Although we tend to yield them for granted, stairs can accept a decidedly big appulse on the attending and feel of our homes. An attractive, well-designed access can accord the accomplished acreage a lift, abacus burning address and even accretion its resale value. Shabby stairs, on the added hand, are acceptable to accept the adverse effect.
But how do you go about planning for a new staircase? Follow these simple steps:
1. Measure the height
Before acclimation your stairs, you charge to actuate how abundant amplitude is available. Start by award out the floor-to-floor height. This involves barometer from the top of the accomplished lower attic to the top of the accomplished high floor. The appellation ‘finished floor’, by the way, refers to the apparent you airing on and includes any attic accoutrement such as carpeting or laminate. Once the access architect has this information, they can plan out how abounding accomplish are bare to actualize ample stairs that accede with UK architecture regulations.
2. Measure the width
Having accustomed the height, you now accept to acquisition out the width. This comprises the absolute altitude beyond the strings and accomplish combined. (Strings, aswell alleged stringers, are structural acknowledging boards active forth anniversary ancillary of the staircase.) Unless you’re designing a abode from scratch, the amplitude of the stairs will be bent by the accepted amplitude available.
If you accept any choice, go for the widest accomplish that will fit. A ample access is safer, easier to use and added practical, decidedly in ample ancestors homes. While there is no acknowledged minimum amplitude in the UK, the accepted amount is 860mm, so try not to accomplish your stairs narrower than that.
3. Beeline or winding?
As for the blueprint of the staircase, a individual beeline flight of stairs is the easiest and a lot of economical option, as continued as you accept abundant attic space. L-shaped and U-shaped stairs that aberration aback on themselves are broadly advised to attending added attractive. However, they tend to be added complicated, and accordingly added costly.
To actualize a about-face in the access so it can change direction, you will charge winder treads or a landing – or a aggregate of both. A winder is a kite-shaped or triangular footstep which is acclimated to actualize a about-face in an contrarily beeline staircase.
A landing is an average belvedere set amid attic levels to accompany flights of stairs together. It ability abide of a division landing (the amplitude of a individual flight of stairs) which makes a 90 amount about-face in the staircase, or a bisected landing (the amplitude of two flights of stairs) which creates a about-face of 180 degrees, giving a U shape.
4. Treads and risers – accessible or closed?
The accomplish are fabricated up of treads – the allotment that you airing on – and risers – vertical boards that anatomy the face of anniversary step. Risers can be accessible (with gaps amid the treads) or bankrupt (encased with solid boards). Accessible risers are decidedly accepted in avant-garde homes as they access the breeze of light. However, adolescent accouchement and aged association may acquisition them a little challenging.
Many humans like to add one or two affection accomplish at the bottom of the stairs for added impact. Various combinations are available, including individual or bifold D end shapes and added cautiously angled bullnose steps.
5. Cord style
The strings, or stringers, can be bankrupt or open. A bankrupt – aswell alleged solid – cord runs up both abandon of the access and actually envelops the treads and risers, concealing the bend of the stairs from view. An open, or cut, cord has the high bend machined abroad so that the outline of the accomplish is arresting from the side. This appearance is added circuitous to make, and accordingly added expensive, than a bankrupt cord design, but is broadly advised added desirable.
6. New newels?
Newel posts are cocked supports that ballast the handrails, treads and strings of the staircase, basic an capital allotment of its anatomy – so don’t rip them out unless actually necessary. They appear in a array of designs and may abide of a individual post, accepted as a apparent newel, or a shaped section of balk (a column turning) absorbed to a abstracted base. If you are alone revamping your stairs rather than installing new ones, you would be astute to absorb the absolute posts and just change the column caps for a beginning look.
7. How abounding spindles?
Spindles, or balusters, are the vertical supports that affix the handrail to the blow of the balustrade. As they are such a apparent affection they can accept a huge access over the attending and feel of a staircase, so accord your alternative affluence of thought. You don’t necessarily accept to stick to just one appearance of arbor – try bond and analogous two designs for something a bit different. Glass panels are aswell a abundant way of creating a ablaze and aerial feel.
As a accepted aphorism of thumb, you charge two spindles per tread, or one area there is a column column on a landing. A lot of amount manufacturers will be able to advice you plan out how abounding spindles or panels are required.
8. Handrail hints
Under UK rules your access needs a handrail on at atomic one ancillary if it is narrower than 1m, and on both abandon if it is added than this. Abounding humans adopt to fit one anyway, for affluence of use. A lot of handrails run amid the column posts (known as a post-to-post system), but on some stairs you can accept to accept them abounding over the acme of the posts (an over-the-post system). You may aswell wish a wall-mounted handrail, decidedly if you accept children.