Prefab Spiral Stairs

There’s an interesting provision in the International Building Code that allows a residence to use a spiral stairway to access a space of 250 square feet or less. This is sort of a big deal because conventional stairways are big and relatively expensive. The footprint of a typical residential stairway is around 14’ long by 3’ wide, throw in the necessary landings and walls and you’re easily at a footprint of 60 square feet or more. That’s a decent chunk of floor area. The footprint of a spiral stair, on the other hand, is a modest 20 square feet. Not only do spiral stairs save space but they’re also just good old fashioned fun. Show us someone who doesn’t want to scramble up a spiral stairway to see what’s at the top and we’ll show you someone that we definitely don’t want around while we’re tipping back martinis.

Being architects and builders we come across good applications for circular stairs in a variety of situations but there’s one instance more common than any other. Older houses that need remodels typically have that funny little attic space above the ceiling – it’s too small to turn into the master suite but big enough that it’s a shame to only use for storing Christmas decorations. If designed correctly it could be a small bedroom, a home office, a reading room or a kid’s play loft. While a conventional stairway would eat-up too much of the footprint, a spiral stair is just small enough to be practical.

Perhaps the most important part of the equation is that spiral stairs can be pre-fabricated and shipped out to the site ready for install. If coordinated correctly they can be cost effective and look hot and modern. Everybody wins and we’re big fans of everybody winning.

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