Outdoor staircases serve as an entry or exit point of a building, whether for your office or home. Is there a long step leading to your porch or deck that you have to take? Is the step proving to be a challenge to your kids as they access the deck? Is the entry to your office quite steep, making you break a sweat each morning? It’s time you install an outdoor staircase for your home or building.
Many people shy away from installing outdoor staircases, especially to an already constructed building, due to the technicalities and the required permits. Worry not! This article will give you tips on installing your outdoor staircase. Meanwhile, open the link if you are searching for high-quality non slip stair nosing.
The following are the things you need to know when it comes to installing outdoor staircases:
1. Choose The Right Material
The type of material a staircase is made of determines its lifespan. Consider a material that will last and suit your needs. Choose rust and weather-resistant material to allow for durability. There are various materials you can use for your outdoor stairs. These are wood, aluminum, galvanized steel, concrete, bricks, among others.
Metal such as aluminum is hard to manipulate in comparison with wood. Consider seeking the services of professionals who’ll fabricate the metal stairs for you. There are prefabricated metal stairs available in the market that you can purchase based on your style and get a technician to install them for you.
Wood is a preferred choice for many, especially if you’re installing outdoor stairs for your home. Wood is readily available in the market and is easier to fabricate regarding shapes and sizes. Most homeowners can handle wood, making it easier to install a wooden staircase on their own. If wood is your choice, ensure you use treated wood such as pine or cedar. Stain the wood after installation to prevent rotting and prevent it from being infested with insects. As you decide on the material to use, consider the following factors:
The location’s climate can help you determine the best material to use for your outdoor stairs. If it’s a location that experiences extreme heat throughout the year, it would be impractical to use aluminum for your outdoor stairs. Metals absorb a lot of heat, causing them to expand. With a high temperature, the possibility of the aluminum denting increases, reducing the lifespan of the stairs, especially the treads.
The metal would also be scalding to the touch for its users, rendering it unfit for use. If it’s in an area prone to rainfall and snow, wood might not be the best choice for your outdoor staircase. Excessive moisture on wood weakens and reduces its lifespan. Even if treated and stained, it would need a lot of maintenance, leading to incurring extra costs.
Choose a material that thrives in the location of the building you’re installing the outdoor stairs while requiring less maintenance.
Traffic, in this case, refers to the number of people using these stairs and the goods being transported on them. Choose a material that can hold a lot of weight if the stairs will be handling high traffic. The material should be durable and less prone to wear and tear.
Availability Of The Material
Choose a material that’s available in your locality. Suppose repairs and maintenance for the outdoor stairs are needed. It can be done without incurring the costs of shipping for material used.
2. Know The Functions Of The Outdoor Stairs
Knowing the use of the outdoor stairs will enable you to determine the design of the stairs regarding their sizing.
If the outdoor stairs are for goods movement, have the treads wider for easier carrying of goods. They can comfortably sit on a tread without tipping over if the carriers get tired.
If the staircase is to be installed in a public building, consider putting up a ramp to cater to the physically challenged.
Design the stairs to be wider if the building’s stairs are installed to service many people in a day. Wider stairs allow for faster movement of human traffic, and there’s room for personal space. Wider stairs tend to make you feel safer compared to a small-sized staircase full of people.
3. Ensure Safety
Staircases need to be safeguarded to prevent falls and injuries that could be life-altering or fatal. Have the treads of your stairs installed with non-slip materials to prevent one from slipping, especially when the surface is wet. Most metal staircases have a rough finish on them that prevents slipping.
Install balustrades and handrails on either side of the staircase for support as you ascend and descend the stairs. Balustrades are an extra precaution, especially for children.
Determine if the outdoor staircase you’re installing will be a stand-alone from the building it’s to serve or, the two will be attached. Provide secure support for the installed staircase if the stairs won’t be attached to the building.
4. Secure Permits
By-laws and a building code govern the installation of outdoor staircases to ensure safety for its users. Before erecting outdoor stairs, confirm with your local authority the regulations regarding stairs installation. There are building codes that govern the design of a staircase. A certain riser height could be required if the outdoor stairs are used by children or the aged. If a staircase has four or more steps, you might need to install a railing. Follow all the guidelines available in your state to allow you to install your desired outdoor staircase successfully.
5. Choose A Suitable Design
There are various outdoor staircase designs available with different shapes. Some are l-shaped, others straight, and others u-shaped. Choose a design that complements the purpose of the staircase. You can’t install a straight staircase to a school or a hospice for the aged. Consider including a landing, if the steps are many, at least after every nine steps.
Put up a shade above your chosen wooden outdoor staircase for your home. Having a shade over the staircase protects the wooden stairs from extreme weather conditions, increasing their lifespan.
Installation of outdoor stairs isn’t a difficult task. If it’s a home project, you can easily and quickly put up one for your patio or deck. For public spaces, it’s advisable to seek the services of a professional since a small error in the construction can lead to lawsuits. Such an error becomes a hazard and a threat to the general public’s safety. Remember to follow the building codes of your state as you install outdoor staircases for your home.