Your stairs do so much more than connect the upper and lower floors of your home. They are a major design element that affect the overall theme of your home. They can set the tone for your home.
What are the factors that I should consider before planning a staircase?
As with any aspect of your renovation, the budget will affect the style, size and the materials to build your stairs.
How much room do you have? Straight stairs, for instance, take up a lot of linear space. Stairs that turn such as winder stairs use less space. Spiral staircases, on the other hand, are practical for small apartments.
Be mindful of how much room is available. You don’t want your stairs to occupy valuable square footage.
Your number one concern should be you and your family’s safety. Stairs provide access to different floors and you don’t want your loved ones to slip or fall when they go up or down – especially if you have little ones.
The safest staircases feature a landing and a return. It allows the user to rest as they go up and down the stairs. You also need sturdy handrails and balustrades. It must provide support when gripped and leaned on. Your staircase needs to be well-lit too, some like to include lighting on each stair.
Is there a space beneath your staircase? A great designer knows how to turn these spaces into clever storage units, home offices, your kid’s cubby holes, or even a bathroom.
What style of stairs?
In our previous blog, we discussed eight different types of stairs and how they look. If you’ve read that blog before, you’ll know that each style delivers patterns and shapes that visually elevate the look and feel of your home.
Are you building your stairs in corner locations? Consider an l-shaped (quarter turn) staircase. It creates a sense of privacy and controls the transmission of sound between floors. Winder and u-shaped or u-turn staircases are ideal in corners too.
Do you have a large and spacious living area? Consider a curved staircase. It is elegant and is very easy to climb. However, can be difficult and expensive to build.
Another opulent choice for mansions and villas is bifurcated staircases. If your home features an atrium or a grand entrance, this staircase is more suited for the structure.
In case you need secondary stairs in your home, consider a spiral staircase. It is space-saving and fits in small spaces.
If you want something modern and trendy, try floating stairs that cantilevers from the wall and appears to defy gravity. A staircase like this is perfect for modern minimalist homes. But don’t forget about safety when installing these.
What kind of materials should I use?
Your staircase must match the style and the design of your home.
The number one choice for homeowners is a hardwood staircase. Design-wise, timber compliments many building materials like concrete, glass and metal. It’s a flexible building material.
If you don’t like timber stairs, consider using other sturdy materials such as steel, concrete and tiles.
If you want stairs that are quiet and soft to touch, consider a carpeted staircase if it suits your home. Note that this is high-maintenance and the carpet can wear quickly because of heavy foot traffic.
I saw to my designer’s drawings and I’m a bit confused with the terms used. What are the terms that I should know?
To help you out, here’s an illustration showing the different parts of a staircase:
‘Flight’ refers to a continuous slope or series of steps. A flight is limited in length to restrict the distance a person could fall down a set of stairs.
The ‘tread’ is the area you place your foot.
The ‘going’ is the depth of a tread.
A ‘riser’ is the step height between treads.
Lastly, a ‘landing’ is an area of flat space at the top and bottom or between two flights of stairs.
How do I deal with the building regulations?
There are building regulations that limit the height, depth and steepness of stairs.
Here at Superdraft, we make sure that our designers comply with the most up to date Australian Building Codes.
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