by: Tameka T. Norris
If you are living in a small home, one of the things you need to consider very carefully is where you can economize on space. One of the things that tends to come up time after time is the amount of space a traditional staircase takes – and the amount of space underneath the stairs that often tends to get wasted in many homes. However, it doesn’t have to be like that: you really can do something about changing your traditional staircase for one of the many space saving staircases now available on the market – some of them retailing at quite economical prices. Why is it that the traditional staircase tends to take up so much space, though?
There are different building regulations that relate to various categories of staircases, from private homes to commercial properties; to inside stairways to stairs that are built outdoors. Obviously, in this article, we are talking about an internal staircase within a private home. The regulations appertaining to this incorporates the depth of each tread, the minimum size of each tread, and the most appropriate width for each tread. For a private home the width of each tread needs to be 600mm, with between 170 – 220mm for the rise between each tread. The main stair in a house really needs to be 190mm wide, with an optimum tread width of 800mm.
In some older properties, built towards the end of the 19th century, you often find the staircases are too steep and the treads too narrow for a comfortable footfall, giving you the impression of falling backwards as you reach the top of the stair. This is hardly safe for an elderly person to climb safely, or for a young child to mount. Modern staircases are certainly more attractive but, if you need to be convinced into replacing your old traditional staircase with a modern one, perhaps the emphasis on health and safety could convince you?
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.
Choosing a manufacturer who focuses on making staircases for small spaces, such as Mobirolo, an Italian manufacture, you can choose to float your new staircase, incorporate modern materials such as aluminum, or plump for an elegant spiral staircase. Mobirolo have been making staircases exclusively for over 50 years. Their ranges include designs by Spiral and self-assembly kits including their Fusion range, plus Stilo, Venus, Optima and others. In fact, choices today are quite varied and, unless you proactively choose to keep it, you no longer need to climb that wooden hill to bed.
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