Stairs by Albion Cabinets & Stairs featured in C-ville Abode story 1/14/16

Step by step: When creatively designed, stairs don’t have to be space hogs
by Shea Gibbs

Thomas Jefferson hated stairs. Not personally. Architecturally.

A design nut who conceptualized Monticello and parts of the Virginia State Capitol, Jefferson disdained the space stairs took up. According to the Monticello Foundation, he favored narrow, steep stairs with tight turns so the hulking masses wouldn’t rob him of space for more exciting design features.

These days, that shortcut won’t fly, according to Alan Meadows of local building supply company Better Living Inc. If you want to build stairs, you simply have to “add more space,” he says. “By building codes, builders cannot make a narrow/steep stair.”

Fortunately, designers can employ a variety of strategies to maximize the positioning of stairs in a home.

David Marshall of Albion Cabinets & Stairs favors a winding staircase—not least because that’s his specialty. Although challenging to engineer, such stairs are not only a space saver but can be a striking centerpiece.

“You have options: how much it rotates, whether they go clockwise or counterclockwise, and where you get on the stairs at the bottom determines where you get off at the top,” he says.

Marshall says corner landings can also maximize the use of a space but conceded even spirals can only save so much square footage. You still need at least a 5′ diameter for the smallest column staircases…

Read the full story on the Cville Abode website here >