The device for climb and descent from the porch to the second floor or attic can be very light, regardless of the type of staircase (fixed or mobile). However, descending to the basement must be solid and massive; it must consist of either a combination of wood with stainless steel or concrete. Fastening accessories should be appropriate – glued steps are inappropriate here. All of the above is true as the basement is a place of high humidity; therefore, the material used for building the staircase to the basement must be resistant to moisture, corrosion, and high loads.
The elegant appearance of the staircase from the porch to the basement is not as important as the other qualities – solid and wide steps, comfortable height, optimal inclination angle, and availability of handrails for support. To build the “right” staircase with your own hands, you should take into account the following factors:
- Location of device.
- Depth of the basement from the porch to the floor.
- Level of humidity and the average temperature in the basement.
- Need for carrying large objects on the staircase. If you’re going to store the cans of conservations in the basement, you can use wood reinforced with metal. However, if you want to arrange mini-production there, you can’t do it without concrete.
- Average age of users.
You should pay special attention to the correct calculation of all parameters of the future building. Staircase to the basement (even built with your own hands) must combine compactness, nice appearance, and solid steps.
The calculation of parameters is the first case!
Adequate width of steps is a guarantee for a safe lifting or lowering. Experts recommend building the staircase of at least 80 cm wide or a bit narrower than the aperture of the porch, from where it will start. The depth of steps must correspond to the length of the foot of a grown man – a hand-made staircase leading to the basement, is a structure located in the high-risk area. If you want to build the wooden steps, the boards must be at least 8-10 cm wide.
As a rule, such a staircase is made straight, but this applies only to the shallow basements. For the rest, you should build a construction with a 90-degree turn and rest area between the flights. The number of steps must not exceed 18. The height of every step is calculated like this: the depth of the basement should be divided by the proposed height of steps (approximately 18-20 cm). You can go negative – divide the depth by 18 (maximum safe number of steps). The result will be the height of the steps of the future structure.
These dimensions are desirable regardless of the materials you’re going to use for building the staircase with your own hands.
Preparatory work – the key to the safe descent
The floor is a support of the future building. It must be absolutely smooth – with no cracks, chips and have a strong coating. Before starting the work, you need to choose the type of staircase. If there’s not enough space, people usually choose a spiral structure. It is compact but unsafe. Therefore, if children or older people will use the staircase, you should refuse this option. The spiral staircase with a permanent turn is higher than the common one.
You should consider that the staircase made with your own hands must be impregnated with special remedies against swelling, rottenness, and parasites that live in conditions of high humidity or “duplicated” with stainless steel. The only exception is the upper side of every step. They must be wooden or concrete. Otherwise, they will turn into the rink in winter. After processing the staircase with special compounds with an anti-fungal effect, it should be covered with varnish or water-repellent enamel.
Nuances or concrete, or how to build a concrete staircase
This option is desirable for the basement, especially as it is easy to make with your own hands. You need the components of the common concrete solution (cement, water, rubble, and formworks in the form of boards or plates (metallic or wooden). To maintain the water-repellent properties, you should add plasticizer to the solution.
After the calculation of all parameters and installation of formwork on the floor of the basement, you should prepare a solution: mix water and cement (1:1). Then you should add plasticizer, as well as sand and rubble (3:3). The solution must be homogeneous to pour the future step. Once it has dried, you should install the second formwork on it and repeat all the steps until the staircase reaches the porch. For each subsequent formwork, you’ll need more solution than for the previous one.
As soon as the last step connecting the staircase to the porch is ready, you should leave it to dry and only then start to use it. The advantage of the hand-made concrete staircase is that is doesn’t need painting or another type of finishing. This material implies the building of the straight stairs with high and wide steps. Handrails for the staircase can be made of wood or metal. However, you can also do without them.
What material do you prefer and why? How to make a staircase from the porch to the basement safe and comfortable? Tell us about it in the comments.