We are often told that, 'first impressions count,'. In buildings, whether residential or professional, the stairway frequently is what can make or break that first impression. A well designed stairway offers the potential to turn an uninteresting entryway into a major architectural feature. But with so much potential to create a stunning entrance also exists the prospect of getting it just as wrong, if you fall into some of these common stairway design mistakes.
Select your shape
One of the first decisions you need to make about your stairway, curved staircase, custom stairs project is what shape you want the stairs to be. Spiral staircases look great and are also useful where space is limited. Straight and curved staircases are equally sound options but whatever your choice it's important that the connections to the rest of the building are seamless and the staircase fits in both stylistically and proportionally.
Figuring out what works for your building whether stairway, curved staircase, custom stairs is one of the first decisions you need to make. What combination of materials do you want to use? What will your balustrades look like? How many spindles do you want and what finish should the railings have? These decisions require you to think about the overall design of your building and how the stairway can complement that. If your stairway design clashes with the rest of the entrance area, you can end up with a design disaster, not a style statement. Working with a professional designer, who specializes in custom metalwork from the beginning of your project, can help you avoid this common pitfall.
Form over function
With any design project, it can be all too easy to get carried away with the appearance, and forget about the practicalities. First you have the code requirements to think about, such as distance between spindles, stair widths and headroom - these are non negotiables which you simply must adhere to. Then there are the other practical considerations, such as loading on the staircase. The more complex the staircase, the greater the technical expertise you need in designing the stairway. A professional designer will be able to keep your project specification in line with building codes and advise you about how to use the materials you want.
Vision let down by reality
One of the most potentially disappointing outcomes for a customer is looking at the finished product, and it looking nothing like the original vision. While it may be that the first design was not achievable or deliverable, you should not have to wait to the final stage to find this out, when it's too late or too costly to put things right.
A professionally managed design and installation service for your project, whether stairway, curved staircase, custom stairs, should be seamless and underpinned with open, frequent communication between client and project manager. You should be guided through the process, be advised on what is possible and be kept updated on any issues. You should also know that the fabrication process will be based on high quality, well tested processes, which involve full reassembly before your item is shipped, to ensure no nasty surprises.
It may seem that there's a lot to take on board, and all just for a staircase, but employing industry-leading professionals can greatly reduce the stress of such a project. Remember, you never get a chance to make a first impression, so make sure your staircase design declares the statement you want it to make.