How to choose the right staircase company

To create a monumental staircase it takes more than a truly unique design and exceptional materials; bringing a beautiful staircase to life requires a knowledgable staircase company who can also offer a comprehensive set of construction services. And when it comes to finding a trusted staircase company for the job, keep in mind that the following qualities are characteristics to look for:

Knowledgeable design and engineering teams

A staircase company with the skills can only construct a truly monumental staircase and the expertise to create it, so when choosing the right company to partner with it’s important to find a company like iStairs with experienced design and engineering teams that can bring your vision to life. And when working with the creative design and engineering teams at iStairs, no staircase is too big of a challenge to handle!

Attention to detail and building regulations

Now when in the business of staircase design and construction, a highly qualified contractor is one who never stops thinking about safety and passing all building codes and regulations with flying colors, which is why the entire team at iStairs remains dedicated to producing beautifully made staircases according to the highest safety standards in the industry.

Comprehensive approach to staircase construction

Whether dealing with design and construction, acquisitions of materials, construction management, or customer communication, each step in the process of building a unique staircase requires attention to detail and inclusive management practices to get all members of the team on the same page. At iStairs, all teams and departments work as a comprehensive unit in order to streamline the construction process and work towards the continued satisfaction of our clients.

So when you’ve decided to create a one of a kind staircase, why take a chance on a staircase company without all the above qualities? Give us a call today to see how we can help you bring your staircase vision to life!

Planning Floor Height for Consistent Stair Rise

When installing a new staircase planning is everything. You must plan materials, measurements, timing, location; everything is important. Chances are you have already thought of and planned for the big things, but sometimes minor details can slip under the radar and turn out to be big hassles at the end of a project. One of these important, but minor details is planning the floor height and taking it into account when calculating the riser height.

The floor height at the bottom and top of a staircase might be as small as ⅜ inch up to around ¾ inch or so, but these fractional measurements can really throw you off. If a riser height does not allow for the ¾ inch floor height, it could end up sticking out and creating a tripping hazard. In addition, if stairs are not evenly flesh with the floor, they will often not be approved during inspection and you will have a whole new problem on your hands.

A less daunting reason, but still important to consider, is that human nature expects an even rise on each stair and believe it or not, ¾ inch difference will often be noticed. If you’ve ever expected a stair to be slightly higher than it is and gotten a falling sensation, then you know what I am talking about. The opposite also occurs that you expect a rise to be lower than it is and you end up pounding your foot down on the stair. To avoid these situations, be extra careful to consider all factors in riser height.

How a custom staircase can makeover your home

Staircases are one of the most versatile pieces of your home’s structure. In some spaces, they are the showcases of a grand entrance hall. In others, they are simply a required element in the home that blends into the rest of the house.

No matter how you incorporate your staircase’s design, you want it to enhance your home. There are a few things to think about when it comes to custom staircases.

Space: When you decide to build a custom staircase, you first have to look at the space that is available to you. If you have a small area, a spiral staircase might be your best bet. If you have a large front entry you have a lot more space to be able to put wide stairs with a number of different types of railings for effect. Having a spiral staircase in the corner of a small room can add texture where a blank corner would have just looked drab and empty.

Access: After determining the space allowance for your stairs, you need to look at the access to your stairs. In smaller access areas, you aren’t going to want huge banisters that make it difficult to maneuver around. You will need to go with something sleek and more minimalistic to fit in the area allowed. Again if you have a small access area, going with no railing might be an option to open up the access area. There are lots of different ways to design around your access point. Adding flair and paying attention to detail in your access points can really make your staircase a true focal point. Especially if you have a large access point, having a large staircase with an impressive banister can open the area up and really draw your eyes to your staircase.

Material and Design: When deciding what type of material and design you want for your stairs, it is wise to look around and figure out what the design of the rest of your house is and fit your custom staircase into that design scheme. If you have a country style house, you aren’t going to want an intricate metal railing. You would want to go more with a wooden type banister to fit in with the rest of the wood in your house. If your house is more modern there is a large variety of new designs and colors available to truly customize your stairs to your surroundings and your personality. This is where you can truly make the area of your house with your staircase a showstopper. There are so many different materials available these days, and the designs are endless when customizing.

Economic: Staircases can range from the low end of cost with DIY pre-fabricated kits, to very high-end expensive hand crafted. Being aware of your budget and what you are able to afford will help determine what material and design you will use for your custom staircase. If you choose the DIY route, be aware that if anything breaks it is up to you to fix it. Most staircase companies offer some type of warranty. This can be very helpful in the future if something breaks or is not how it was intended to be.

Versatility: Staircases can be used for more that just walking from one floor of a house to another. Staircases can be transformed into bookshelves, or moveable walls that lead to hidden rooms. You can cut a hole in your floor and add a spiral staircase tucked away in the corner that leads down to a wine cellar, or basement when there is limited space available for a larger staircase.

There are many different design options available when customizing your staircase that allow you to create a beautiful stair that you would be proud to show off.

Top traits of modern railing systems

A beautiful staircase has the potential of becoming a stunning focal point in any home. In fact, the staircase is an accent piece by nature. It has been an eye-catching element from the beginning and, as its design evolved over the years, its status never changed. In fact, it became more and more important and interior designers have made it the star of many of their projects.

A beautiful staircase is defined by several different aspects. The design is, of course, very important. But, most often, it’s the handrail that makes it stand out. The handrail has gradually transformed from a simple element designed to provide safety and protection to a wonderful and chic design detail. In the new modern design it does goes without says that less is more when designing your railing. Minimalistic designs can still be chic and provide an elegant focal point. Many modern staircase railing designs incorporate industrial materials such as glass and steel. Simple color palettes, open spaces, and geometric elements are common modern design aspects as well.

Using a modern stainless steel handrail system, that can compliment free-standing stairs, can be very beneficial if you have a small living space. Using this open riser construction concept can allow unobstructed vies across your space. The steel bars can also allow additional openness and add to your space’s modern appeal.

Another option for free-standing stairs is to have a sleek glass railing that is of course designed and constructed for ultimate safety and quality. Using glass can further open your space and help to make your space appear larger than it really is.

Using a cable rail is an excellent way to accent a straight stair. These unique staircase systems can include a combination of open and closed risers, with the upper segment open and transitioning to closed risers below. The parallel lines of the stainless steel cable railing offer a simple contemporary look.

The staircase is also a design element that provides you with the opportunity to add an artistic touch to the décor. Even though they are quite rare, staircases that are entirely made of metal can be an interesting focal point. They usually have an industrial-inspired look. You would want to make sure that the rest of your house was designed in the same fashion so your staircase doesn’t look random and like it doesn’t belong in the space.

A very common combination in the case of modern staircases is that between wood and metal. That’s because the resulting design is usually somewhere between classical and contemporary. If you are remodeling and want to do something new to your staircase, this is the easiest option. Tearing out a railing but keeping wood stairs is an inexpensive option to turn an old staircase into something breathtaking. Wood staircases can easily be stained or painted to match the rest of the house, while the railing can be torn out and changed to add some personality to your staircase.

Whatever you decide to do to your staircase, make sure that it includes your personality and flair, because you will be looking at it everyday!

Coastal Stair Trends

Perfect stairs for coastal living

Why does everybody want to live on the coast? Do people go for the relaxation, the beautiful views, the sound of the waves crashing? Maybe everybody goes for a healthy dose of Vitamin D. It could be the warm days and cool nights or just so that you can always take a nice walk with the sand in between your toes. Some people go for the seafood; others live there to take their boat out on the ocean, etc, etc. The point is that there are a plethora of reasons that bring people from all across the world to live by the ocean, and we’re here to help maximize the living experience. So many people give an arm and a leg to live on the coast, but end up in a house or apartment that takes away from the beach style. So we figured we would share with you a few stair styles that help to aggrandize coastal home style while matching the ocean attitude.

Floating Stairs

One of the most popular options for beach houses is Open Riser or “Floating” Stairs. Without fully closing off a stairwell, you allow the light from both floors to permeate the house giving a natural glow. It also helps make smaller rooms appear larger and give you more space to work with under the stairs, instead of just a closet to stick the boogey boards in. A popular decision is going with the floating stairs in a polished wood to match the walk down the beach, minus the possible splinters. They also match the ocean attitude of having a free and open feel. Not only is it one of the rising trends in modern architecture, but also a smart financial decision in the long run that allows the house to get brighter from natural light. Natural light is 100% cheaper than artificial light, and let’s be honest, it is one of the reasons you moved to the beach anyway.

Trick Out The Tread

The stair tread is one of the most important factors of in home design that often gets overlooked. Some homes go with a Spanish style by the sea, but still have carpeted stairs. Like the capstone over an arch, many stair styles can complete the interior design by putting tiles in the risers or ropes lining the turnout. Glass tread or higher end canvas liner can be the key to whatever style or attitude you are going with.

Ride The Rails

Another cherry on top of the sundae is the handrail. One of our favorite options that remain cost effective is using thick rope attached to the wall at different intervals. It is a beautiful accessory to the beach feel that won’t carve too much out of your wallet. If you’re willing and prepared to spend a little more, glass panels topped with polished wood is another increasingly stylish addition, especially to the floating stairs that contributes to the open feel of the coastal home while giving you that sense of security walking up the stairs.

The fact of the matter is that the staircase is an essential part of interior design and can make or break the feel of your expensive beach house. It is truly an opportunity to think outside the box, and thanks to modern trends, there are plenty of ways to trick out your stairs to compliment and complete your coastal casa.

Why you should have open riser stairs

As stated by the infamous architect and industrial designer Marcel Breuer, “Modern architecture is not a style, it’s an attitude.” As modern style is evolving, Open Riser Staircases are becoming one of the most increasingly popular designs, so without further adieu, here is a few things you will love about the attitude they bring with them.

Open Things Up a Little Bit

Modern style has always favored making the most of whatever space is available. Open riser stairs or “floating stairs” give you a whole new area to work with while eliminating the “cupboard under the stairs” that we all used to fill with Christmas decorations and food storage. You end up moving from a boxy and closed-off appearance to a seamless design where one room morphs into another while also providing some more area to decorate. Favoring a more minimalist style, the floating stairs make smaller rooms appear bigger and give you another zone to work with, adding space for a couch, coffee table, desk, or maybe you are somebody that just will not let go of the ficus.

Brighten It Up

The seamless design that the open riser stairs come with, also offers unique benefits with the utilization of natural light. From a design perspective, natural light is…well…natural. May sound redundant, but everything ends up in it’s truest color when it is exposed to natural daylight. For example, tomatoes score a 65 on the CRI (Color Rendering Index) in artificial light, while under natural daylight tomatoes attain a maximum of 100 on the CRI. Open Riser Stairs allow the upstairs and downstairs to flow together and permit more light to penetrate either floor. And to those of you who do not care as much how bright your tomatoes look, natural light is free light. It will cost 100% less to brighten your home up along with helping the environment. They will basically give you another reason to pat yourself on the back for helping the planet without having to go outside and hug a tree or drive a Prius. If you do all three then you can just pat yourself on the back with two hands.

Less Is More

How many times have you seen floating stairs and thought, “wow that’s ugly.” Never. And if you did…then you probably have something better to do than read an article on Open Riser Stairs. Nevertheless, it is a sleek design that has enhanced the style of modern culture from Jaguar Commercials to Edna Mode’s house in The Incredibles. It doesn’t dominate its space, buts fits in just like that last puzzle piece, giving ring to the ever true design motto that less is more.

The ever present con that everyone worries about is “will it be safe for my kids.” Of course your kids can get hurt on them, but they can also get hurt on any other staircase. So in other words, it is pretty much the same idea for all stairs from the Mayan Temples in Chiapas, Mexico to the ones in your house; do not fall down on them.

Best Ways to Spruce Up your Sacramento Stairs

Spring is a great time for fresh new starts. Flowers are blooming, the days get longer, and the smell of a new season freshens the air. Many people adopt the custom of spring cleaning to give their home a fresh new start for the warmer weather, but why stop there? One of the quickest, but often forgotten, ways to really give the interior or exterior of your home a revived look, is to remodel your home’s staircase.

Some homeowners have the misconception that remodeling a staircase requires too much time, effort and money and ends up not being worth it, but this is just not the case. iStairs knows bay area homes well and specializes in remodeling quickly and efficiently, so that your business or home does not experience any extended period of inconvenience. Instead, you get to enjoy your spring with a fresh, modern vibe that can bring a new energy to your space.

The following are some popular spring options for new staircases.

Beech

Beech is a white hardwood that often has a slight reddish tint to it. This is a popular option because of its light color and versatility. This wood usually has a consistent grain and this option can hold a stain very well. If in a couple years you make a furniture or flooring change and decide that your Sacramento stairs would match better if they were a completely different color; the beech wood would be very simple to restain and keep meeting your exact needs.

Maple

Maple is a popular choice due to its high durability. This is a beautiful hardwood that has a naturally closed grain. In the springtime many people opt for the maple staircases because they look best with just a clear coat to show off the natural highlights of the wood. This wood does not require much additional work to look its best. If you do plan on staining the owod a specific color, be aware that maple will require some patience. It sometimes absorbs stains unevenly, which can be discouraging.

Oak

Oak comes in many different varieties, but any of them are great, classic options. Oak has been a popular choice for staircases for centuries mostly because of its strength and dependability. However, something else to consider when making this choice in the bay area is that oak has a natural ability to protect against insects and fungus. The high tannin content in oak woods make them naturally resistant to common pests in this area. This makes oak an especially great option if you are looking to renovate your outdoor staircase that will be more exposed to unwanted insects.

Cherry

Cherrywood is a very elegant wood that can make your home or business look a lot classier this spring. The dark red hue is a very rich color that deepens over time. This stylish wood naturally has a smooth texture that is simple to maintain and does not require a great amount of upkeep. You should know that the deep color is sometimes difficult to stain, but looks amazing with just a clear coat.

Choosing Between Spiral and Straight Staircases

Straight or spiral staircases?: Which design is the best choice for your home

If you’re moving into a new home, or are remodeling your house then chances are that you have already thought about how important the staircase is to complete your home. And since there are a number of staircase designs and materials to choose from, you want to make sure that you find a staircase that fits the style of your home and the needs of your family.

Two of the more popular staircase designs are straight and spiral staircases, each of which have their own pros and cons. To help you learn more about straight and spiral staircases and what the advantages and disadvantages of both types are, we have compared some of their features below.

Pros of spiral staircases include:

  • Spiral staircases offer a modern and space-saving alternative to the inefficient layout of other traditional stair designs, providing more efficient floor access than the average layout.
  • A traditional flight of straight or winding stairs can eat up lots of area in a room, making it difficult to perform the full range of activities that you would like to in your home. A spiral staircase on the other hand, virtually cuts the amount of space being taken up by the actual stairs in half due to the corkscrew design.
  • A spiral staircase can be placed in any corner of your house, unlike a traditional staircase which has a limited amount of placement options.
  • Moreover, the spiral staircase design is safe and timelessly attractive. A spiral staircase can be implemented in almost any small space, inside and outside.

Pros of straight staircases include:

  • Straight staircases can be designed for any interior design style; 3 of the straight staircase designs made primarily from metal include:

-Single stringer (also known as mono stairs): straight staircases made with single stringers are usually the most popular among straight stair designs, and for good reason too, as a single stringer staircase is incredibly durable, and precisely engineered.

-Double-stringer: this staircase design is ideal for creating an open, unique look that is also an economically sound option for homeowners.

-Pan-type: a pan staircase design can be designed as an architectural addition to your home, or simply used as an industrial set of stairs for a garage or workshop, and can be filled with stone, cement, or tile treads.

Additional factors to take into consideration:  

  • Materials: While a professional staircase contractor can engineer stairs out of most construction materials, contemporary spiral staircases are typically made with steel or plywood, while straight staircases are more than often made from hardwood with carpet on the treads. The key is to choose a staircase material that will fit with your interior design, your budget, and your family’s needs.
  • Safety: Spiral staircases are by no means dangerous and when engineered and installed by a professional staircase company, they are just as safe and secure as any other stair design; however, homes with small children or people with mobility issues may find a straight staircase a better fit for their needs.
  • Space: As previously mentioned, a spiral staircase is particularly efficient when it comes to space-saving, which is why it’s always a good idea to make sure you have the necessary floor space and plan prior to committing to a straight staircase design.

Please feel free to get in touch with your Sacramento stairs contractor, iStairs, if you have further questions about the differences between straight and spiral staircases.

Your Staircase Can Complete Your Home’s Décor

When redecorating the interior of your home, it’s easy to forget about incorporating the staircase into the design because we don’t usually think of the stairs when planning home improvements projects. It’s time to start rethinking the way we look at role our staircase can have in completing the overall décor of our homes. After all, the staircase is a focal point of the interior design of many homes so it makes perfect sense to use your staircase as a way of completing your home’s décor!

One of the first things you need to understand when deciding on what style of staircase will best complement your decor is the differences between the main types of design that staircases are modeled after, namely modern, contemporary, and industrial.

–Modern: Often referred to as Mid-Century Modern because the style harkens back to the 1920’s-1950’s, a staircase in the modern design would be one that is simple, sleek with straight lines and basic geometry in the curves and angles. A home with a modern sense of decor can be complemented by a functional staircase, with clean lines, and neutral colors and materials.
–Contemporary: Contemporary design on the other hand refers to a style that is always in flux based on what is in ‘in’ at the time, so whereas modern design is based on a specific time period, a contemporary decor focuses on bold color, neutral elements, and basic shapes and forms. Contemporary staircase trends include stainless steel and glass features.
–Industrial: One style that is on the rise in popularity is industrial interior design, and there are many creative and unique ways to complete your home’s overall industrial decor with a strong staircase design. The industrial look is often characterized by the use of rough and earthy metal and wood, utilitarian objects, and a combination of other styles to create a sort of warehouse, manufactured appearance.

Once you understand the difference between what the various styles have to offer in terms of your home’s interior decoration, you will then have a better feel for what type of staircase can best complement that design. A professional staircase contractor can also help you figure out a staircase design to complement the interior features and accents of your home, so don’t hesitate to ask for help before choosing a design!

Another option that is always available when it comes to improving the interior decor of your home is creating a custom staircase. Choosing a custom staircase is ideal for completing a redecorating project because you can design a custom staircase in any style that you desire, be it modern, contemporary, or industrial. A custom staircase design gives you the opportunity to make a unique statement with the interior of your home, and whether you are looking for a modern wooden open staircase or an industrial steel spiral staircase, working with your stairs contractor will give you all the opportunities you need to make the right choice for you and your home.

Contact iStairs for more information on how you can get the perfect stairs to go with your decor!

History of Spiral Stairs

Spiral stairs make interesting parts of homes, offices, and any other types of buildings. Spiral staircases are elegant and classic, and make a home feel extra sophisticated.  But from where did spiral stairs emerge from? What history endowed spiral staircases such splendor?

The earliest depiction of spiral staircases was 3000 years ago. It is written in the Bible that there are two spiral or winding staircases that are part of Solomon’s Temple. These two staircases are said to lead to a sacrificial altar. And although the Bible is widely believed, this still does not provide concrete proof of being the first spiral stairs.

There is, however, a more physical evidence of an ancient spiral staircase in a temple in Sicily. This temple is believed to have been erected as early as 480 BC. This ancient spiral staircase is made of stone and stone slabs that center on a central column.

Trajan’s Column in Rome, considered to be the oldest preserved spiral stairs, represents a more common spiral staircase design. Built in 113 AD, 500 years after that of Sicily’s ancient spiral staircases, Trajan’s Column is made of marble with a band of reliefs that depict the victories of Emperor Trajan’s Army in the Dacian Wars. Inside this triumphal column is a spiral staircase that goes up the 42-meter high structure. There are also windows that are strategically placed around the column so that people going up or down the stairs would have some light.

Other historic structures that made of spiral staircases are castles in which these are used to go up towers that are otherwise difficult to ascend with regular staircases. A vast majority of stairs are made of stone, just like the castle that they are built on

From these historic designs and materials rose various styles and forms of spiral staircases. Some made with wood, some with steel, and some still with stone. Throughout the years, spiral staircases has always been seen as parts of majestic structures, and became grandiose in itself.

Nowadays, mansions, offices, hotels, and residences that are going for something fancy almost always take spiral staircases into consideration. Because spiral staircases may have been here for a long time, but it hasn’t lost it touch at becoming elegant and classy.

iStairs, helping you put up your own fancy spiral staircase

If you would want to have a fancy spiral staircase of your own, iStairs can help you with that. Our trained experts can help assess how we can come up with a spiral staircase that will be placed beautifully on your home.

Spiral staircases are only elegant if it is made to be so. So contact only the best when it comes to stairs to help you out in your spiral staircase project! And you know who’s best right? Only iStairs!

Call us now and let’s get started on that spiral staircase! iStairs: the Number 1 Sacramento stair builders and installers, ready to serve you and all your stair needs.