Latest News and Articles From the A & T Carpentry BlogHow To Choose A Staircase
A staircase is a vital part of many homes. A good staircase provides access to the upper and lower, levels of a building. It connects one floor to another, usually to a bedroom or maybe a mezzanine, basement or loft bedroom. Apart from the functional purpose of a staircase, it also provides a stylistic feature to the home.
Where to start?
Choosing a new staircase isn’t something we do very often and is likely to be one of the biggest changes in your home. Staircases come in many styles and we must choose carefully. It is a large, one-time purchase that will reamin in place for many years to come.
This post will help you decide on the type of staircase that is right for your home. Looking at staircases in magazines and online will give you a good idea of the types of stairs that you may want to install.
There is no substitute for going to see the staircase yourself. Visiting a showroom will allow you to get a feel for the different types and sizes of staircases.
The major factor that you need to look into when choosing a staircase design is your available budget. This can help you choose the kind of materials to be used for the stairs and the style of the finished staircase. For example, aluminium and metal staircases are more cost effective than solid wooden stairs. There is also a combination of the two which fit between these price ranges. Find the type of staircase you like and get some quotes. You’ll soon have a good idea of what fits into your own budget constraints.
Staircase Space Considerations
Look at the space you have available. Spiral , turned or twisting staircases will suit smaller spaces. You can also opt for a larger and more decorative staircase if the area you have to work with is a large entranceway. A straight staircase will take up more space in the room below but will require a thin but long rectangular opening in the ceiling above.
A spiral staircase takes up less space in the downstairs area but needs a square or circular opening in the ceiling above. This sometimes takes up more space in the room above. A spiral fits best when the staircase can be installed into the corner of a room or where you can fit it in a larger space and make a feature of it.
It is vital to consider the safety of your stairs. The existing building regulations are designed to help. They state minimum width requirements for certain components and applications. Regulations also ensure that there are no gaps on the staircase more than 100mm so that children cannot climb through the balusters. A spiral or glass staircase is as safe as any standard staircase and should not be considered dangerous in any way.
There are many kind of materials that can be used for making stairs. It can be timber, marble, steel and even concrete.Spiral stair cases can use aluminium and solid wood. Mixing two materials is also no problem and the contrast provides a modern twist on the traditional wooden staircase.
There is a standard code of practice within the U.K. building regulations relating to staircases which applies to all new builds. In cases where the building is listed or where space is limited and a new staircase will be a significant improvement on the one you already have, the building regulations have built in discretion (Document K) for the building regulations to be more relaxed. This utilisation of the discretionary order under Document K, varies from local council to council and from building inspector to building inspector. It is always advisable to contact your local building inspector to discussyour design plans before committing to a purchase and finalising details.
Finalise your decision
When it comes to choosing a staircase design, you have to make sure that youare completely satisfied with your final plan. Attention to detail is everything. You must be clear before the installtion and fitting process begins because it is very difficult to change the plans afterwards without great expense. It would be time consuming to do and late changes would hit your budget hard. Plan everything well, using experienced and qualified fitters so that you can get the right stairs for you and your family.