Design Your Own Staircase

Designing your own staircase may seem out of your depth but it is actually not as daunting as it seems. The main things that need to be taken into account when finalising this design will be the materials, size and configurations whilst also making sure it adheres to building regulations. Check out these guidelines from in the UK.

Not too hard right…

UK regulations

For the finer details of building regulations for staircases in the UK then you should look closely at Approved Document K.

  • Flights of stairs must have a max ascent of 220mm and a min going of 220mm
  • They must have a max pitch of 42°
  • stairs must have a handrail on one side at least in the event that they are short of one meter wide and on the two sides assuming they are more extensive than this
  • Handrails on landings and steps must have a min elevation of 900mm
  • No openings of any hand railing can permit the passage of a 100mm circle
  • At least 2,000mm of clear headroom is needed over the pitch line

Who to consult about your staircase design

  • A joiner- The most affordable option short of doing it for yourself would be to consult an experienced carpenter or joiner. An experienced and skilled carpenter or joiner should have no problem designing and constructing your staircase, this also cuts out a middle man.
  • Staircase specialist- if you’re planning on purchasing your staircase through a specialist then it’s likely this company will provide the full service for you, advising you through the whole process from design to installation, probably the most convenient but also most likely the most expensive.
  • An architect- If you’re are using an architect for your house anyway then this is probably your best option as they will understand the full extent of the work they are designing for you and can integrate the staircase into this. It may be a case that the staircase would be included in the package anyway.

Staircase sizes

This should be the first thing you take into consideration when deciding on your staircase. Once you have calculated the total rise of the staircase you can then work out the number of risers you will need.

The best place for the staircase

Some things to consider when deciding where to place your staircase is whether it will cross the pathway into any other rooms or walkways, consider how it might impact natural light into the room it’s in.

Generally it’s good to have a staircase near the front door and in the case you have a third floor this is critical to act as a fire escape route.

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