New Staircases in the UK

22 Feb 2024

Upgrading or installing a new staircase in your UK home isn't just about improving accessibility between floors; it's an opportunity to enhance the aesthetic appeal and increase the value of your property. This comprehensive checklist will guide you through every step, ensuring your new staircase is not only visually stunning but also complies with UK building regulations.

Does a new staircase add value?

Yes! The removal of old stairs and the installation and repair of new ones are advisable. Using a new staircase may increase the value of your home before it gets sold or if you need to raise its value. However, the staircases were renovated completely. Probably it doesn't cost much to buy the house or you think the staircase can still be repaired.

What are the current UK building regulations for staircases?

Those requirements must include the above: The individual height is 150mm-230mm. Typically it's 210 mm or 300 mm. Neither vertical nor horizontal steps are above 42 degree.

Before getting a quote for your bespoke staircase, it's important to familiarise yourself with the UK's stringent building regulations concerning staircases. These rules ensure safety, accessibility, and durability. We'll delve into the specifics of these regulations and how they impact your project.

Selecting the Right Materials for Your New Staircase

Wood: Classic and Versatile

Wooden staircases add warmth and a timeless charm to any home.

Metal: Modern and Durable

Metal staircases offer a sleek, contemporary look and are known for their strength and longevity.

Glass: Sleek and Contemporary

Glass staircases can transform your space with a modern flair and the illusion of more space.

Space Optimisation Strategies

Maximising the available space when designing your new staircases is crucial for both functionality and style.

Here are key tips to achieve the perfect balance building or renovating your existing staircase:

  1. Utilise Under-Stair Space: 

The area beneath the staircase is often underutilised. Consider integrating storage solutions such as drawers, cabinets, or even a compact home office. This approach not only enhances space efficiency but also adds a unique design element to your home.

  1. Choose the Right Design: 

Spiral staircases can be a space-saving option for tighter areas, while straight or L-shaped designs might better suit more spacious environments. Each design has its benefits in terms of space optimisation and can significantly impact the overall aesthetic of your space.

  1. Incorporate Multifunctional Elements: 

Consider staircases with built-in shelving or seating areas. These features add functionality without requiring additional space, effectively blending form with function.

  1. Opt for Open Risers or Floating Stairs: 

These designs can help create an illusion of more space by allowing light to flow through the staircase, making the area appear larger and more open.

Lighting Solutions for Staircases

Proper lighting is essential for safety and aesthetics, transforming the staircase into a focal point. 

  1. LED Strip Lighting: 

Install LED strip lights along the edges of each step or beneath the handrail for a modern, minimalist look. This not only enhances safety by illuminating each step but also creates a warm, welcoming ambiance.

  1. Pendant Lights and Chandeliers: 

For staircases with ample overhead space, a statement pendant light or chandelier can add a touch of elegance and provide general lighting to the area.

  1. Recessed Wall Lights: 

Installing recessed lights in the walls adjacent to the staircase can offer a subtle, sophisticated way to light the path while highlighting the staircase's architectural features.

  1. Motion-Sensor Lights: 

Incorporate motion-sensor lighting solutions for energy efficiency and convenience. These lights can automatically illuminate the staircase in low-light conditions, ensuring safety without the need to manually switch them on and off.

Preparing the Site for New Staircases

Before the installation begins, proper site preparation is essential. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth process:

  1. Clear the Area: 

Remove any furniture, decorations, or obstacles around the staircase area. This creates a safe and accessible workspace for the installation team.

  1. Assess the Structure:

Conduct a thorough assessment of the existing structure to ensure it can support the new staircase. This may involve checking the integrity of floors and walls where the staircase will be anchored.

  1. Prepare for Construction:

Depending on the scale of the project, it might be necessary to protect flooring and nearby furniture from dust and debris. Consider using dust sheets and temporary barriers.

  1. Secure Necessary Permits:

Ensure all required building permits and approvals are obtained in advance. This includes complying with UK building regulations that apply to staircase installations.

Measuring and Customising Your Staircase

Accuracy in measuring and customisation is paramount for a perfect staircase fit.

Here's how to approach this critical step:

  1. Consult with a Professional: Engage a professional to take precise measurements of the installation site. They can also advise on customisation options that best suit your space and style preferences.
  2. Consider the Dimensions: Pay attention to the total rise (the vertical distance between the floors), the total run (the horizontal distance), and the size of individual steps. These dimensions will influence the design and comfort of your staircase.
  3. Select Material and Finish: Choose materials and finishes that complement your interior design while considering durability and maintenance requirements. Customisation options may include the type of wood for wooden staircases, the finish on metal staircases, or the texture of glass panels.

Safety Features and Compliance

Ensuring your staircase meets all safety standards and complies with UK regulations is non-negotiable.

Here's what to keep in mind:

  1. Handrails and Balustrades: 

Install handrails on at least one side of the staircase, ensuring they are of a height that provides support for both adults and children. Glass or metal balustrades can offer protection without compromising on style.

  1. Step Size and Consistency: UK building regulations specify minimum and maximum dimensions for risers and treads to ensure safety and comfort. Ensure all steps are uniform to prevent tripping hazards.
  2. Non-Slip Surfaces: Especially important for wooden or metal staircases, consider adding non-slip pads or finishes to each step to enhance safety.
  3. Compliance with Building Regulations: Familiarise yourself with the relevant sections of the UK building regulations concerning staircases (Part K in England and Wales, for example) to ensure your project complies with all legal requirements regarding safety, accessibility, and design.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your new staircase not only enhances the beauty and functionality of your home but also adheres to the highest safety standards.