Gabriella Cabrera. Staircase Understairs. September 17th , 2018.
One concept for space saving stairs is to keep the stair flight straight so as to minimize the space they take up. In general, this is quite true. Stairs that have turns in them and unnecessary landings as the stairs rise do result in a lot of wasted space below and behind the stairs that you can do nothing with. The exception, however, is the spiral staircase that can look quite elegant, is easy to install, and uses the minimum of space. Detracting from this is the inability for disabled stair-lifts to be fitted - or, at least, I haven't come across one yet. It is also more of a chore to take furniture up and downstairs when the need for moving your furniture becomes apparent - as in moving house.
'In stairwells, remove the balustrades and fill the gap with book shelves. You can also use landings or even half landings (where stairs turn) to house a condensed work station or mini library,' says architect Mark Dyson. A compact office can be hidden in a cupboard, so it's instantly tidied away at the end of the day. A window ledge can be widened to create a cosy seat. Spiral stairs can be a great space saver, as can alternate-tread ones that allow staircases to rise at a steeper angle.
Flights should have a handrail on at least one side if they are less than 1m wide, and on both sides if they are wider. The minimum height for a rail is 90cm, and there is no need for one beside the bottom two steps. Spindles should be no more than 10cm apart.
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