Consider the diameter of the staircase. You must allow for the same amount of space upstairs and downstairs. Take into account how much traffic the staircase will handle. Ask your town’s building inspector if the building code requires a minimum diameter. (Reference 1)
Measure the height from floor to floor. Make sure the top and bottom of the staircase is at least two inches away from the floor and ceiling. Decide on the width of treads. Make the stair landing more than two times the treads’ width. (Reference and 2)
Decide how much space should separate each baluster. Prefer smaller spaces that children cannot fall through. (Reference 1)
Determine where to place the railings. Also decide what style of railings to install.They come in aluminum, bead and groove, black vinyl and solid wood.
Choose a half or full revolution. For a full revolution, you need only consider how many runs and stair rises you want. If you choose the half revolution, you will have to give up tread width in order to accommodate runs and rises.
Select the type of staircase, such as winding spirals, stacked spirals, domed spirals or rectangular spirals.
Design a well enclosure rail at the top of the staircase to prevent anyone from falling. Check with your town’s building code for the minimum height of the rail. Decide whether the rail will circle the top of the stair case or whether it will attach to the top floor in straight lines.
- Opt for a staircase made from galvanized stair which doesn’t rust and doesn’t require painting or costly maintenance.
- When deciding on the staircase’s diameter, a 6 ft. size requires 6’2” x 6’2”, above and below. If you have more size, extend that opening several more inches just to allow for extra room.
- If you’ve hired a contractor to do the job, ask about stair packages custom made according to your town’s building code.
- You can choose to cut a hole in your floor or attach the staircase next to a balcony.
- If you decide to go the floor route, you can choose whether to make a square or round opening.