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Changing stairs?

(8 Posts)
Redling Wed 28-Jan-15 11:36:47

We are in the process of buying a lovely Victorian house but the one drawback is the staircase is very steep and the steps are shallower than an adult foot. Is there any way of getting a new staircase put in that would have larger stairs? I know there's only so much you can do with the angle but I do slightly worry about them. Has anyone done this?

LiselotteHampton Wed 28-Jan-15 13:44:31

We did this and it has been such a good move. Before we felt so uncomfortable on the stairs - now it feels great.
We relaxed the stairs which meant that we lost a little bit of space on the top landing and the bottom landing - but so, so worth it.
Sorry it's not a very technical answer. DH was in charge of the project and read up on it.

SmellTheGlove Wed 28-Jan-15 16:03:30

Are your stairs up the middle of the house ie from a front door at the side of the house or do you have a front door at the, er, front and then a hallway. We are buying a house with a similar issue, but I'm not sure there is enough space to lose at the bottom and top in our case. liselotte how much extra space did you have to take?

Ihateparties Wed 28-Jan-15 16:14:19

Different style of house - 30s semi - but we changed ours from steep with a winder at the top to straight and shallower. I've forgotten what the minimum measurements are you need at the bottom and top but I'm sure they are easily found. The angle of ours didn't actually end up changing very much but it's made a huge difference to how they feel, especially with small dcs.

We had a piece of landing added at the top to account for removing the turn on the old stairs, with that additional structural stuff it cost a shade under £4k (North East, regional costs variations and all that). I'm confident it could have been done for less if necessary.

In our old Victorian terrace the stairs were as yours are, steep with a very shallow tread. We couldn't have moved those because the dining room door was right at the bottom and there was no space at the top.

Redling Thu 29-Jan-15 10:41:13

They go up the middle between living and dining room and there's not a lot of space either end. I just can't decide whether it's livable if we can't change it. It's a recently replastered house and has a new boiler so it's so perfect and needs nothing doing, but the stairs! I have a 5month old DS so I worry a bit but then I'm sure families live in the rest of the terrace and have in the house in the past!

Ihateparties Thu 29-Jan-15 16:29:17

Stairs running that way gives you less flexibility. Found this on the building regs side of things:

"1. Landings must be provided at the top and bottom of every stairs.
2. The landing distance in front of the top and bottom step must be wider than the width of the staircase.
3. No door should swing closer than 400mm on to the front of any step."

The measurement I was remembering was the door related one because our stairs start right by our front door. Otherwise it looks like the width of the stairs sets the minimum standard for landing sizes.

I guess your stairs have a set width you can't easily change because of their position, if you have more space at the top and bottom than the width of them you may be able to change them?

SmellTheGlove Thu 29-Jan-15 18:31:58

Something that may work although I have no idea how much it might cost would be creating a turn at the bottom so that the stairs end just inside the dining room instead of towards the door. When we were looking at properties we saw a Victorian one with a similar layout to yours/mine and they had done this. It's quite hard to explain! I think the staircase isn't that expensive actually, but you would need to take a section of wall out on one side to take the turn so that may be expensive as structural. I know what you mean about steep stairs - we saw a few places with such steep stairs and narrow treads that we would only have considered them if we could have re-jigged the stairs. Your other option is making the whole staircase turn 90 degrees and having it along the back of the dining room. Also structural and maybe need an architect for that though.

LiselotteHampton Thu 29-Jan-15 18:35:46

When we bought our house we immediately felt the stairs were dangerous because they were so steep (and squint). We spoke to some neighbours and none of them noticed their own stairs (because they had lived there for years). Then we found out that one woman had fallen down the stairs and very seriously injured herself and another neighbour had also had a fall.

There are regulations as to what you need for landings etc but it's very reasonable (ours is not a big house so there wasn't much space to play with). Suggest you speak to the professionals. Our new staircase has made such a huge difference to the way we feel about the house.

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