What Happens Next & Frequently Asked Questions
We know that it’s important to use tradesmen you can trust. We don’t want you to have any unexpected surprises and so have compiled a list of useful information and the questions we are sometimes asked.
What Happens Next?
After you’ve contacted us, our designer has been out to visit you and you’ve decided to place an order with us, the next step is a visit from our surveyor. Our surveyor or a member of our office team will call you to arrange this. The purpose of this visit is to double check all the necessary measurements to ensure that the installation runs as smoothly as possible. Our surveyor will also be able to answer any questions you may have. Your surveyor will also be able to liaise with the office to discuss and arrange installation dates with you for the final installation.
New Flights and bespoke colours:
If you have ordered a new flight, the second payment will also be due at survey which can be paid to the surveyor or by card or BACs. The measurements taken by the surveyor will then be passed to our design team to produce a CAD drawing which may need to be approved by you prior to manufacture and installation. There is more important information on New Flights here.
If you have ordered a custom stained/painted finish you will need to approve a sample which will be sent to you prior to the prefinishing process.
You will given an installation week for your staircase installation at survey or by phone which will be confirmed by email. We will then contact you the week prior to our final visit to confirm the exact day(s) of your installation. If you require specific days for your installation it is important that you discuss this with the office team as early as possible and we will endeavour to try and hold these dates where possible.
Our fitting teams of 2 men will visit you on the prearranged dates to complete your installation. There is usually no need for subsequent visits. On completion payment can be made to the fitting team or by card or BACs as detailed on the reverse of your sales agreement. On receiving payment we will send you an email to confirm the payment has been received and your certificate of guarantee.
How long does an installation take?
Believe it or not, many of our staircases can be installed in just one day with only a few taking more than three. That means that your home will receive the added Wow-Factor in almost no time!
How and when do I make payments?
We only ask for a 20% deposit for staircase renovations which allows us to purchase some of the materials for your installation. Our 20% deposits are significantly less than our competitors ask for. Therefore we ask that final balances are paid promptly. As a small family business, it is difficult to accommodate late payments where the bulk of the balance is outstanding. Payment terms for new flights differ with 35% deposit required on order and a further 35% on survey.
All payments can be made by cash, cheque, debit and credit card or by BACs. We charge an additional 3% for credit cards only to cover transaction charges. As a small business we are unable to absorb these into our running costs.
Bank details can be found on our Terms & Conditions.
Why do you correspond by email?
We prefer to correspond by email is it provides our customers with an instant and efficient line of communication to confirm visits and answer questions. An additional benefit is that email also supports our environmental policy of keeping our waste to a minimum and reducing our carbon footprint. You can read more about the steps we take to minimise our impact on the environment here. You don’t need to worry, we only use your email address for our own correspondence and we never share your email address with any third party.
Do you use your own fitters?
Will I receive technical drawings?
Some installations require technical drawings, but not all. If your project is relatively straight forward a CAD drawing will not be necessary. More complex installations are drawn up by our experienced CAD designers once your order is confirmed.
How do I know what I will be getting?
Your designer will have discussed the options available to you and answered any questions you may have. You will have been given a Sales Agreement detailing the work we will carry out for you which includes the styles of rails, posts and balustrading. You should check this carefully and contact our office as soon as possible if you believe there is work you have agreed to with your designer which is not on your Sales Agreement. These also have a copy of our Terms and Conditions (the lastest version is available here) which detail the materials we use, the standards we work to and other important information. This paperwork must be signed to confirm your agreement and allow your order to be placed.
What do I need to do to be ready for the fitters?
Parking should be made available as close to the property as possible and an outdoor area kept clear for sawing. Carpets should be also be lifted ready for the installations team. Our team will bring dust sheets to cover the floor, however we would recommend covering other items of furniture in the vicinity which may gather dust caused by sawing and drilling. Any wires fixed to any part of the stairway should be unfastened prior to the installation team arriving as Abbott-Wade cannot be held responsible for any damage to cables or wiring left on the stairway. A freshly boiled kettle is not essesntial but always a welcome bonus for a thirsty carpenter.
Why do I need to agree to your Terms & Conditions?
It is very important that you read and agree our Terms & Conditions to allow your order to be processed. These will be available from your designer and the lastest version published online here. We use our Terms and Conditions to ensure that you know what you will be receiving when you choose Abbott-Wade and to avoid unexpected surprises. It is not designed to confuse you with jargon or to try and catch you out. It is all part of our policy of being as open and honest as we can be so you can discuss any questions or queries you may have right from the beginning.
The Terms & Conditions clearly describe the materials and specifications we use, what is covered by our warrenty, how to pay and prepare for your installation and other useful details.
What glass is used in your staircases?
We use 10mm toughened Pilkington glass in all our standard installations and 15mm toughened glass in our frameless glass balustrades which ensures strength and safety. We offer a range of glass options and work to the glass standards set out on Pages 4-5 of the ‘Quality of Vision’ document from the Glass & Glazing Federation which details acceptable flaws and inspection criteria. Remember: Glass is for looking through – not looking at! It is the perfect way of providing the illusion of extra space and allows light to flow right through your home.
What is so special about Abbott-Wade oak newel posts?
We offer 2 different constructions of solid oak newel depending on the size of newel needed. While we can offer the laminated two piece posts used by many of our competitors, our prefered newel construction is an engineered, precision mitred with 8mm solid oak encasing an oak core. The advantages of this newel are that there are no visible joins in the oak and all 4 sides of the post appear perfect. They are also more environmentally friendly as less favourable oak tones and grains which which may otherwise be rejected can form the core of the newel reducing waste. Newels laminated with 2 or more pieces of oak will often result in a visible join on 2 of the posts faces. All our oak newels are of a solid oak construction.
Will I see any end-grain or joins?
Our staircase renovations are installed so there is no visible end-grain in your installation and mitre all rails and cladding to ensure this. Due to the lengths of cladding we are able to carry, it may be necessary to fit a join in longer lengths of cladding. While we do our best to fit this as neatly and discretely as possible, due to the grain in the oak this may still be viable.
What are Medullary Rays?
Medullary rays are markings found in many woods. They are a natural phenomenon and it is therefore possible that there may be visible medullary rays in your installation. They are not a defect or flaw and you can find out more about them in this news article.
Can you fix my creaky treads?
If you having a renovation rather than a new flight you will be keeping your existing treads. If there is a creak in these treads we can try to fix the problem however we do not and cannot provide any guarantee on parts which have not been installed by Abbott-Wade Joinery Ltd.
Will you plaster the underside of my stairs?
No. We’re joiners, not plasterers but if you need some advice our design team will endeavour to help you as best as they can. There is more important information on New Flights here.
Will there be any damage?
Our installations teams all take great care to keep any damage to a minimum but as with any significant restoration work there may be superficial damage to walls and plaster usually where newels have been removed and replaced. This is detailed in our Terms and Conditions which must be signed to complete your order.
How much mess will there be?
Almost all of the components for your staircase will be cut on site to ensure your bespoke staircase fits perfectly meaning even with the best of intentions and precautions there will always be traces of sawdust. However, all our teams are equipped with dust sheets and a vacuum cleaner for indoor areas and never lose sight of the fact they are working in your home. The majority of the cutting will be completed in a designated outdoor area which will be swept at the end of each working day.
What happens to my old staircase?
When our installations team arrive they will remove all the components of the existing staircase which need to be replaced ready for the installation of your new staircase or renovation. Any wooden parts which have been removed will be taken away by the installations team to be recycled. Please be aware that we will be unable to remove old carpet from site.
Caring for your oak staircase?
Oak staircases are our most popular staircase style and it’s easy to see why it’s so on-trend. Not only is it strong but the warm colour and beautiful natural grain make it one of the most attractive hardwoods which can give your home an elegant and timeless look whether in a traditional or contemporary setting.
It is best to dust with a clean, dry cloth, avoid direct sunlight and extremes of temperature or humidity.
What do I have to do once the installation is complete?
Cast your eye over your new staircase, your final payment is only made upon completion of the installation and you will then be sent your Abbott-Wade Guarantee. Payment can be made by cheque, bank transfer, credit and debit card (credit cards are charged at an addition 3% to cover bank charges). There is usually no need for further visits or polishing as all our components are prefinished.