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Spiral Staircase - stupid idea?

(22 Posts)
plantsitter Wed 30-Jul-08 11:37:14

I am pregnant and for various reasons our current flat is not suitable for a baby/ toddler. We're renting and I've seen a fab looking little house but it has a small iron spiral staircase from the ground to first floor. I reckon this is so dangerous for a tiddler that it's not even worth going to look at the flat, but DP says it would be no more dangerous than normal stairs. What do you think?

I'm also a bit worried that the staircase is so narrow my arse won't fit up it, but I suppose that's a different matter.

justaphase Wed 30-Jul-08 11:39:17

Bad feng shui too, apparently

Sorry, not much help.

nailpolish Wed 30-Jul-08 11:40:25

i wouldnt rule it out

you can make things safe with gates etc

solo Wed 30-Jul-08 11:41:54

I knew someone who had nightmares with a spiral and moved because of it. She had trouble getting up it whilst pg and then carrying the baby was terrifying and the toddler couldn't cope with it. I'd think twice personally.

BettySpaghetti Wed 30-Jul-08 11:42:16

I've always loved spiral staircases but they aren't the most practical. However, saying that a lot of older terraced houses for example have narrow/shallow/steep stairs that can be equally as impractical.

You also have to consider how you would get large items of furniture upstairs (beds, wardrobes, chests of drawers etc) -I think most people end up taking out a first floor window and hoisting stuff in that way.

Gizmo Wed 30-Jul-08 11:43:10

Would put me off. Little 'uns always seem to struggle with the different ratios of tread:riser between the centre and the edge.

MrsBadger Wed 30-Jul-08 11:43:33

worth looking at at least - it'll be a year before you need to worry about gates etc so you have time to find a solution.

laidbackinengland Wed 30-Jul-08 11:46:15

Agree with Betty. We lived in an old cottage with a wooden spiral staircase. We had to cut our bed in half to get it upstairs and much o our furniture would not go up the stairwell. It's OK if you don't mind flat packed stuff. The stairs weren't too difficult to negotiate for us, but DS2 (who was 9 months when we moved in,and 22 months when we moved out, struggled initially because the steps were not a uniform size.

Upwind Wed 30-Jul-08 11:48:41

Depends on the layout really - we once viewed a place with a spiral staircase to a mezzanine level. We could have used the mezzanine for an office/spare bedroom so it was worth considering...

plantsitter Wed 30-Jul-08 11:53:01

Ooh hadn't even considered getting the furniture up it!

Think I will go and look anyway to torture myself (have always wanted a spiral staircase) but probably be resigned to not taking it. Especially if it's bad feng shui on top of the danger/furniture/arse issues!

Thanks for replies.

annh Wed 30-Jul-08 19:40:37

Not a good idea. We lived in Amsterdam when ds2 was born in a house which had a very steep, turning stairs - almost spiral stairs. It was a nightmare carrying him up and down once he became heavier and by the time we moved two years later, I had a semi-permanent back ache and it took a lot of expensive chiropractor appointments to get it sorted out. You spend all your time holding the baby on one side and kind of swinging yourself around the middle of the stairs to step up. We also never managed to fit a stair gaqte on the bottom which was another trauma with ds1 who was two when we moved in.

expatinscotland Wed 30-Jul-08 19:42:13


When I lived with ex boyfriend we had one in our loft and it sucked, I can only imagine what it would be like with kids.

Turniphead1 Wed 30-Jul-08 19:58:31

As an interior designer I can tell you in my ahem professional opinion ...avoid like the bloody plague (regardless of whether you have DC....)

tassisssss Wed 30-Jul-08 20:02:48


Only last week I was wondering about this very thing.

frankie3 Thu 31-Jul-08 12:03:41

Our old house had a spiral staircase which I loved, but was too dangerous for the children. So we replaced it with a wooden staircase which was U shaped and took up no more space than the spiral. Sold the spiral staircase on ebay and the new staircase cost about £1000. So if you love the house you should go for it.

nailpolish Thu 31-Jul-08 12:04:35

why, turniphead?


Sputnik Thu 31-Jul-08 14:56:24

I started a thread about this a few months ago here
We didn't go for it in the end (not because of the staircase though)

plantsitter Thu 31-Jul-08 15:34:43

Thanks Sputnik - wonder if it's the same flat still on the market because of the spiral staircase?!

Sputnik Thu 31-Jul-08 15:59:04

Probably not Plantsitter, I'm in Italy!

Dottoressa Thu 31-Jul-08 16:03:46

I love them, but DH and I have just decided not put one in our loft conversion. DCs are now four and six, but we still think it's a bit dodgy - plus the idea of moving furniture up and down an spiral staircase isn't appealing.

I'd have hated it when the DCs were little - I used to have to carry DD and hold DS's hand just so I could go upstairs to the loo (they both started screaming if I left the room for, ooh, two minutes). Our stairs curl round as it is; goodness knows how I'd have coped if it had been a more complex arrangement!!

Lionstar Thu 31-Jul-08 16:03:57

My Mum has one and it was a nightmare with small children. Even with stairgates top and bottom my youngest brother managed to fall through the top gap on his ride on toy - nary a bruise though, babies bounce I think. Mum also 'caught' another brother falling on at least 2 occasions - he had a tendancy to sleep wander (and she slept with her ears open!).

And it is a nightmare for dust - everything underneath it gets covered in a layer of dust, no matter how often you clean.

Turniphead1 Thu 31-Jul-08 16:41:15

Nailpolish because they are way more difficult to go up and down , generally a lot steeper than regular stairs (as well as very tricky for children to negotiate). Carrying stuff up and down them is way more difficult than regular stairs. Replacing them with regular stairs is often not an option as they are used when there is very little space for the stair opening/stair base.

I had a client who had a fabulous penthouse apartment - but the penthouse living area with views of Tower Bridge etc (fabulous) was up a spiral staircase - and bizarrely as a result they never used this living space but sat downstairs in the main very ordinary area. I was on a site visit with my 5 month old once and I can't tell you the faff carrying him up there, then going back down for bottles, then forgetting the water etc. Hard to explain why but a millions times more faffy than ordinary stairs (and I have three flights in my own house so am well stair-fit!)

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