When not to put in a Spiral Staircase: Different users have different needs.

At Great Lakes Stair, we have provided spiral stair solutions for many customers over our 34 years. You have to be careful with spiral stairs because typically they are being used as a secondary means of accessing an area, or an area that is accessed infrequently. But we also have customers who use their spiral stairs daily, as a quick way to traverse different floors in their home. We recently designed and installed a spiral stair in a kitchen which led to the owner’s basement. The main use was to make it easier for the homeowner to access the basement from the kitchen without having to walk the length of the home to get to the basement door.

When you can’t use that spiral stair is if it is the only means of accessing a space (like the basement in the example above) or a second floor sleeping area. Spiral Stairs can not be used to access an upper bedroom because that does not meet required code in most all code areas in the United States, and also in many other countries. We have installed spiral stairs that lead to an upper area loft or work area that is not designated as a sleeping area.

Generally speaking, we advise our customers to think about how the spiral stair will be used. There is a lot of convenience with a spiral stair you can do a lot with them in a small space to reach an area. However, if you are planning on carrying large boxes or need to move furniture up and down them, that would be something you would want to reconsider because spiral stairs are not easy to traverse with large, heavy objects. A 5’ diameter spiral stair with the proper adjustments will meet most uniform building codes. Anything under a 5’ diameter spiral stair will NOT meet most uniform building codes. In our experience a 5’ diameter spiral stair is easy to walk up and down without too much difficulty. Anything under 5’ diameter, and you’ll be walking sideways up and down the staircase. When evaluating the space to install a spiral stair the diameter is a big consideration to determine if the space if large enough to accommodate a 5’ diameter.

Additionally, you cannot use a spiral stair as a primary fire escape staircase. They can be used as a secondary fire escape staircase. We have seen exceptions to this so be sure to check with your local building codes for a final determination.

Spiral stairs are a quick and easy method to traverse floors in areas where you don’t want to walk through the whole house to get somewhere and you want to take up a small footprint of space to get from one level to another level. Spiral stairs work great for this pedestrian traffic.

In exterior applications, spiral staircases are a great solution for traversing different levels either from a deck to the ground or multiple levels of a deck. Exterior spiral stairs are generally considered secondary access since the interior stairs of your home would be considered primary access. Due to their small footprint, spiral stairs do not take up as much as space as a large, straight staircase which will block more of the viewing area. From a design and aesthetic perspective, exterior spiral stairs offer some contrast and intrigue to an otherwise straight and perpendicular area.

Great Lakes Stair, Your #1 Choice for Spiral Staircases

With over 34 years of longevity and industry experience in spiral staircases, Great Lakes Stair is unparalleled in the design, fabrication, and installation of custom spiral staircases.  Because of our significant background and reputation in the spiral staircase industry, we know what types of questions to ask our customers, questions you have not even thought of to ensure a great project.

We can save our customers time and money because in our 34 years, we’ve seen what works best, and what doesn’t and can help educate and guide our customers on their custom spiral staircase project. 

Call today at 330-225-2005 or fill out the Free Project Review form on this page to get started.

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