The Latest Staircase Ideas
THE LATEST STAIRCASES A staircase, so often the focal point of a home, needs to marry practicality, safety and style. Nick Robbins explains how to ensure you travel between floors in style and on budget
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Ffrom Falling, inding volves and proved art. Collision the striking Document The right staircase and a staircase balance K: Impact, has 2007 for to between which your adhere — Protection home lays science to Ap- out inthe parts, minimum rules governing and maximum the presence dimensions of handrails of the stair and the pitch of the staircase. And, with an estimated fall on the stairs every 90 seconds in the UK*, it’s vital that your staircase is safe. But, as Bisca’s design director Richard Mcclane says, it also plays an artful role: “The staircase is part of the architecture and the spine of the house, providing access between all levels. Often it is in the entrance hall and is the first thing seen by visitors, creating a first and lasting impression.” Whether you’re building a staircase in your selfbuild or replacing or renovating an existing one, you could contact a joiner, go through one of the kit staircase manufacturers or approach a specialist staircase company. There are even companies who specialise in staircase makeovers if your existing set is structurally sound. Regardless of the style and design, the Building Regulations remain the same and the same measurements will need to be taken. You can leave this to a designer or joiner, but it can save time and expedite the design process if you do this yourself. (You’ll need to supply these measurements if ordering a kit staircase from an online manufacturer — though they will guide you through the process.) David Clayton, studio designer at Cheshire Mouldings, explains: “First, decide on the size and layout of the new staircase. You will need to measure the total rise; calculate the individual rise of each step and how many risers will be required for the staircase; work out the number of treads required, which is one less than your number of risers; and establish the tread size, or ‘going’.” The advice from the experts is to consider your staircase as an integral part of your house design, and plan for it at the earliest stages: “You shouldn’t leave sult aspects covered Richard (second of often design the a required it staircase project, is and until fix) off Mcclane. integrated before structural of mid-way at but designer the the a “staircase your The into smaller start requirements through because the largest build and property. comes installation is gets your physical there key towards underway,” that to project A are ensuring staircase installation (first need important the to fix) to con- says end de- the be is signer while on Self-builders their you should staircases, are at be often planning consulted according push stage.” as for early to cutting-edge Richard as possible, Walker design even of Stairbox: with ular choice a glass “Open for balustrade) people tread looking staircases have become for ‘wow (often the factor’. most combined We’ve popalso Cut design, seen an which increase is a modern in the popularity take on the of traditional our Clear cut string staircase — including our Steel Cut design which replaces the timber with a steel cut string.” Those updating existing staircases can save time and money by simply replacing stairparts. “Stairparts are easy to install and can be taken on by a competent DIYer, achieving a safe and stylish new staircase in next to no time,” says Zara Prescott of Richard Burbidge.