When we talking with people regarding stairs and railings, it is helpful if we all use the same terminology. There are many types of stairs that we can build or add railings to. The following list describes some of the more popular stair types, the most popular is Straight stairs.

Straight stairs are certainly one of the most common types of stairs found in both residential and commercial properties. In commercial properties they usually are combined with elevators.

Straight Stairs


Example of Straight Stair Projects




Advantages of straight Stairs:

  • Straight stairs tend to be the easiest to go up and down or ascend/descend as we say in the industry.
  • They are typically the easiest to build however this depends allot on the level of detail in the design.
  • Straight stairs only need to be connected at the top and the bottom (no intermediate supporting structure is required).
  • They work well with minimalist designed homes due to their inherent simplicity.
  • By selecting thinner treads, open risers and thin metal stringers, straight stairs can be made more transparent than other types of stairs allowing less obstruction to the view beyond.
  • No landing is required if the number of risers are kept under 16 or the overall vertical height is less than 12 feet.
  • Its relatively easy to build railings and handrails for straight stairs.
  • Measuring for railings is simpler also.

Disadvantages of straight stairs:

  • Straight stairs use up a fair amount of linear space which has to be planned for in your design.
  • Some of the other stair types create a privacy barrier between the floors of your home. Straight stairs do not offer this privacy.
  • A stair 12 feet high requires a landing to break up the span. The addition of a landing will use up allot more space and therefore these types of stairs are seldom used in residential construction. You will see these more frequently in large commercial buildings.




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