Planning a spiral staircase

Spiral staircases have been around for centuries. They were mainly used in castles and towers. Today spiral staircases are used because of their style and also because they take up less space than normal staircases, making them perfect for smaller homes.

But before you start building the staircase, you will need to take a few things in consideration:

  • think of the locations that the staircase will access. If you need to install heavy furniture in those rooms than spiral staircases are not good for the job. They are better suited providing access to smaller locations, like a basement.
  • spiral staircases are narrow and steep and they are difficult to use for older people and children.

If you have decided to install a spiral staircase, then follow the next tips:

  • First of all you will need to think if you are going to buy a staircase kit or design and build your own. Kit manufacturers offer a wide range of designs and they all conform to national building codes. These precut parts are easy to install, making the job very easy. These kits are great for those who do not have previous experience with staircases.
  • a standards kit consists of a strong center pole, treads and risers. These last two are attached to the pole using brackets and a circular clamp. This is used to fix the balusters and the handrail.
  • all you need to worry is the budget, because the design range is vast. Not only that they come in many designs, but they can also be made from many materials, like plastic, wood, glass, metal, etc.
  • it’s important to check local codes and see if the spiral staircase kit conforms to it.

Some general requirements are:

  • 5′ stair diameter
  • 26” minimum walking path /tread length
  • 7.5” tread depth at 12” from the narrow end
  • 30° turn per tread
  • 9.5” maximum riser height
  • all treads must be identical
  • 6’6” headroom allowance measured from the edge of the platform to the tread below.
  • 4” baluster spacing
  • 26” landing width
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