Sunday, 23 June 2013

Stairway to heaven!

Don't just think about stairs as a way of joining one floor to another. With a degree of creativity, innovation, and skill, your stairs can become a powerful design element of your home interior and have a visual impact on the entire house. 

Here are a few tips to consider in choosing a new stairwell for your home:

There are a wide range of materials, so choices, options and customizations are endless. Here are 3 considerations:
  • Space - The space available will determine the types of stairs that will fit the house.
  • Comfort - Stairs that are wide and have a less steep climb are much more inviting; important when considering who will be climbing the stairs.
  • Safety - The safest stairs are ones with a landing. These are the return stairs followed by L-shaped or U-shaped stairs. Straight stairs with a landing are better than those without, but a landing may not fit. Although circular staircases take up the least space they are the hardest to climb.  
Now choose the best stair shape taking into account the design of your home:

Spiral stairs - formed by twisting steps around a central pole, they can be used in any corner of the house as they consume minimal space. However, though pleasing to the eye, they are hard to climb, unsafe and also unsuitable as a primary staircase.

Straight stairs are the easiest to build; although they can be tricky to fit into a floor plan unless there is a space for a stairway already built into the plan.

Circular stairs are not the semi-circle stairs sometimes found outside and go up straight. Those are still considered straight stairs. The individual steps are in just a different shape.

L-Shaped Stairs are a good alternative if there is not enough floor to ceiling space available for straight stairs. They can be positioned anywhere in the room, even in corner.

Obviously, it is best if a plan for wide stairs with low steps can be planned both for safety and comfort although not always possible. 

The style is going to depend greatly on the architect, designer or owner of the house.