What to Consider When Planning Exterior Stairs

What to Consider When Planning Exterior Stairs

An external staircase can be a decorative and practical addition to your home. They can provide easy access to your garden from the upper floor, or you can create a focal point by using the right design and materials. If you’re planning to install an exterior staircase, then there are a number of areas that your need to consider.


Your first decision needs to be about where the staircase should be situated and which type you require - for example, straight or spiral. In some situations you might only need a small staircase, but others will call for something more elaborate. It’s vital that you have factored in the space that you have available, who will be using the stairs and how often they will be in use before you start on the design process.


External staircases, as with those installed internally, can be manufactured from a range of materials. Often homeowners choose a combination of different colours and textures to create the right effect. For example, you could opt for a steel frame for durability and strength but then combine this with the elegance of wrought iron railings or a wooden banister. When you’re planning your staircase, you should think about all the options that are available and consider any maintenance requirements. Some materials will require more looking after to ensure that they remain durable and in good condition.


It’s crucial that you have thought about how the staircase will be supported, as this will have an impact on where it is positioned. Smaller ones can usually be installed relatively easily and without any major disruption. However, a larger staircase will need the necessary space and the right type of ground to support it, especially when it’s in use.

Planning Permission

Before you start any work on your staircase, you need to check the planning requirements with your local authority. These will vary depending on the location and type of stairs you are considering installing. The process of submitting and gaining planning approval can be lengthy, so you need to make sure that your application is submitted well in advance. Don’t be tempted to start any work before you have the necessary approval, as the planning office could make you take down any structures built without their authority.

Whatever the final location and design of your external stairs, it can be the perfect finishing touch to your property.