We started our installation in the hallway, since this is such an important visual area. We wanted to make sure the flooring was straight here. We could not be sure the living room was square and it would look bad if we started on a wall in that room and the flooring might end up catywompus by the time we reached the hallway where any irregularity would be magnified.
Doing it this way meant we had to start in the center of the living room (continuing on from the hallway), which called for some strategy, but it worked out beautifully. We had to remove all the railings. It was a little scary having no railings for a few weeks. It would be a long fall.
Putting the railing back in place was another day's project. We still have to add the trim around the stairwell - we will have to custom cut that.