Design Buy Build Issue 41 2019 | Page 72

Lifts, Stairs & Balustrades What to consider when replacing a staircase “Staircases are now a priority for both architects and homeowners,” says Richard McLane of Bisca. “Arguably the staircase is more important than the kitchen or bathroom as it is often the first thing you see when entering the house and is usually the only way of travelling between floors. Kitchens and bathrooms end up being ripped out and replaced as fashions and taste change; however a staircase is integral to the architecture of the building and, designed well, should last as long as the building remains standing” There are many reasons to replace a staircase; rearrangement of living space, modern living in an older 72 property, changing the flow of traffic and opening up the hallway to let in more light are just a few of them. Space is one of the defining factors when designing a staircase and is increasingly at a premium in homes. A staircase specialist like Bisca will evaluate the area in the context of your home and your needs. The position and configuration of the staircase depend on entrances and exits and the flow of traffic and, while it is often assumed that spirals have the smallest footprint, alternative layouts such as a helical staircase may be equally space- efficient.