It is probably something you never think much about, but staircases and banisters are a very important part of a house. If not placed properly in a house, a staircase can take up a lot of space. They can also be ornate and add character to a home.
Staircases started out as wood trunks and have been around since about 6000 BC. Later they were made of steel and stone. They were used to get a higher vantage point in case of an attack in castles and on mountains. The use of staircases has definitely come along way and they have become much safer.
In the 19th century, a mathematical system for staircases and railings was invented. Staircases became works of art. Later in the ’80s, designers started to experiment with different materials like stainless steel and glass. Nowadays, you can have a staircase that is not only functional but also sleek and stylish.
The invention of handrails and banisters made stairs safer to use. It is important to note that the construction of staircases, banisters, and handrails must follow the correct building codes. They should be placed between 34” and 38” high. Code also requires that there be a 1½’ clearance between the handrail and any obstruction. When it comes to banisters there are many codes to follow with regards to their height and the distance.
When purchasing a house with a staircase, it is important to check that the staircases are up-to-date with the current building codes, especially if there are children in the house. It is a huge safety concern for parents. The depth of the steps as well as the angle of the stairs can also cause a problem, especially in resale homes. Having to rebuild a staircase is not an easy task and it can be very expensive depending on the materials that are used. Therefore, paying attention to a staircase before buying a home is a good idea. The layout of some homes might be compromised by the location of the staircase. If the staircase is in the middle of the house, it could cause the house to become very closed in.
Many homes also have staircases on their porches usually made of wood or cement. The structural integrity of outside stairs is also important. Depending on weather conditions exterior stairs can rise or fall with heating and cooling.
Lately, the staircase trend has been to use a mixture of materials in their construction. Staircases made of wood with banisters and handrails made of glass and steel. They have become amazing works of art and showpieces inside of modern design homes. Staircases have come a long way over the years. Which type of staircase and size depends on the construction of your home. It is important that they not only look good but that they function within the design of the home.