With shows like Upstairs, Downstairs and more recently Downton Abbey, one of the big period features that seems to have disappeared over the last fifty years or so is the grand spectacle of a beautiful staircase.
From grand entrances to a focal point in the home, the staircase is more than just a semi feature of your property, it can add value to your home as well, a unique design point to make your friends and neighbours jealous!
Italian staircase designers, Fontanot Staircases have some fundamental things to consider when it comes to installing or re-designing your staircase!
Budget, Budget, Budget
Too many people make the mistake of not budgeting a staircase installation, or in some cases the required building work and architect that may be required for grand jobs.
You need to be realistic with the look and feel of the new staircase/balustrade with how much you really have to spend on your new look centre piece. Speak to your designer, as certain finishes will cost more in the overall. Individually blacksmith forged and formed spindles may give you the look you desire, but cost more to produce than their production line counterparts; the dark coloured handrail you want can be achieved by either cladding with leather, or more cost effectively by using dark timber specified according to budget.
Get some ideas
One of the best things about the internet is that you can easily research some of the most beautiful staircases in the world, in the comfort of your chair. But with applications like Pinterest or even Note, you can easily save and store all the products that you do like onto image boards so you can start to pick and decide on looks and tastes that suit what you are going for.
Because of this great way of collecting ideas, what you can do is take it to your designer and speak to them about the things you and don’t like about those areas and build on from there, plus with the internet, you can easily share your image boards but still keep it private.
How much do you actually need?
It may be a silly question but you can sometimes get easily carried away with the additional balustrades for example, so you need to ask yourself, “how much do I actually need?
Think of overall design, look and feel to get an understanding of the material requirements. Importantly, your designer should be helping you to get the most out of the materials as well as achieve your desired look.
Have you really thought of style?
Consider space, surroundings, and the overall look rather than just the stair area. Look at different styles from contemporary to modern, from ornate to clean cut, you want to look at overall appearance that will integrate character into the building.
Think about the doorways you use most often and how easy they are to get to from the staircase – does the bottom tread need to flare out to make access easier?
Use a professional
Many DIY experts like to think that you can apply the same laws of the land to your staircase as you could to hanging a door, however, that’s not really the case. You need to be aware of very important safety aspects as well as understanding how the overall appearance of the new staircase will look when it comes to installation.
All Staircases and Balustrades must conform with Building Regulations and British Standards.