Enter just about any custom-built luxury home and it’s likely that the first structural element to catch your eye will be a set of elegant stairs angling or winding up to the second floor and perhaps higher. Our eyes will tend to focus on unique, customized stairways that are designed as the architectural focal point of a fine home. Such stairs tend to make people want to gain some altitude for a higher and more interesting perspective within the building. They make you want to climb them for a better view or just to be on them.
There is something very special about stairs that give designers of fine residences and other buildings an opportunity to exceed their clients’ expectations. Far more than a way to get up and down the various levels, feature stairs in a home can be the structural and visual anchor of the overall design theme.
In commercial buildings, feature stairs tend to be the architectural centerpiece of the grand entranceway or lobby. Areas around the base of these stairs tend to be the communal gathering point in public buildings. In homes, feature staircases can give people an immediate sense of architectural excellence.
Bearing heavy loads, any staircase must be engineered for structural integrity as well as desired appearance. As such, strong and durable custom metal fabrications are most often required to build any kind of feature stairway. Furthermore, understanding how to tastefully integrate other building materials such as wood, glass, stone and ceramics into the stair assembly gives architects the green light to implement more creative and impressive ideas beyond basic risers, runners and balusters. Customizing the finishing details of your staircase metals, woods and natural stone provides extra artistic delights for owners and their visitors.
Advanced planning is the key building truly impressive feature stairs.
First, what is the style you’re going for? Is it something grand and traditional, sleek and contemporary or perhaps something edgy and fun? Of course, the style choices are limited only by the owner’s and designer’s vision.
Then there are the functional and structural aspects of your feature staircase. You need to integrate the fixing and foundational requirements into your home design from the very beginning. Depending on the type of construction you may need a supporting wall structure adjacent the staircase, for example. It’s so important to consult with custom stair specialists who have a background in architectural metal fabrication design support.
Aesthetics and flow are additional considerations to work into the design. Will you want most of the foot traffic going up and down using the feature stairs? Placing the starting and end points of your stairs may depend on the convenience preferences of the homeowner. Keep well-worn tracks like bedrooms and living areas in mind.
Modern Metal Solutions often gets calls from around the country from people with various questions about how to design and build custom feature stairs. Sometimes this leads to work for us and other times people simply appreciate being pointed in the right direction.
If you have a stair project that you have questions about or need help with, feel free to call us at 603-402-3022.