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Questions to consider when building spiral staircase for a deck
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Spiral Staircases are very comparable in price to what it would be to build a second story set of stairs with a landing incorporated. With a spiral stair case, you would expect to pay anywhere from $11,000 to $18,000 depending on the elevation and stairs with landings incorporated, are very similar in price.
Is a spiral staircase a good idea?
Spiral staircases usually last much longer than traditional stairs. They're made of metal, not wood, so they can take more weight and are more durable. You don't have to worry about them warping or getting damaged after a few years. And if you accidentally slip, you don't have to worry about falling as far as you would on traditional stairs.
Over the last twenty years of installing custom fabricating and installing spirals, we’ve learned that one of the detriments to them is when you’re climbing up and down them, they can be a little bit slippery. So over the last 5 years, we've learned that we always need to put in fascia tread, so whatever the decking material is of your deck, the decking material will also come in 12 inch pieces of fascia and we modify those and install them for the actual spiral treads, this gives you a nice comfortable walking surface, not to mention it really ties the spiral in with the rest of the deck and looks wonderful.
What dimensions are needed for spiral staircase?
If you want to get to an attic or a basement through the floor, you will need to make a hole that is bigger than the size of the stair that is going through it. For example, if you are using a 3'6” spiral stair, you will need a hole that is 44 inches by 44 inches. That is two inches bigger than the diameter of the stair.
The other consideration with the spiral is you traverse it differently than you would a traditional set of stairs. So traditionally when you are climbing a set of stairs, you are going to be taking steps that are around 7 inches from one step to the next and with a spiral, it's closer to 9 nine and a half 9 and a quarter, somewhere in that range. So a spiral is climbed more like a ladder. You want the rungs to be further apart, because you are climbing it, you have one hand on the grippable and another hand on the pole and you're claiming it differently so the fact that it has steeper steps actually makes it more comfortable.
Can dogs go down spiral stairs?
Many dogs (and people too) can be scared of spiral staircases because they seem so open. Even though spiral staircases can be intimidating, sometimes they are our only option. Fortunately, most dogs can be taught how to safely go up and down the stairs if they are taught through a process called step-by-step.
One of the main question I get from a homeowner is “what about kids or dogs?” Now Dogs are intuitive, so what we have found is most of our homeowners have pets, so once they have the spiral installed, it will take the dog a couple of times to feel comfortable up and down them, but outside of that they are extremely intuitive and they do really well in that environment. As far as kids and being a father of a 4 and 8 year old, I actually feel more comfortable with my kids unobserved climbing a spiral than a traditional set of stairs. The reason is if you're climbing a full set of stairs and you lose your footing, you're going to tumble all the way to the very bottom. With a spiral staircase, because you're going in the circumference, if a child were to lose its footing they aren’t going to fall very far before they catch themselves. Same thing with the way up. We always fabricate them at 6 ft around, so it gives you a nice 36 inch path as you’re climbing up it. Which is more than enough space to carry a tray. Maybe a spiral would be a good option for your family.
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