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Avoid These Mistakes When Designing a Home Staircase

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When having a new home built, or if your current home has an old staircase that needs replacing, you can usually work with a contractor to design a staircase from scratch. This allows you to create a set of stairs made from a unique and original material, and which is very personalized so it's a good fit for your home and its overall decor. However, note a few mistakes you want to avoid if you're designing a staircase, or even choosing one from a catalogue for your home.


A narrow staircase can be a good choice for when your home is smaller or their staircase might otherwise get in the way of foot traffic, or if it would somehow block your view of the nearby rooms or windows. While a narrow staircase can be convenient and compact, be careful that you don't make it too narrow; consider if you could easily get furniture, a laundry basket, or other items up and down the stairs as needed. It might be worth expanding the width, even if it's just an extra few inches or centimetres, to ensure you can safely and easily move things upstairs or downstairs when needed.


Stairs and risers of all one colour, or clear acrylic stairs, may look very modern and unique in a catalogue, but may not be so safe for your home! It's easy to lose your balance when the eyes cannot judge distances between stairs; to ensure the stairs are safe to use, always add some type of contrast between the steps themselves.


Your home is probably legally required to have a railing along an open staircase, and a unique material can make the staircase very personalized; you can add pops of colour by using a painted wood rail, or keep the space open by using glass panels. However, be careful of materials and designs that are so unique that they become unsafe to actually use. For example, if the stairs get lots of direct sunlight from a nearby window, a metal railing might actually get too hot to touch. A wood railing made from an actual tree branch may have knots and grooves that keep it from providing a firm surface. Glass panels may also be too thin for someone to grip securely. Always choose a railing with safety in mind first, and then note how you can dress it up to make it personalized and unique.