Choosing the Right Exterior Stairs
If you have a balcony or raised decking area, you may require a set of exterior stairs to access it from outside. These can be produced in a range of designs to suit any style of property. Itâ€™s important to think about how you will use the staircase, the amount of maintenance you want to carry out and your overall budget. All of these factors will have an impact on the type of stairs you install.
Generally, the first decision you need to make is the type of material you will use for the main structure. This will then have an impact on other elements of the build, such as what to produce the exterior handrails from and how it will be constructed.
There are a number of different materials that can be used, including metal, wood and concrete, each of which have their own unique benefits. Concrete is the most durable solution, and it also requires very little maintenance as it simply needs washing down occasionally. This type of staircase will last a considerable amount of time, but the initial costs are fairly high compared to other materials.
Wooden staircases are typically the cheapest option, but these do require a fair amount of maintenance. Once built, the stairs will need staining or painting to treat the wood, and this should be reapplied regularly to maintain the look of the stairs. Metal staircases are another option. They involve less maintenance than wood and are also not as expensive as concrete ones.
Choosing the Fittings
Once you have decided on the main structure of the staircase, you then need to consider what to use for the accessories, such as the exterior handrails and balustrades. These donâ€™t have to be built from the same materials and using a combination can help to create a unique design. You could opt for wooden handrails with a metal staircase or glass balustrades to complement a wooden one.
Exterior stairs can cause safety issues, especially if theyâ€™re used as a fire escape. When youâ€™re designing your staircase, you should consider any safety implications. For example, if this is the only means of escape from an upper floor, donâ€™t use wood as this could catch fire and block the exit.
Exterior staircases can be a complementary feature of a property if theyâ€™re designed in keeping with the style of the house. Think about the uses carefully and plan a set of stairs that is not only practical but looks beautiful as well.