10 Things to Consider When Designing a Staircase in Your Home
For homeowners looking to design a staircase as part of building a new home or those looking to update an existing staircase, the project can seem daunting especially if you’ve never designed one before. Because a staircase takes up a lot of visual space and is usually a focal point in a room, it’s important that it expresses your style and taste and fits the tone and mood you want in the room. To make the process less intimidating, we have outlined below 10 things to consider when designing a staircase to ensure it’s as visually pleasing to you as it is functional.
Budget. Your budget will determine what kind of materials and design you can go with. For example, with a smaller budget you can still design an attractive and functional staircase but you will be more limited in the size, quality and quantity of the materials to be used. You just need to be more creative and resourceful when working with a smaller budget and you will probably need to keep the design simple and classic. Regardless, the right staircase design company knows how to work with any size budget to meet the client’s desired results.
Lifestyle. Think about how you live. Do you have small children who live at home and safety is more of a concern? Are you older and need wider steps for placing your feet? Or maybe you are part of a young urban couple who entertains a lot and wants a staircase that makes a bold and modern statement. How you live definitely should play a part in the design of your staircase.
Space. If you have a larger home, you can design a staircase that is more expansive and more decorative vs. a smaller home that requires the staircase to take up a minimum of space.
Design. There are different designs to choose from and these include straight, spiral, quarter turned and half turned staircases. How large the square footage of a home plays a big part in the design concept. For example, a smaller home would benefit from a spiral staircase because that design saves space. Also the style of your home in most cases will dictate the style of design you want for your staircase. Is your style modern, traditional or cottage? Do you want it to make a bold statement or be more in the background?
Another design consideration is using Feng Shui principles, which is basically setting up a room, home or building to make sure the “chi” or energy can flow freely in the area. Feng Shui experts believe a home that has been “Feng Shuied” promotes harmony and good luck to all who live there. For example, because a stairway in the home has traditionally unstable, up and down energy that feels chaotic, it’s important to ground the energy and you can do so by making a few Feng Shui adjustments. These include placing pictures in solid frames on the wall leading up the staircase, installing good lighting like wall sconces or a chandelier on the ceiling above the staircase and adding a healthy lush plant or two in attractive pots on the landing. In commercial construction and remodeling, as well as very high end homes, an indoor water fountain placed near the top or bottom of a staircase is also a wonderful addition.
Location. Where you locate your staircase is another consideration. From a Feng Shui standpoint, the worst two locations to place the staircase is right in the middle of the house or facing straight on when you walk into the home.
Safety. Consider how important safety is for you and choose accordingly. The safest staircases have a landing followed by L-shaped or U-shaped stairs. For stairs that aren’t as tall, some opt to have no landing.
Materials. There are a variety of materials you can use for making the staircase. Some choices include steel, marble, concrete, wrought iron, timber or other similar materials. The steps can be carpeted and have open treads or they may be closed. Those who like modern and minimal designs sometimes go with glass for the treads but that can be costly.
Comfort. This is an important consideration because you will be using the stairs on a daily basis. If you want to put comfort on the top of your priority list, then go for wide stairs that have a less steep climb. Also while spiral staircases work well in smaller spaces, they are not as comfortable to walk up and down.
Building Codes. It is a good idea to check with your area’s building code because some have regulations that could limit your choices for staircase design. They may require the design to be within a certain depth and height for example. Do not ignore building codes because they are there to ensure your safety.
Handrails. Your balustrade and handrail is an area that might be dictated by building codes and regulations so check on that before finalizing design. You need to make sure the handrails are durable and can carry the constant weight of people leaning on them. They also need to match the look and feel of the rest of the staircase design. Most times the material of the handrails matches the material of the rest of the staircase but some like to break away from that and mix up materials. Some like to make an impact by adding decorative balusters and newel post. Iron stair balusters are a growing trend among those designing staircases for their homes and you can find them in various finishes. These types of architectural embellishments can really make a statement in a room.
Now that you know what to look for in designing a staircase for your home, be sure to search online and do research into the designs and options that appeal to you. When you are ready to choose staircase materials, consider an established company like www.stairparts.net, who can work with you to help create a staircase made of quality construction materials that will not only meet your functional needs but be something you will proud of for years to come.