Building a custom home is an exciting project that gives homeowners the chance to be involved in every aspect of the process – from foundation to roof. Designing and planning staircases both inside and outside the structure is one important step i the process that can add character to the home. Following are some basic tips on staircase design and the many options that are available.

Staircase Planning

When planning a staircase and where to put it in custom homes, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Interior vs Exterior – Although stairs are basically stairs, there are some differences between interior and exterior ones. Outside stairways offer a greater choice of size, shape, and material, while most interior stairways are built by basic building specifications. Exterior ones are often larger and wider than interior ones; they are also made of sturdy material such as pressure-treated wood, brick, concrete, and stone. The most common interior stair material is premium carpentry wood and sheet rock.
  • Rise, Length, and Width – These three dimensions are critical to the staircase layout, often dictated by local building codes. For interior stairs, there is a range of standard dimensions that must be followed for building plans to be approved. Good stairway design uses the least amount of space while affording the best access – not only for walking up and down but for accommodating large items that maybe carried on those stairs. There is room for adaptation, even within required dimensions such as adding a landing to break up long rises, adding wider stairs, and other creative ideas. Exterior staircases must also provide a safe width and rise for the elevation; landings are frequently used also.
  • Access – Whether building stairs inside or outside of custom homes, it is vital to create good access. This is done with good positioning; proper rise, width, and length; use of landings; and where the stairs begin and end. Efficient use of home space is drastically affected by where the stairs are located, so this is a decision that must be made in the early stages of the custom homedesign.

Physical and Aesthetic Design

Following are some physical and aesthetic designs to consider when adding a staircase to custom homes:

  • Staircase Styles – As long as the staircase design in custom homes remains within building codes, the style can be as conventional or unusual as desired. Stairs can have full, enclosed or open sides with handrails. They can be full-length or broken up with landings, with open or closed stairs. Staircases can be made in almost any manner that fits the architectural style of the home.
  • Visual Impact – Attractive stairs are always an impressive focal point in a larger room and help set the atmosphere for the home, which is why architectural style and materials must be carefully selected. Stairways can be made of wood, metal, stone, marble, and many other types. They may be carpeted, have runners, or left base depending on the desired style. Other physical attributes such as enlarged bottom steps, plan or ornate handrails and spindles, or handrails made of uncommon material can be adventurous, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary!

Remember that any ides about staircase design and placement must meet local building codes. The options available for custom home interior and exterior stairways are limited only by your imagination. Whether traditional or daring, staircases add personality and character to a home for an exciting appearance!

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