Staircase Understairs. Tuesday , October 23rd , 2018 - 08:51:32 AM
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.
The simplest type of staircase - a straight staircase supported at the top against a wall - is the easiest to open up because the timbers under the stair serve only to support the paneling. A straight staircase between two side walls (with access to the space from an adjoining room) is the most difficult to open up as both walls are likely to be load bearing. In this situation you need professional advice and help, and perhaps a building permit, before you can remove the walls.
A cantilevered staircase can look stunning, but is also a feat of engineering, with most of the weight of the treads supported by one wall. You need a balustrade to comply with UK building regulations, but glass is unobtrusive and will still give that 'weightlessness' look. These staircases should always be designed and built by a specialist.
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