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The benefits of changing the direction of a staircase

Changing the staircase direction might not be as tricky, or expensive, as you might think.

Changing the direction of a staircase might not be as tricky, or expensive, as you might think.

Read on to find out how repositioning a staircase can make a big difference to the look and feel of your home.

The benefits of changing the direction of a staircase

When planning the interior layout of our homes, we often think about knocking down walls or extending the footprint, but have you considered moving the stairs?

Reversing the staircase direction could really open up the downstairs of your home. While repositioning the staircase could create more floor space and allow more light in.

Changing your staircase direction offers many benefits. It can: Wood and metal half-landing stairs

  • Open up the downstairs of your home
  • Allow more daylight in
  • Improve the layout of an awkward-shaped room
  • Make better use of the space available
  • Make a design statement
  • Make the stairs less steep
  • Increase the value of your home

Materials and type of staircase

When considering changing the staircase direction, it’s well worth speaking with an architect to understand the best options for your interior space.

There are more configurations than you might think, such as:

  • Straight Diagrams showing different staircase configurations
  • Quarter-turn (L-shaped)
  • Half-turn (U-shaped)
  • Winding
  • Curved
  • Spiral

Your staircase could also become a design feature in your home. It’s not uncommon to combine these materials for striking effect:

  • Metal
  • Hardwood
  • Softwood
  • Glass
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Repositioning a staircase

Many homes have a staircase that runs from front to back. This can mean that the rooms at the front of the property can be narrower than you’d like, or that they take on an awkward layout. Repositioning the staircase can help to increase the size of the front rooms and create a more spacious feel.

In a narrower property, repositioning a staircase can make a big difference. It can often impact the layout of the upstairs rooms and the positioning of corridor access. This, in turn, will add value to your home.

Metal spiral staircase When planning to reposition the stairs, it may provide the opportunity to add winders or quarter-turns, depending on the space available. This creates an attractive feature within your home.

Reversing the staircase direction

Narrower homes can sometimes have an undesirably steep staircase. By reversing the staircase direction, you’ll not only open up a new floor plan downstairs, but you can also reduce how steep your stairs are.

Tip: Add a plinth that’s already a few steps up to make your new stairs less steep.

Is changing a staircase expensive?

Changing the direction of the staircase undoubtedly involves making alterations to the floor the staircase leads to. Therefore, you’ll need the skills of a professional carpenter and builder to change the arrangement of the floor.

A carpenter (or joiner) will cost around £25 per hour. A builder will charge somewhere in the region of £25 – £35 per hour.

Changing the staircase direction involves working at height, so budget for the cost of a safety platform too. A 1.8m folding working platform costs around £39 per week to hire.

The cost to move stairs comes in at around £3,100. Typically, this includes removing the old stairs, buying the new stairs (softwood), plus labour. Read our guide on the cost of moving your stairs for an outline of the costs involved.

Other costs that will affect the budget for this project:

  • Materials – softwood is cheaper than hardwood. Glass looks great, but is expensive. Our new staircase cost guide includes pricing on each type
  • Structural works and alterations
  • Skimming, decorating, skirting, or making good

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Are there any regulations for moving a staircase?

There are strict building regulations for staircases, and you should speak to a professional to ensure these are adhered to. In general, they cover areas such as dimensions, headroom, number of stairs before a landing is required, and the angle of the stairs.

In the vast majority of cases, you do not need planning permission to move a staircase if your design does not impact the external appearance of your property.

How much does it cost to change the staircase direction?

Changing the direction of a staircase costs on average £3,100. This includes removing the old staircase and installing a new (softwood) staircase. You may also need to factor in the cost of flooring, plastering, and decorating, depending on the scope of your particular project.

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