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5 Key Considerations When Designing Stairs for Your Home

For most people, stairs are meant to be practical, allowing people to go upstairs and come downstairs easily. However, that is not all stairs are for, as they can also be an important aesthetic piece that can make or break how aesthetically pleasing the whole home is. Designing your staircase can be a challenging undertaking, especially considering how many design and material considerations you have to make before you settle on stairs you will love for years to come. To help make things easy, we have put together 5 things you should consider when deciding on your home’s staircase design.

Custom staircase designed by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri,


Your budget will vary widely depending on the design, material and contractor you choose. You also need to factor in how long it will take to get the project completed because most contractors will factor this in too. To make the best use of your budget, shop around for contractors who will work within your budget and have the project completed on time.

Local Regulations

Before you start working on the design, it is important to check if there are any local regulations that you need to adhere to as you add the new stairs. Some regulations you need to think about include the depth of the stairs (tread or ‘going’) as well as the height of each step (the rise).

Location and Size

The location of your stairs will largely be dictated by safety and lighting. The stairs should exit at or near the door so that everyone can get out safely in case of a fire. Such a design also allows firefighters to get their equipment upstairs easily if that is where the fire is.

Stairs can lose their appeal if they are not well lit. This is a problem, especially where the stairs are located centrally or around a corner. A simple way of rectifying this is using well-placed LED lights.

The stair’s location will affect their size, so it should be thought about carefully. For example, grand staircases will have a small rise and a large going. However, such a design would not be feasible for most properties so for smaller buildings, stairs with a higher gradient might be installed instead.

Design, Style and Layout

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Custom staircase designed by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri,

For stairs layouts, you get to choose between three main layouts. These include turned spiral and straight layouts. The layout you choose will depend on the overall style of the property as well as the original designer’s tastes. Although straight stairs are the simplest and cheapest to add to a home, they may not be practical in all situations.

For turned layouts, the flight of stairs is split into two sections with the second section turned 90-degrees from the first section. A spiral staircase can be considered an alternative to a turned staircase and comes in handy where space is limited. Although they look spectacular, they make it difficult to take items such as pieces of furniture upstairs and can be costly to have installed.

Lately, consider your balustrade’s design. Although a balustrade is often added for safety reasons, that does not mean that it cannot be added for aesthetic reasons. There is an unlimited number of designs you can choose for your balustrade. If you have an idea but do not know how to design it, you can work with a designer to bring the exact design you have in mind to life.

Remember that you will need the balustrade installed correctly for safety reasons. So, talk to a specialist who provides design, manufacture and installation services as a package. Majestic Stairs comes highly recommended if you are in Perth because they are designers, manufacturers and installers of custom-designed balustrades and stairs. Majestic Stairs has decades of experience installing high-quality timber and metal stairs with balustrades in a variety of settings.


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Custom staircase designed by Orlando Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri,

The type of material you use will influence your stair’s design as well as its cost. Although each material has its pros and cons, there are no wrong answers here as you should go with what works best for you and your home’s design.

Wood is a flexible option for those looking to keep costs as low as possible. Wood is easy to work with, with the vast availability of different types of timber allowing you to find one that fits your use case.

Metal staircases might be costlier than wooden stairs, but they offer individuality and functionality while being relatively low maintenance. All they need is varnishing, painting and sealing.

Stone and concrete stairs are not common in residential property, but they can be considered for the stairs leading to the house due to their durability. They are quite expensive although property owners can consider stone panels.

Glass and acrylic add a bit of modernism to a property and allow a lot of light to flow into a property. A cheaper alternative is having wooden stairs with acrylic or glass balustrades.

If you are building a new house or overhauling an older one, it is important to think about the stairs that the property will end up with. While there are a lot of factors to consider, doing so should make things easier for you.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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