Staircases & Balustrades
When designing a staircase or balustrade, there are a number of standard considerations and regulations that must be followed, regardless of size, cost or type of staircase. At Richard Weaver Metalsmiths, we frequently designs and produce bespoke staircases and balustrades that navigate all of these complexities with an elegant ease.
They are often the centrepiece of any building, a well-designed staircase has the ability transform a space with light, shape and a careful consideration of feel and user experience.
On the other hand, a poorly thought-out staircase will can easily make a space feel dark and utilitarian, and often the user experience is overlooked in an attempt to adhere to regulations and space available.
Please get in touch via email or phone, outline your requirements, as little or as many as you have and we can start the process of costing and designing your project.
There is no obligation to proceed with a project and we will be upfront with you if there will be any costs involved in the design stages.
We like to provide an outline design and budgeting service to you free of charge but in some circumstances, there may be costs involved to produce samples or multiple design iterations
We will travel UK wide and across the world, we have travelled as far as Verbier – Switzerland so far.
We are based on the Hampshire - West Sussex border so please consider that the farther we have to travel, the more we will have to charge.
There a number of things to consider when first starting out on a project:
Allocate a budget specifically for the stair/balustrade in your build project, prices vary enormously depending on your taste and requirements, from the cheapest timber stairs at around £800-£1000 a flight to a single-story bespoke staircase and balustrade, starting at around £20,000
A bespoke staircase should be considered at the very start of a build project, it takes a long time to design and produce a bespoke flight, there are many stages; CAD drawing, steel substructure, steel super-structure, treads, balustrade, handrail, installation and finishing.
There is more often than not a requirement to add extra steel to support a bespoke stair or at least make additions to the structure of a building to support the weight or forces of a cantilevered or curving staircase, additionally, access to install a large heavy object is often easier in the early stages of a build in the long run saving time and money for you the customer.
There are many nuances to do with staircase design that are affected by available space, a staircase is essentially a means of getting from one level to another but user experience should always be considered during the design phase of a bespoke staircase.
Often staircases are put in the smallest amount of space required but this can lead to an unergonomic use of stairs, requiring the user to travel in unpleasing ways around the space.
With more space a bottom of a staircase for example the bottom steps can be splayed out and curved to greet users from many angles and directions.
With more space, sharp landing corners can be spread into gradual winding corners to make step feel more consistent and eliminate jarring changes of direction.
The shape of a staircase directly impacts the shape and consequently the feel of the handrail, if the staircase takes a sharp corner, the handrail will have to follow suit, so the feel of the rail under your hand is something that has to be considered right at the very beginning of the design process.
We often have samples in the workshop from previous projects that have popular textures and finishes, we do not keep them in stock as every bespoke staircase is different. These small samples we can happily produce and send out to customers.
A more complex sample will often be produced of your particular project for approval before manufacture at a point where a commitment has been made to the production.
Yes…architects often design staircases but the end product is always better when a specialist is involved at the design stages as well. We are happy to design a staircase from scratch or, in turn, work with architects, interior designers, contractors and private clients.
We consider the finer points that other professionals may overlook, just consider us a specialist, as you would with any other part of a build project.
As you may expect, is impossible to guess, every project is wildly different in terms of materials, space, style size, access, location etc.
To give a starting point, a bespoke single flight will start at around £20,000.
If you want to familiarise yourself with the regulations ahead of your project, please follow these links to the government-approved documents: