Whether you are purchasing a new apartment or renovating a home, customizing your space is always the first step. Custom stairs not only add that elegant touch to your beautiful home, they can save significant space! For those that have a slightly higher “acquired taste”, this process can be exhausting.
Most home owners are unaware of how to acquire higher quality custom stairs (such as those from Europe). Italian-made glass spiral stairs have patented detailed connections are only availible to those who know where and how to find them. With their incorporated stainless steel railing in a brushed finish, this stair stands as a piece of functional art and expands usable space. Yet, in order to install this stunning custom stair, it must meet US building code requirements – mandating structural modifications that will not hinder exterior presentation.
Information and Guidelines
Seeking approval to install a stair in the United States requires structural engineering calculations and permits. Once the city approves, you are free to install the staircase in your home. But how and where should you go? What permits do you need? Which engineer do you choose? All these questions can build up and frighten homeowners. Yet, with the right company, all necessary precautions are already taken care of for you.
Not all companies can provide high-quality, custom stairs and only a few companies can supply the required calculations for permits and installation.
These are the 5 steps for an effortless custom stair project:
- - Choose your desired materials. Custom stair design is just that: custom! Decide the materials for the treads and railing, then specify the finish floor to finish floor height and width/diameter. After receiving the floor plan of the home, drawings for the stair will then be issued.
2. Engineering – Have a structural engineer evaluate the stair drawings. They will run the calculations, and refer to the building codes to guarantee the stairs approval in your city. Some minor modifications may be applied in order for the stair to qualify.
3. Pulling Permits – Give the final engineering documents to your General contractor, and have them pull the permits. Every city is different. Therefore, it is preferable to hire a local general contractor to pull the permits, and install the stair. They should make sure all approved permits are acquired BEFORE the stair is installed.
4. Fabrication of Stair – Your stair will begin fabrication in the manufacturer’s facility. It is important that your stair begins fabrication AFTER all permits are approved. This will prevent unnecessary change orders that can raise the purchase price.
Your stair will be built according to your city approved permits and engineering drawings.
5. Installation! – The stair will then be delivered to your household. The general contractor will unload and assemble the stair as specified by the design plan. Once installation is complete, you can enjoy the new stair to your home and feel comfortable knowing all legal documentation has been submitted and approved.
Following these 5 steps is crucial. With all the legal papers filled out, you will pass any home inspection and you can sell your home at any time. Without acquiring approved permits, you will not pass the home inspection unless you remove the staircase.
You shouldn’t have to compromise your taste to satisfy building code standards either. Find the right stair company that can cater to both your design tastes and all necessary requirements. With the right resources, any stair can be made custom to you.