Replacing a staircase: 5 things to know

Consider Building Regulations, Listed Building Consent, the stair design and the available space

By Paisley Tedder | 22 February 2021

A well designed and beautiful staircase sets the tone for your entire home. Even the simplest design is a feature of engineering but the most inventive designs take your breath away. When replacing a staircase, there are certain key points to bear in mind at the planning stage.

Replacing a staircase

Architect Dan Marks, founding director at Mata Architects, outlines important factors to consider

1. Building regulations

Particularly in period homes, it is likely that the existing stairs do not meet current Building Regulations. So, this means that a like-for-like replacement won’t either, especially if it’s in a restricted space. Try a new design in the same place as this shouldn’t be a problem as you’re working within a set of given constraints that can’t be changed.

A cantilevered staircase with oak treads and glass balustrade.

This design by Bisca has open treads and a glass balustrade. Image: Jake Fitz Jones

2. Relocating the stairs

If you opt to change the location of your staircase, ensure this meets Building Regulations. It is possible for dispensations to be made in extraordinary instances. But my recommendation is to err on the side of caution. So, involve a building control inspector early on in the design process to comment on evolving plans. They will identify any grounds for a relaxation on the regulations.