The primary function of a staircase is to allow the occupier of a building to transition from floor to floor. But a staircase is so much more than steps under your feet!
When I design a building (mainly large houses) I tell the client to think of a staircase as the largest piece of furniture in your home, or even the largest art scuplture you have. They are so important in design as they can create a strong visual impact. They are normally located in an entrance hall, so they are the first thing you or a visitor will see!
The choice is vast – materials can be timber, metal, conctrete, glass or a mixture. The look can be very modern with floating treads out of the wall, defying gravity – through to a very traditional timber, cut string stair! They can be straight, curved, dog leg or spiral you can even add lighting details if you wish. The design depends on personal preference, what suits the building and space, etc.
All new staircases will need to conform to the Building Regulations – rise, tread, handrail heights, widths, balustrade distances, pitch angle and headroom heights all need to be considered and designed accordingly to meet regulations.
We are finding a shift generally towards more contemporary style staircases as we are with building design itself. The cost of staircases can range from £1000 upto the skys the limit. The average spend on houses we design is around the £18k mark.
So if you are planning a new build, refurbishment or simply want to change your staircase make sure you do plenty of research, ask for guidance from your building designer and its always wise to involve your staircase manufacturer before you progress too far on site to avoid any abortive work.
Choosing your staircase is one of the most enjoyable and satisfying choices you will have when you undertake your building project. Good Luck with yours!