More than just being a way of getting from level to another, staircases are ever-increasingly a major design feature. They can be built in both new and existing homes, although options may be more limited in an existing home due to layout issues. From simple outdoor stairs linking one level of the garden to another to ornate interior staircases, there is a staircase design to suit any home.
Stairs can be made from virtually any material – timber, stainless steel, aluminium, concrete and even glass. However, outdoor staircases are traditionally built from timber, concrete or stainless steel, as they are both safe and aesthetically pleasing. As staircases are so versatile, they can suit any home, from the most traditional to the most contemporary. Stairs can be straight, curved or geometric and they can be simple or complicated.
As far as design goes, the treads – or the steps that you walk on – should be wide enough to walk on comfortably and safely but apart from that there are no real guidelines as to the look of your stairs. It is simply a matter of integrating them to match with the rest of your home. An architect can help you design the best staircase for your needs, whether it is for the interior or exterior of your home.
When you are choosing a staircase for your home, it is important that you match it to the style of your home. Also take into consideration what your needs are. Is it mainly for practicality or will you be making a design feature of it? The floor of your home should match your stairs, or in case where this is not possible, the staircase and the floor should complement each other.
Depending on their location, staircases may not have much natural light. If possible, install windows and, if light levels are low, use balustrades and handrails that will not block out the light. Finally, consider the safety aspects. Consider using different materials on the exits and entrances of the staircase so that the change is both visual and tactile.
There are several different types of staircases that you could opt for in your home. Some of the most common types include:
The cost to build a staircase varies widely according to the materials used, the number of stairs, and what balustrading is used. If you are considering building a curved or geometric staircase, bear in mind that these are more expensive than standard staircases as they can take significantly longer to build.
When choosing a professional to build your staircase, there are some questions that you should ask. Firstly, you should get recommendations from previous clients or people that you know that have gotten a staircase built recently. It is also a good idea to speak to people in the building industry for recommendations. Secondly, you should get detailed, clear written quotes, so that you understand exactly what is included and what is not. Always get several quotes, and keep in mind that the cheapest option may not necessarily be the best.
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