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Stairway to Heaven – Choosing the Perfect Stairway for your Home

A staircase is an integral part of any multi-level home, often forming the focal point of a room or space. Whether on the interior or the exterior of the building, the design and style of the staircase plays a vital role in the overall functionality of your home.

While the first step in choosing a staircase is to decide on its function, as opposed to aesthetics, staircases can also be custom-made to integrate function and form. From curvilinear and organic forms to regular, straight lines, there are an array of artistic designs and forms that can be utilised to suit the requirements of the staircase and the overall design of the home.

It is important to remember that a great concept, whether it is a custom-made design or a prefabricated piece, needs to work both architecturally and structurally, as well as being cost-effective in terms of fabrication and installation.

Straight Stairs
Straight stairs are the most common and understandable design of staircase, with a straight ‘up/down’ design, no turns and are used in most homes. The advantages being that they are easy to construct and very cost-effective – no special design is needed for their installation – however, these types of stairs need a fairly long open space or high ceiling to install, and are therefore not very space efficient.

Spiral Stairs
Economical in cost and space usage, spiral stairways are most commonly used where there is limited floor space, or a low ceiling and are aesthetically pleasing to the eye in terms of design. There are two types of spiral staircases – circular stairs, which sweep in a broad curve from one level to another; and spiral stairs that twist around a centre pole, from which steps radiate outwards. A great choice for attics, basement rooms, and two-story additions, spiral staircases can be made from a variety of materials, including steel, aluminium or hardwoods, however are fairly difficult to climb and less safe than straight stairs.

Cantilever Stairs
Combining elegance and engineering, cantilever staircases are also known as ‘floating stairs’, with each step anchored at only one end, to create a gravity-defying effect. A straight, L-shaped or double L-shaped design can be used, depending on the amount of wall space available. While beautiful, these stairs do not have a rise and are not particularly child-friendly if you have small children.

A leader in their field and proudly members of the Master Builders Association, Steelform SA supplies construction products to the domestic, residential and construction market, as well as manufacture staircases made to specification. A leading supplier in major cities across South Africa, this global operation also has a footprint across the continent of Africa, as well as further afield in the Middle East and Dubai.