The Top 4 Things to Consider When Designing a New Staircase
If your home has more than one floor, a staircase is essential. A staircase connects one floor to another, provides aesthetic appeal, and can have many other functions. Renovating a staircase can completely change the look and feel of a home.
Whether you need to replace the existing structure because of wear or simply want a different look, think about the following considerations when renovating your staircase.
One of the most important things you need to consider when looking for a new staircase is cost. Knowing how much you are willing to spend on the project determines the type of staircase you can install. Regardless of how much you want to spend, make sure you budget enough to get the job done safely.
Once you have established a budget, you need to ask yourself who will do the work. Many people enjoy taking on a do-it-yourself project. Prefabricated staircases make DIY projects more assessable to the common homeowner. However, if you are unsure that you can safely complete this project, contact the professionals at Riverside Ironwork Canada Inc.
Design & the Homeowners
Once you have decided on a budget, explore your design options. Find a design that fits your style and highlights the architecture of your home.
A few common staircase designs include:
- Straight staircase : The straight design leads directly from one floor to the next. Smaller homes can use the space underneath for storage.
- Spiral staircase : Spiral staircases spin around a center pole. This style is less common in traditional homes, since it has a more contemporary feel.
- Helix staircase : This is like the spiral, but the center pole is removed. This design is super-modern.
- Curved staircase : This type of staircase has a dramatic or subtle curve. The design takes up a lot of space (imagine the dramatic entryway of an 18th century manor home), but has a more organic feel.
Make sure you take into account the location and orientation of the new staircase. Are you simply upgrading an old staircase with new material, or are you going to use this opportunity to create a completely new design? Many homeowners use a project like this to flex their creative muscles.
Changing the location, orientation, and design can drastically change the amount of usable space you have in your home. If you move the staircase to the middle of the room can increase the drama of your home, but it will break up the useable space into smaller sections.
As the homeowner, your choice will affect your daily life. Study out your options carefully. Consider the impact that different staircase designs will have on your life. A unique staircase can be a fun conversation piece at parties, just be sure it that it also serves its function.
The most common materials used when building staircases are wood, metal, and concrete. Each material can benefit your home in different ways.
Wood staircases: Wood is a natural, renewable material. It can give your home a warm, welcoming feeling. Wood treads are also easier to clean.
Concrete staircases: If you want a more industrial or contemporary feel in your home, you can choose concrete. Concrete is a great low-cost option for staircases. You can easily cover it with carpet to reduce danger from falls.
Metal staircases: Many stair rails are made from iron, steel, or aluminum. This type of design creates a sturdy barrier to avoid falls, while still providing plenty of open space so the stairs don't feel too confining. Created from strong, durable material, these structures can fit anywhere, be designed with your style in mind, and are cost effective.
Do you have or are you planning to have kids, animals, or grandparents living with you? Consider how a new staircase design will affect them. With different designs come different risk factors. For example, a staircase with no added landings increases the danger of slips and falls.
When you move into a new home or complete the renovation on your new stairs, give yourself a period of time to get used to the change. Staircases are designed with safety in mind. Becoming familiar with the rises and treads increases the safety of your staircase.
If you have other people or animals living with you and you are still worried about safety, here are a few safety tips that can decrease the problems on the stairs.
- Remove clutter from stairs to decrease the risk of tripping on a shoe or children's toy.
- Tighten loose hardware like handrails and banisters.
- Add non-slip flooring like rubber mats or no-skid treads.
- Add a second handrail below the first or on the opposite wall to increase stability.
- Place under-tread lighting to increase visibility.
Discuss with your local installation company what can be done to increase safety in areas you are concerned about.
Your home is a reflection of your style. There are many different staircase designs available. Discuss your options with our experts at Riverside Ironworks Canada Inc. to know what is right for your home.