Structures with more than one level definitely need a staircase. For commercial buildings, stairs are required as emergency exits while for residential properties, it is your only way to go up or down.
If you are not sure which type should go in your building, here are some staircase design ideas you may consider:
If you’re on a budget
A straight staircase is comprised of straight risers, treads, and stringers. The risers are the vertical part of a staircase that provides support to the treads. The treads are the horizontal parts; they’re what you step on. The stringers are the ones on both sides that provide support for the entire case. It’s simple and economical. This design is the common choice of homeowners who have a big space but a small budget.
If you want to veer to a minimalistic design without sacrificing your budget, the floating stairs are a good option. It’s a variation of the straight staircase, but the risers are either removed entirely or replaced with transparent glass to create the illusion of a floating staircase. The stringers and rails are also optional on this one. Floating stairs are supported by the wall it is attached to.
If you want to save space
If space is a problem, one of the options you have is the L-shaped staircase. It is one of the most common choices for space-conscious individuals or those who want to have a visually appealing stairway.
Its design is much like the straight staircase—with risers, treads, and stringers—but with a turn either close to the end or in the middle. If you need a staircase in the corner of your room, an L-shaped one is ideal.
U-shaped stairs have a 180-degree turn, which means there are two flights of stairs that go in opposite directions. You can find the turn in the middle, but there are also those that are placed near the end.
What makes U-shaped stairs less appealing than the L-shaped ones is that the former makes taking large furniture upstairs or downstairs difficult.
If the floor area is really a challenge, the most compact solution you have is the spiral staircase. The treads (and sometimes, the risers) of this staircase are attached and arranged spirally to a post that also provides support.
While this is indeed a space saver, commercial buildings are encouraged to have another emergency exit route because spiral staircases hardly accommodate two people at a time.
Another space-saving option, usually for residences, is the ladder type. Just like the floating staircase, this type may also forgo rises and stick to the treads and stringers only. Railings and spindles are also encouraged to help the person using this staircase balance. The downside of ladder stairs is they are more difficult to climb because they are steeper.
There are many other design ideas for your staircase. Your choice will depend on your budget, space, and aesthetic taste. Professional staircase designers will help you choose one that will fit your needs, but it is a good idea to know the basic styles so that you can prepare.