The crew built the first set of steps, but remodeler David Bessenhofer found it cheaper to buy pre-made stairs. “I couldnít even buy the materials to make the stairs for that much,” he says.
The crew built the first set of steps, but remodeler David Bessenhofer found it cheaper to buy pre-made stairs. “I couldnít even buy the materials to make the stairs for that much,” he says.

Eight years ago, David Bessenhofer, president of Jasco Construction Services, in Genoa City, Wis., was remodeling a second-floor master bath in a house with white carpeting. To prevent his crew and subs from traipsing through the house and soiling the carpet, he built temporary exterior stairs to the upper level. Since replacing the window in the bedroom was part of that project, it was easy for his crew to remove it, install a door, and build the stairs.

Now during the rough construction phase on all the company’s second-story remodels, the crew removes a window and installs stairs with a platform and safety rail. Once the job is done, the window is reinstalled or replaced.

The untreated wood stairs are on site for two to three months,and can only be reused for two or three projects. Bessenhofer keeps them in storage between jobs. Previously he would place protective plastic and tarps on the home’s floors up to the second level and crews would remove and reinstall the protection each day.

The stairs impress both clients and prospects. “I tell them: I put a lot of effort into not disrupting your lives,” Bessenhofer says. One homeowner noted that if the quality of the temporary stairs was any indication, he was looking forward to seeing the finished project. Comments like that prompted Bessenhofer to include pictures of the stairs in his brochures to promote the company’s property protection measures.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.