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Top tips for specifying a staircase

Staircases are often the central feature of a property, particularly in self build homes where they can really make a statement, so it is important to clearly specify requirements.

Taking the time, when planning a build, to consider staircase design ideas and decide the staircase style and materials you want will help create a clear specification saving time and money in the long run.

To help you ensure that the staircase you install in your property meets your expectations we've put together a few top tips on putting together a staircase specification.

Straight spine beam staircase

1) Use and location

Define the location and use of the stair as this will have an impact on building regulations. Whoever is designing your staircase with need to know the dimensions of the space in which is it being installed. Think about how the staircase will be seen in the space and how it will be used. Would a spiral staircase save space? How will it look when standing in other areas of the house?

2) Budget

Allocating a specific cost to the staircase element of your build can be worthwhile as it helps define the type of stair and materials you have. Spiral UK’s bespoke staircases start at £15,000 but if you do not require the design and installation of a luxury stair you can source something considerably cheaper at a DIY store or from kit stair suppliers.

3) Time

Getting a staircase expert involved early in a project can be helpful so you can understand the length of time the staircase will take to design, manufacture and install. A bespoke staircase will take longer than a standard design and discussing price, design options and materials early on will save time later in the build.

Concrete spiral staircase

4) Type of staircase

There are a wide range of staircase styles out there including spiral stairs, helical or curved stairs, cantilever or floating staircases, straight, dog-leg and spine beam. Research the type of staircase you would like and consider how it will suit the space of your self-build property. Then make sure what you want is clearly defined in the specification. See our residential case studies for ideas.

5) Consider Components

Think about each stair component and how you’d like it to function and look. Manufacturers can often offer samples of materials or visits to their premises to see what is available. See our glossary page for help understanding different terms.

  • Treads
    What material would you like the tread (the top of the stair that you step on) to be made in. Choices include different types of wood, natural stone, glass or concrete.
  • Handrails
    How would you like this to be designed and installed, what material would you like to use? E.g. stainless steel, wood, glass or leather clad.
  • Finishes
    There are a variety of staircase finishes available on the market to suit the style of your chosen staircase they include painted steel, powder coating, stainless steel, site sprayed or lacquered.
    Make sure you have specified your finish otherwise the staircase maybe installed under the assumption that someone else is undertaking this task.
  • Balustrade
    Don’t forget that you need to consider matching balustrade on adjacent balconies and landings as well as on the staircase itself.

6) Materials

Here at Spiral UK we manufacture staircases and balustrades from a range of materials including steel, timber, concrete, natural stone, glass and stainless steel.
If you have always dreamt of a timber curved staircase you need to ensure this is specified.

7) Regulations

Most staircase specialists will have a very good understanding of how to ensure your staircase meets building standards but it always worth getting their commitment to ensure they are complying with them.

Clearly specifying your staircase when planning a self-build project will help the build process run smoothly and manage costs thus ensuring you get the feature staircase you’ve always dreamed of.

Spiral UK would be happy to discuss your staircase design and costs with you. Please get in touch by emailing info@spiral.uk.com or calling us on 0330 123 2447

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