Staircase design options

From U-shaped to bifurcated, find out what staircase design options are open to you when building new or renovating in Ireland.

In this article we cover:

  • Staircase design types
  • What to consider when comparing your options
  • Staircase cost comparison
  • Inspiration photos

Choosing the right staircase design goes beyond mere convenience; it is an opportunity to add personality and style to your home. Whether you opt for a classic straight staircase that exudes timeless elegance or an intricate spiral staircase that adds a touch of charm, consider your budget, available space, and design limitations.

Safety and accessibility are two requirements in the building regulations so your architectural designer or structural engineer will need to check that your choice complies – think head room, appropriate tread and riser measurements, certified materials, and handrails in particular.

Here’s a roundup of various designs with price points for each; as the costs are approximative the amounts refer to both euro and sterling.

L-shaped staircases

This design incorporates a 90-degree turn to form an L shape. Versatile and adaptable to various home layouts, it’s a popular choice. Typical costs range from 2.5k to 8k

Straight staircases

These are a classic and straightforward design option, consisting of a straight flight of steps that connects one floor to another without any turns or curves. Depending on materials and design, they can cost between 800 to 4k.

Bifurated staircases

These are characterised by a split design that creates a graceful, branching effect. They offer a grand first impression. Increasing in popularity due to space constraints and architectural preferences. They tend to cost from 5k to 20k

staircase design options

Spiral Staircases

Compact and stylish, a spiral design is great if you’ve limited space but do check how well it complies with building regulations for your specific use. These feature a helical or circular design with steps wrapping around a central pole. Prices vary widely starting from around 800 for a basic design to 16k+ for premium materials and intricate designs.

Cantilever staircases

This contemporary and minimalist choice creates a visually stunning effect. The staircase appears to float, as part of the structural components are anchored in the wall. On the higher end of the price spectrum, this popular design tends to cost from 4k to 24k

Curved staircases

Featuring a smooth, flowing curve, curved staircases add an element of elegance and grandeur to any home, and will become a focal point of your interior design. One of the
more expensive options, with prices starting at around 8k and rising upwards of 40k.

U-shaped staircases

Featuring a 180-degree turn in the middle, it’s both elegant and space saving. Costs
range between 4k and 12k.

Custom staircases

Customising your own staircase offers limitless design possibilities. Collaborating with
a designer allows you to create a unique solution that perfectly matches your home’s style and personal preferences. The cost of custom staircases varies significantly, from 8k to 80k or more depending on your choices.

staircase design options

Staircase design options: cost comparison

The cost will depend on your choice of materials, design complexity, size and installation. Hardwood, glass, and wrought iron tend to be more expensive, while pine with MDF are more budget friendly options.

Precast concrete staircases are very popular with self-builders as they’re fairly cost effective, can be clad with any finish and are used during the build as a sturdy means of access to upper storeys.

Elaborate designs, intricate railings, and custom details will increase the overall cost as will the height and length of your staircase. Longer or taller staircases require more materials and labour. For bespoke designs, professional installation costs must also be factored into your budget.

More staircase inspiration here

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Written by Victoria Hunter

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