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The ups and downs of stairs

Ups and downs of stairs
Ups and downs of stairs

The staircase of the home not only serves the purpose of getting you from downstairs to upstairs, it can make an impact on the look and feel of your home, as well as adding to your homes ultimate value.

It is important to take the time to carefully plan your staircase design as it is such an essential part of the entire home.

Ups and downs of stairs

Consider your preferred style of staircase and the materials that you are after. It is a good idea to design your staircase with the same materials and finishes that have used throughout the rest of your home to ensure that consistency is achieved throughout.

So the builder can provide an accurate price to construct your preferred staircase and include it in your fixed price tender, it is vital that your preferred staircase design is reflected accurately on the plans for your new home. Be sure to discuss your ideal staircase with your builder so they know what to include. You don’t want any nasty surprises during the build. 

Every staircase has a number of common components and it is important that you give some thought as to how you would like each element to look to ensure that your completed staircase is what you envisaged.

What is a staircase made up of?

TREAD – this is the part of the stairs that you place your feet on and walk on when you go up and down. Think of the tread as the horizontal surface of the stairs.

RISER – this is the part that you see when you look at the stairs front on. It is the vertical surface of the stairs. Staircases can have open risers which allows the natural light to flood through.

NOSING – is the portion of the tread that overhangs the front of the riser. 

The image below illustrates the tread, riser and nosing which has been constructed from matching timber. These items do not have to be constructed from the same materials with some designs opting for a metallic nosing piece or, eliminating the nosing and riser altogether for an ultra-modern look.

Ups and downs of stairs

BALUSTERS – this is the side of the stair case which the handrail attaches to. Balusters come in many forms, using a variety of materials. A painted gyprocked baluster wall can provide a consistent finish following on from the gyprocked walls of the home, as well as providing added privacy up the stairs. The baluster can also consist of thin bars whether they be made from metal or timber. Glass is another option proving a sleek and seamless staircase design. 

FINIAL or NEWEL POST– is the upright post that supports the handrail of the baluster usually positioned at the bottom and top of the staircase. 

The image below shows a metallic chrome handrail supported by a matching newel post and baluster. This has been paired with a timber tread, no nosing and, an open riser with steel supports to match the stringer.

Ups and downs of stairs

STRINGER – the stringer provides the support to the staircase. This is on either side of the stairs into which the treads and risers fix. Each staircase will have two stringers, one on each side of the steps. There are a number of different forms that stringers can take (routed or housed stringers, sawtooth or open stringers and mono stringers). 

The staircase design below has created a feature from the stringer in steel which they have paired with a timber tread and nosing. They have also opted for an open riser and glass baluster to allow for extra light.

Ups and downs of stairs

MONO STRINGER – this style of staircase has a single beam-like stringer that supports the centre of the treads from below the staircase and no risers are present. The mono stringer is a simple design which eliminates the bulk of some traditional staircases and can open the room to natural light.

Depending on the location of your staircase within your home, and with clever planning, you may be able to make use of the space under the stairs. This can be in the form of closed-in storage, wine cellar or maybe consider a study nook for the kids.

To make your stairs a real statement piece within your home, take the time to think about the design and quality finishes and materials. With careful consideration, your staircase can become an impressive statement piece as well as a functional element of the home.

Everything you need to know is included in this free guide for consumers looking to engage a professional builder who can support you through the Design and Build process ensuring your building experience is enjoyable and stress free.

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