Staircase Understairs. Sunday , October 21st , 2018 - 20:15:26 PM
Spiral staircases wind around a central pole and have a handrail on the outer side only. Helical stairs do not have a central pole and there is a handrail on both sides. If a spiral staircase is being used to access a single room, it must be at least 1500mm in diameter. But if the spiral goes up to more than one room, it is classed as a main staircase and needs to be at least 1900mm. 'Bear in mind that the opening in which your spiral fits needs to be 100mm wider than the spiral itself,' says Sally Noseda, director of Oakleaf Industries. Many spiral staircases are available in kit form from about £800, but only go up to 1600mm wide. A bespoke spiral would start at £3,000. It can be difficult to get furniture up and down, so move large items in before you install the stairs.
'Small spaces are more economical to run,' points out Elizabeth Wilhide, author of Small Spaces. 'And because the surface areas you are dealing with are more limited, you can choose more luxurious materials and high-end details. Small-space living also concentrates the mind as, with less room to play with, you need to be quite focused and selective - which is no bad thing.'
'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.
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