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Staircases come in all shapes and sizes, because of the fact that everyone has their own idea about what they need. That is why we created this guide to help you get ideas on what staircase is appropriate for your plans. No need to be an architect to understand them, just taking into consideration some of the factors below might give you ideas that you can relay to your contractor.
Why build a staircase? A staircase’s purpose is to get a person moving between floors after all. Some will use it as just that, a staircase, but others will want it to look nicer and make it the centrepiece of the area.
You can choose from different staircase types like spiral staircases, helical staircases, straight staircases, cantilevered or bespoke (made-to-order) staircases. Materials possible and building costs will vary, and some will be more suitable for some intentions. Premade or prefabricated staircases are also an attractive option as they are very easy and fast to install, and a lot cheaper than building it from scratch.
“Centrepiece”, luxury staircases draw a lot of attention, so many people invest in them more compared to general-purpose stairs as they are often popular for years to come, just look at the many famous and historical staircases in the world. You can design the staircase in any style imaginable, like the wooden, spiralling grandiose stairs that many mansions are known for, or maybe go with something that marries steel with grace.
What kind of materials should the staircase be made of? Most parts of a stairway can be composed of different materials, from the steps, the centre pole (or the newel), to the railings. Of course, some materials will be more expensive so be sure to weigh their cost versus their benefits/cons. Some materials will also be difficult to work with if the staircase will be placed outside, or inside. The weight of the material can also be problematic as heavy materials like stones, are more appropriate for buildings with lower floors.
How long, steep, and wide do you want the staircase to be? How many floors should the staircase cover? Also, regard the type of people using the stairs. Steep stairs are effective and cost less, but it might tire people, especially children and seniors. Of course, the requirements should at least follow the building codes minimum requirements as they are made to make staircases safe and easy to use.
Like real estate, staircases are also dependent on its location. Where do you want it built, and is it internal or external? Which floor is it in? Is the location in a home, or a working environment like an office, or maybe even a school? Will the staircase see heavy use if located in a particular area?
This is where size is important. If you expect the staircase to see a lot of use, then the staircase should be accessible and as wide as possible to accommodate several people at once, while the materials should be strong enough to handle the load. You can also make it as luxurious as possible since it will be used frequently anyway. For emergencies or for staircases with low traffic, plain stairs are good enough, but it should still be durable enough for emergencies like fire and earthquakes.