Building a staircase that remains strong and safe for years is something that’s accomplished less often than it should.
That’s perhaps because good design and craft demand more time and money than allowed for in typical budgets for homebuilding.
If you’re thinking of building a staircase but aren’t sure how to design a good one, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, you’ll learn the essentials of stair design and construction, with tips covering the vital details you need to know whether you’re designing the stairs yourself or hiring someone to do the job.
1. Check the Available Space
Before you can design a staircase in your home, you need first to check the available space.
The space in your home will also dictate what style and layout are possible for your staircase.
When planning the design of your stairway, you’ll need to consider how many flights there’ll be as well.
You should make sure there’s enough room for everyone to make a turn without bumping into each other, which is why the height of the ceiling is another factor you have to take into account.
If you don’t have a lot of space in your home, it’s recommended to use an L-shape staircase.
However, if you have sufficient space and your home is large, you can try a U-shaped or spiral staircase.
There are many different staircase designs you can choose from. Here are some you should look into:
- Open Staircases – This is the most popular staircase design used for most homes. Open staircases also come in different styles like S-shaped, straight flight, and half-turn.
- Spiral Staircases – This type is commonly used for houses whose owners want their staircase to have a touch of elegance. In a spiral design, the treads, which are among the essential parts of stairs, twist around a center pole. The advantages of using this design are that it’s compact and doesn’t require much space.
- Curved Staircases – Unlike spiral ones, curved staircases don’t require a central column, and they can go different ways depending on the available space you have. You can have a curved S-shaped design, or you can have it circular.
You can also choose to combine different staircase types if you want to be playful or achieve a contemporary look.
But before doing that, you should ensure that the space you have can accommodate two staircase designs.
2. Work Out Your Budget With Your Contractor
After determining the size and the design you want for your staircase, you need to set your budget.
The price of building a staircase depends on the design, height, and materials you’re going to use.
Most of the time, if you have a contractor, they’ll give you a rough estimate of how much you need to spend in order to get the exact staircase you want.
If the cost is too much, you need to discuss it with your contractor so you can make the necessary changes and adjustments with them.
3. Choose Quality and Safe Materials
When it comes to stairs, the choice of material is a critical element. It can make all the difference in terms of the sturdiness of your stairs.
So what materials should be used when constructing stairs?
Handrails and balusters are among the main parts of staircases. In particular, handrails come in several styles like traditional and contemporary, and since people hold onto them for support, they have to be especially sturdy.
Although balusters and handrails are mostly made of wood, other materials such as metals and plastic can be used for them as well.
Wooden treads and handrails are the best choices because they add class to staircases.
For a wooden staircase project, hardwood or laminate is usually preferred. Hardwood lasts longer than other kinds of wood, and it’s available in various colors so you can choose according to your preference and the theme of your house.
Materials for stairs vary depending on the type of staircase you want to construct.
For indoor use, there are many options for timber. For outdoor staircases and those that connect multiple floors, there are other suitable materials apart from timber.
Ultimately, building regulations will dictate the materials you can use for your stairs. In some cases, even concrete is a viable option.
4. Always Consider Comfort and Safety
If you’re planning on installing new stairs in your home, you’ll want to take the time to learn more about safety and comfort.
A staircase design should have the correct steps and risers to create as much safety and comfort as possible.
Professionals who know how to build stairs properly will understand that well-designed staircases shouldn’t just be aesthetically pleasing; they must also be safe.
When considering design, safety features should always be a priority. Risers and handrails should be securely attached to the walls, and there should be no loose hardware or nails anywhere on the stairs.
Should you want a ramp built, it should be at least two feet away from the walls of stairways and no less than three feet wide.
If you’re still unsure how to keep your stairs safe, you should always refer to the stair railing and guard building code guidelines.
Aside from being safe, people should be comfortable walking up and down the stairs.
If you want to have a relaxed climb, you can choose to have broad and less steep stairs.
And before you can select a particular design for your stairs, consider the people who’ll be using them.
There are individuals with back or balance problems who may find spiral or circular stairs challenging to climb.
Designing a stairway isn’t rocket science. And while it does take a bit of time and effort, if you approach it systematically and patiently, you should end up with a high-quality, functional stairway.
When creating a staircase, you should always consider your available space and budget.
Also, see to it that you choose excellent materials to ensure durability and style.
Lastly, keep in mind that the design of your staircase will affect not only the aesthetic appeal of your home but also your and your family’s convenience and safety.