Choosing our Internal Staircase

We have been looking at what kind of internal staircase to build into our house. The new internal stairs will be put in where our current office is and the will need to be a curved staircase with a landing in the middle. The space that we have for the staircase is actually quite small, so the stairs will need to be narrow.

We were considering two types of of staircases; an enclosed staircase or an open staircase. There were pros and cons for both:

Enclosed Staircase

– separate zones for air conditioning
– better sound proofing

– cost

Open Staircase

– cost
– ease and speed of construction

– louder
– open airflow

I guess that after writing out the pros and cons of each type of staircase I realize that I should probably explain more about what I meant by each type of staircase.

The enclosed staircase that we were looking at included a door at the bottom of the stairs to separate the ground and top floor. This would stop the air conditioning from our living room from having to cool the downstairs hallway, as well as the lounge room, dining room and kitchen. This is the kind of configuration that I have seen on most houses in Calgary where there is an undeveloped basement, which is closed off by the door.

The open staircase would have open stringers and hardwood treads. Between the treads would be open (sort of like our external staircase) so there would be nothing to stop the noise and air conditioning from going down or up the stairs.

After weighing up the options, and considering our finances we have decided to go with the open tread design on our internal staircase. It works out to be about half the price, and it can be completed fairly easily. Also because the opening for the internal stairs is quite far away from the air conditioner we don’t think that we will actually loose much cold air down the stairway.

If we really want to down the track we can always look at enclosing the open staircase anyways. I really doubt that it will come to that, but the option will be there if we find we need to.

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