A feature staircase in a hallway or entrance lobby is usually the first thing you see when opening the front door and can certainly add a wow factor to your property. A bespoke staircase with a clever layout can also maximise space and the illusion of light. Leading staircase company Bisca tells us what to consider…
1. What does a bespoke staircase designer do?
A bespoke staircase designer is able to offer clients something totally unique whether it is an architectural masterpiece or simple, understated good design. Each staircase begins with the client’s personal brief and is designed and manufactured from scratch with all materials individually sourced.
2. When during the course of a refurbishment project should the staircase be commissioned?
The moment you start thinking about it! Their expert knowledge allows them to be creative with layouts, maximising space, the illusion of light, incorporating storage and suggesting materials that clients might not even have thought of. As well as being up to date with all technical aspects and building regulations.
3. What are the main parts of a staircase?
At the most basic level the familiar treads, handrail, balustrade and newel posts. Less widely known are the soffit, (the underside of the staircase ) and the stringer which supports the edge of the stairs. Each part will determine the look of the staircase as well as the style, cantilever, helical, spiral or straight.
4. Which materials are best suited to each staircase part?
This depends entirely on the look you are hoping to achieve. A steel staircase structure will give you the options of open or closed treads and can be visually lightweight. A concrete staircase is bulky and limits you to closed treads. Balustrades can be glass, timber, steel or parapet wall.
5. How much time and money should be set aside for a bespoke staircase design?
There is a difference between truly bespoke, custom, modular, kit and fabricator staircases. The price, as well as the quality varies considerably from bespoke at one end to kit and fabricator at the other. A bespoke staircase requires time in design. Each project starts with a blank piece of paper and the designer produces personalised drawings and plans for approval before procurement of specific materials begins. All Bisca staircases are built by craftsmen in their Yorkshire workshop before being transported to the site. (usually around 8-12 weeks). Price will depend on materials but bespoke staircases start from around £22,000.
6. Is the style of a staircase defined by the style of the property?
It is extremely important that every staircase designed integrates into the character of the property, regardless of age. 60% of a design is about the staircase, the other 40% is how it interfaces with its surroundings. With careful design and choice of materials a contemporary staircase can sit happily in a period environment. Timeless design never goes out of fashion.
7. How can a staircase add the WOW factor?
A feature staircase in a hallway or entrance lobby is usually the first thing you see when opening the front door. Open plan living has promoted the staircase from the hallway to the main living space where it is even more visable. A curved or sweeping staircase designed to perfectly fit the space in carefully chosen materials – whether hand-forged uprights, crystal glass or aged oak treads – will never fail to impress.
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