Staircases are an important part of most homes, whether you want a colourful design or a traditional style in an older property. Safe and functional stairs are key in a family home, but this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the dream of a beautiful design.

Here are our top tips for designing safe staircases for family homes that look good too.

Building regulations for stairs

There are rules for designing staircases, covered by building regulation legislation, such as Approved Document K, which aims to protect you from falls.

When you work with your staircase company, they’ll be able to talk you through the height and size requirements for each safety feature. This should reassure you about how safe the stairs are for younger family members.

Designing staircase handrails

Handrails and bannisters are an essential feature of modern staircases, and this is one of the ways you can provide an additional safety measure to help all the family.

When designing a handrail for your staircase, choose a sturdy material in a shape that’s easy to grip. If you hire a staircase designer, they may even have samples or recommend the best options for little ones.

Safe balustrades

A staircase isn’t just defined by treads and risers but the areas along a hallway or landing that look onto the stepped area. Balustrades provide an excellent safety barrier when approaching a staircase from either direction, so it’s important to design in mind of family life. They come in many different styles and materials, including glass and wooden balustrades.

If you have a young or growing family, you may like to consider closed panelling rather than spindles for both the balustrade and section connecting the base rail and bannister. Hopefully, this will reduce hazards in the home. However, if you love the look of vertical spindles, designing them close together is a good idea to prevent falls.

Closed staircase treads

While floating or open staircases are highly modern, they could prove difficult for much younger children. In a family home, you may prefer to choose a closed tread design. This will stop the staircase from becoming an entrapment hazard.

You should also think carefully about the type of material you choose for the treads as beautiful timber stairs can be more slippery if wearing socks. If you’re dreaming of a wooden staircase, you could add a runner or focus on timber features for other parts of the design, such as panelling and handrails.

Staircase storage ideas

Good storage is key in a family home. Remember, you can use the area under a staircase for additional cupboards, drawers or bespoke storage designs that help keep trip hazards like shoes and coats out of the way.

Speak with your staircase company about the possibilities on offer so that the design works for all the family, making your home as functional as it can be.

Speak to an expert

Are you looking for a staircase design expert? Speak to the team at DDC London. We have years of experience providing our staircase solutions throughout London and Surrey. So whether you’re near Windlesham, Ascot or further afield, get in touch for a consultation.

Call now on 020 8004 9635 or email