The first and most important advice for those who decided to build a staircase in a private house, huge cottage, or small summerhouse (whether it will lead to the basement, upper floors, or mansard) is to design it correctly. Such an option as “somehow it will work” or “we can do it without projects” is not the best idea. Even if we’re talking about a small cottage, you shouldn’t take this approach, as you may not get what you want.
External staircases and the features of their arrangement
Without a careful approach to such an important and responsible task as building the staircase in the house, you can get an insecure and unsafe structure that may harm the health and even life of the people using it.
Building the staircase is not easy. And despite the abundance of video lessons that flooded the Internet, there are many nuances that were not reflected in the video tutorials.
Both private houses and cottages require the installation of external stairs. Sometimes it is a separate entrance to the second floor (mansard), but more often, this is a device for climbing to the porch. Such devices are subject to the same standards that must be observed when building the staircases inside the building, but there are nuances.
- Angle of elevation of the staircase must not exceed 45 degrees. Otherwise, movement on such a structure will be tiresome and uncomfortable.
- The maximum height of the steps must be 170-180 mm. Otherwise, it may not just cause inconveniences of use, but also increase the risk of injuries.
- Wooden staircase is easily damaged by the impact of soil moisture. Therefore, you should either use concrete racks for the elements that touch the ground or process the wooden elements with special compounds.
Staircase for the access to the attic or mansard
Many house owners want to transform the attic (spacious but not too functional) into a comfortable mansard. For this, you will need comfortable access to this room. Most spacious attics are empty because the comfortable climbing wasn’t provided during the building. The private house doesn’t always have enough space for the monumental structures, and the construction of the winding staircase is not something just anyone can do. In this case, you have to build the staircase to the mansard, not indoors but outdoors.
If you want to build a winding staircase in your house, you should order a modular structure. It is easy to install, and when ordering, you can talk about all the points, including compliance with safety standards.
Simple staircase with your own hands: what should you take into account?
It is quite possible to build a simple staircase to the mansard or attic (even the angular one if necessary) in the country house or at the cottage if you approach this with great care. On the website, you can watch a video, which will probably clarify certain points.
You should remember a few rules that will make your staircase user-friendly, comfortable in all senses and safe:
The sum of step (tread) and riser must be about 450 mm. Designers estimate that this value makes the staircase maximally comfortable and safe. At that, the height of the riser must be specified separately. There are norms and rules, according to which it must not exceed 170-180 mm. Thus, the length of the tread must be at least 27 cm.
You shouldn’t forget that too steep ascents cause inconvenience during movement. Therefore, the inclination angle is very important for lifting devices. The optimal angle is 30-45 degrees.
Another important point is the width of the staircase. Don’t make it less than 700 mm, especially inside the building, as it is against the rules of fire safety and make a staircase uncomfortable for movement.
Materials for building the staircase with your own hands
During the first experience of building the staircase (even in the country house or a great cottage), you shouldn’t use complex materials, such as concrete and metal. It is better to use hardwoods.
Wood is aesthetic and easy to treat, and if you choose the right sort and don’t neglect the treatment with special compounds, the staircase will be very strong and durable. There are also special compounds produced under the name “fire protection.” They can be produced by different companies, but they have one common purpose– prevention of rotting and protection in case of fire.
The wood sorts suitable for outdoor staircases are birch, mountain ash, and oak, while for the internal structures, you should use beech and ash. Every sort of wood has its pros and cons, which is why you should study their properties carefully before making a final choice.
We hope that this article will be useful both for those who are planning to calculate the size of the staircase and for the people who have already faced some problems during the construction of this architectural element.
If you have useful experience in building the staircases, we will be glad to read your advice!