October 04, 1998|By Karol V. Menzie and Ron Nodine
STAIRS ARE article best of us aloof booty for granted, but if you anticipate about it, they’re annihilation but simple.
They are an important allotment of any multistory anatomy and generally absolutely elaborate.
Almost all civilizations accept created some kinds of steps; some age-old cultures congenital huge structures with stairs ascent hundreds of feet. Baltimore is acclaimed for its marble steps, best of which came from bounded quarries, such as those a Oregon Ridge. At the time, the white marble from these quarries was bargain — which explains why so abundant of it was acclimated for accomplish and window sills. (That’s not so today, as anyone who has had to alter some would acquisition out.)
These days, stairs are generally a cachet sym, creating a admirable access with a huge sweep, accumulation aggregate from curves to alien hardwoods to intricately abundant balustrade systems.
If you appetite to body or adjustment a set of stairs, it’s important to apperceive how to allocution about the assorted parts, and to accept how they go together. The diagram beneath shows the basal parts, which should be abundant advice to call to addition abroad what you want.
If you are aggravating to bout or alter genitalia for an old stairway, you will accept three choices. You can go to deliver yards and chase — you may get advantageous and appear beyond what you need. You can additionally attending for new genitalia that resemble the old ones — so carefully they may not be noticeable. This is easier than it acclimated to be, as added abstraction companies are breeding ancient stock.
However, if your amount genitalia are abnormally elaborate, or you appetite article not readily available, you can accept the genitalia bogus by a mill. A acceptable comminute should be able to alike any allotment you need, admitting it may be expensive. There about will be a ancient allegation for creating a jig, or pattern, additional a allegation for anniversary allotment angry out. You will allegation to accumulation a sample if you appetite article bifold exactly.
With new stairs you accept added options. It is attenuate today to accept stairs congenital absolutely from scratch, with the barring of those for porches and decks. Autogenous stairs are usually prefabricated and set in abode as a unit. Alike the banisters are generally congenital as sections, so the installer has alone to cut and fit the railings to the column posts. You can alike buy railings that will acclimatize to the abruptness you allegation as a unit.
An important affair to understand, if you are activity to body alike a simple a set of steps, is how to account the acceleration (height of anniversary step) and run (length of anniversary step). This archetype is for autogenous stairs:
Start with the ambit the stairs accept to arch from accomplished attic to accomplished floor. For an 8-foot ceiling, this about is about 106 inches. (Always assignment in inches.) Then bisect the acme by the cardinal of risers to ability the aing attic (for this 106-inch example, 14); 106 disconnected by 14 is 7 1/2 inches for anniversary step. Best architecture codes specify banned for the acceleration — that’s because if they’re too low, bodies ability trip, and if they’re too high, it’s like aggressive a ladder. Somewhere amid seven and eight inches is the safest and best adequate distance. If your acceleration is alfresco those limits, you allegation to add or decrease addition footfall so it will conform.
Now you can account the run of the stairs; this is about 10 inches (and it doesn’t accommodate the overhang of the nosing, or angled advanced bend of the tread). There is consistently one beneath footstep than there are risers, back the aftermost footfall at the top is the aing floor. So accumulate 10 times 13 to actuate the absolute length. If there are landings involved, amusement them as addition riser and add its amplitude to the all-embracing length. For a beeline of 14 risers, the run ambit is 130 inches. That’s how abundant attic amplitude the stairs booty up.
If you’re architecture stairs, you additionally accept to anticipate about vertical clearance; there needs to be at atomic six anxiety eight inches of acme from the adenoids of the footstep to the ceiling. The vertical approval can be abundant college — as in those two-story admirable staircases — but it cannot be lower at any point.
Obviously, architecture stairs can be a complicated action — alike a alarming one if they’re not congenital accurately — so unless you apperceive what you’re doing, it’s bigger to appoint a professional.
If you accept questions, tips or adventures to allotment about alive on houses, e-mail Ron at henovator.net or Karol at karol.menzialtsun.com. Or address c/o HOME WORK, The Sun, N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.
Pub Date: 10/04/98
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