16 steps, about $64.00; and the same in ash $96.00; in oak $112.00. This is a fair price for good plain work and will give a satisfactory result.

The back stairs at 15 steps would cost $24.00 and the cellar stairs $7.80. Under conditions where much of the handrailing could be done away with, the prices could be reduced considerably.

DAY'S WORK A carpenter in one day can do any one of the following items:

400 running feet of plaster grounds

40 pairs of bridging

1 window, complete, frame, sash, and fittings

Fig. 15. Balusters in Colonial Pattern.

Fig. 15. Balusters in Colonial Pattern.

1 door, setting frame, hanging, casing, and fitting with hardware

Casing windows, 4 per day

Hanging and fitting blinds, 10 pairs per day

Hanging and fitting doors, 5 per day

Casing doors, 5 per day

Cost of labor per square of 100 feet:

Framing of floors, per square

$1.50

Framing of walls

1.50

Framing of plain roofs

1.50

Framing of hip and valley roofs

2.00

Heavy framing

1.20

Boarding walls

.75

Boarding walls with matched boards

1.00

Boarding walls diagonally

1.00

Boarding roofs

1.00

Laying rough floor

.75

Laying rough floor diagonally

1.00

Bridging floors

.50

Furring brick walls 12 in. on centers

1.50

Furring brick walls 16 in. on centers

1.00

Laying spruce upper floor, 6 in. stock

1.50

Laying spruce upper floor, 4 in. stock

2.00

Laying hardwood floors, 2 1/2 in. stock

2.50

Shingling walls and roofs

2.18

Clapboarding walls

2.18

Papering walls under shingle or clapboards

.25

Work by the piece; labor:

Making window frames

$1.25

Making door frames

1.00

Door frame with transom

1.50

Setting window frames, each

.30

Setting window frames in brickwork, each

.50

Hanging blinds, per pair

.32

Fitting and hanging sashes per pair

.50

Hanging transoms

.40

Casing windows

.80

Large size windows

$1.50

Attic and cellar windows

.75

Casing door opening, one side

.32

Casing door opening, both sides

.65

Fitting, hanging, and trimming door

.65

Fitting, hanging, and trimming outside door

1.00

Pair of sliding doors, double

13.00

Work in common closet

1.50

Exterior Finish. The exterior finish of a house will consist, in the main, of the water table at the bottom, the belt midway, and the cornice at the top.

Prices of labor per lineal foot:

Water table, 3 members at 3 cents

$0.09

Corner boards

.03

Belt

.08

Cornice, 3 to 6 cents each member, or per ft.

.50

Gable finish, lineal foot

.60

Piazzas and Porches. An ordinary piazza will cost, complete, about 75 cents a square foot, making for an 8 ft. piazza a cost of $6.00 per running foot.

Shingled piazza columns each:

28 ft. boards at 2 cents

$0.56

11 ft. studding at 2 1/4 cents

.28

1 bunch shingles

1.00

Nails

.13

Labor

4.00

$5.94

Square cased columns 8 in. x 8 in. will cost, each:

Stock

$1.50

Labor

1.50

Erecting

.50

$3.50

A simple balustrade of straight square balusters 1 1/8 in. will cost per running foot:

Top rail

3 in. x 4 in.

$0.12

Bottom rail

2 ft. x 4 in.

.08

Balusters, four to a foot

.12

Labor

.32

$0.64

Piazza ceiling per square:

Sheathing

$4.00

Waste

1.25

Furring

1.50

Nails

.25

Labor

1.50

$8.50

Piazza Finish:

Stock pattern, 5 in. turned columns 8 ft. long

$ 2.00

Stock pattern, 6 in. turned columns 8 ft. long

2.75

Stock pattern, 8 in. Colonial columns 9 ft. long

3.50

Stock pattern, 10 in. Colonial columns 9 ft. long

5.50

8 in. Doric Column from detail 9 ft. long

6.50

10 in. Doric Column from detail 9 ft. long

8.50

10 in. Fluted Column from detail 9 ft. long

15.00

Short Posts, 5 in. x 5 in. x 4 ft. 0 in.

1.00

Short Posts, 6 in. x 6 in. x 4 ft. 0 in.

1.50

Piazza balusters 1 3/4 in., 14 in. to 16 in. long, .06 to

.10

Piazza rail 1 3/4 x 3 3/4 in. per ft.

.06

Piazza rail 2 1/4 x 3 3/4 in. per ft.

.07

Tin roof per square 10.00 to

12.00

Conductors:

15 ft. pipe at 15 cents

$2.25

Gooseneck and labor

.65

Putting up

.50

$3.40

Hardware

The best way to get at the cost of hardware is to get a schedule and price for each job from the dealer. The price of hardware is constantly changing. Prices are given here for a few staple articles of ordinary value.

Nails per cwt.

$2.50

to

$4.00

Front door set (bronze metal)

7.00

to

10.00

Vestibule door set

6.00

to

8.00

Inside door set

1.00

to

1.50

Store door set

6.00

to

10.00

Single sliding door set

1.50

to

2.00

Double sliding door

2.00

to

3.00

Double acting floor hinge per pair

3.50

up

Double acting spring hinge "

2.00

up

Window fixture, weights, etc.

1.10

up

Sash fast each

.25

to

.35

Transom fixture

.30

to

' .50

Cupboard door set

.60

Folding door bolts

1.25

to

3.00

Flush bolts per pair

1.50

Butts, small size per pair

.25

Butts, ordinary size, per pair

.30

to

.40

Double coat and hat hooks, per dozen

2.50

Screws, per gross, bronze

.85

Single sliding door hanger

2.50 1

to

3.75

Double sliding door hanger

3.50

to

5.50

NAILS

Nails are priced from a base price per hundred weight adopted by the manufacturers, which includes certain sizes of the more common kinds. From this base the different kinds of nails are priced by means of extras, as agreed upon. The present base includes common, fence, and sheathing nails in sizes from 20 penny to 60 penny.

Following is a schedule of all kinds of cut and wire nails in general use and the extra price of each kind per cwt. above the base, which is $2.50 per cwt., for cut nails and $2.45 per cwt. for wire nails.

National List of Extras per cwt. for Cut Nails in Fair Assortment.

Adopted Dec. 1, 1896

Common, Fence, and Sheathing Base 20d to 60d $2.50*

*(Variable. July, 1907, $2.65.)

Extras

10d to 16d

$0.05

8d and 9d

.10

6d and 7d

.20

4d and 5d

.30

3 1/2d

.40

3d

.45

3d fine

.65

2d

.70

Spikes, all sizes

.10

Fine Finishing

Extras

10d and larger

$0.25

8d and 9d

.35

6d and 7d

.45

4d and 5d

.65

Barrel, Roofing, and Cottage

1 1/2 inch

$0.30

1 3/8 inch

.40

1 1/4 inch

.50

1 1/8 inch

.60

1 inch

.70

7/8 inch

.85

3/4 inch

1.00

Casing, Box, and Floor

10d and larger

$0.15

8d and 9d

.25

6d and 7d

.35

4d and 5d

.50

3d

.70

2d

1.00

Clinch

3 in. and larger

$0.45

2 3/4 and 2 1/2 in.

.55

2 1/4 and 2 in.

.65

1 3/4 and 1 1/2 in.

.75

1 1/4 in.

.95

1 in.

1.15

10 cents for each 1/2 keg

Slating

6d

$0.40

4d and 5d

.50

3d

.75

2d

1.00

4d Swedes Genuine

$1.30

. 4d Swedes Common

.80

Galvanizing

2 1/2 cts. per lb.

Tinning

3 cts. per lb.