External spiral staircase: where, how and why to install it
1 February 2023
The spiral staircase (which could also be a spiral staircase square planned or a helical staircase) by its structural nature is the ideal choice if there is some space limit and you prefer to limit the footprint on the ground with a connection that develops vertically.
It is no coincidence that it is also called “space saving spiral staircase”.
The modern spiral staircase is one of the most popular for its aesthetic impact, not only for space reasons of economy. Both observations also apply to the external spiral staircase.
Let’s make some considerations about the advantages of an outdoor spiral staircase, where it can be more useful, on which bases to choose the structure (for example if you opt for a compact spiral staircase or not establishing any diameter limits).
We also see how, during the design phase, manage the choice of materials suitable for resisting atmospheric agents: we evaluate whether it is preferable to opt for a metal spiral staircase or a wooden spiral staircase.
We can evaluate whether you prefer a concrete spiral staircase or even if a closed spiral staircase for outdoor use could be an appropriate solution for your needs.
Only pros and no cons for the external spiral staircase
As for every spiral staircases or helical staircases the first and great benefit compared to other types of stairs is the possibility of a smaller footprint. Clearly, the fully height development of the spiral structure allows a great saving of horizontal space.
If you have a garden or a small terrace for example, you can easily notice how much ground space saved by outdoor spiral stairs – as well as all indoor spiral staircases – means living space for you and your family.
In addition to the talk about the size as for a small spiral staircase, I can confirm that the enveloping and circular shape, which represents at a glance this type of structure, is loved by most and strongly characterizes the spaces it occupies and enriches, with very modern traits.
The modern spiral staircase represents a design trend but has always been appreciated; internal spiral staircases represent a widely shared and known reality, the same goes for the outdoor spiral staircase.
The installation of an outdoor spiral staircase in front of the facade of a building is perhaps less common, but I can assure you that it will add value to the same in terms of aesthetics… but not only.
If the amount of space available is not the ratio around which to grow the design of your external staircase, you can then evaluate different shapes and diameters and not only a small spiral staircase
- the classic spiral staircase we know is the most suitable for the minimum diameters (at the limit of the regulation it is possible to have a spiral staircase diameter 100 with a possibility of passage really tightened to a minimum)
- the helical staircase, which unlike the spiral one does not have a real central column and is structured on the basis of an external and an internal helix creating spiraliform lines, can count on larger diameters, even of much compared to the classic spiral staircase
- the square spiral staircase is ideal to take advantage of the angular spaces (and more quietly can reach a minimum diameter of 100 cm), so already in itself more comfortable crossing and in addition you can use the wall as a handrail.
Also in this case the diameters can be enlarged, if you do not have space problems for your spiral staircase dimensions, so you could design a 120×120 square spiral staircase, but also a 150×150 square spiral staircase or a 160×160 square spiral staircase, and so on.
Where to place your external spiral staircase
The value of the dimensions, which can also be really small, of a spiral staircase plan makes it possible to place it in different locations, compared to the possible access of the building.
Not only that: outdoor spiral staircases have, thanks to the right design, the huge advantage of being able to be placed when the construction has already taken place, making more functional and aesthetically better your outdoor even later than the building.
The value of the spiral staircase lies in combining safety, style and design with a minimum diameter: these characteristics make it preferable also for outdoor spaces, if for example you are in the situation of having to connect:
- entrance to a balcony or terrace on an upper floor, but also to connect possibly different terraces, avoiding to cross the house internally
- entrance to a patio or a garden, especially still with minimal footprint but always with style
- garage to other selected entrances of the building
- entrance to an environment kept separate from the rest of the house, whether it is a room or an office, or a larger section like another deliberately isolated apartment
A spiral staircase, a spiral staircase square based or a helical staircase can even be used to facilitate access to a wonderful tree house, once only fun for children, now in some cases used as a folk and different alternative of hotellerie.
But what materials are available for outdoor spiral staircases? And what would be best for yours in particular?
External spiral staircase and climate factor
If we think about the outdoor spaces of a property, regardless of which is the position chosen for your spiral staircase, one of the very first evaluations to be made will probably be on the material with which to make it, not only for aesthetics, but for very practical reasons.
In fact, a spiral staircase for outdoor use is continuously subjected to the wear and tear of atmospheric factors, like any outdoor element, such as water, ice, extreme temperatures and sunlight.
Unlike the spiral staircase for indoor use, for which surely the freedom in the choice of materials would be greater, you have to deal with specific climatic issues (and this also in case you opted for an external spiral staircase closed with different solutions but always in compliance with local permits required).
We can therefore say that, to avoid the aggression of exposure to the most common weather phenomena, the most frequent options are:
spiral staircases metal spiral staircase
- metal spiral staircase, iron spiral staircase, cast iron spiral staircase or wrought iron spiral staircase; metal is well suited to the sinuous shapes of a spiral or helical staircase, it is resistant and durable, but always in need of special treatments to defend itself especially from rust
- wooden spiral staircase made or with a wooden covering, naturally using the most resistant essences (eg: teak and mahogany), not excessively soft and with adequate thickness and treatment to maintain
- spiral staircase stone made, natural stone stairs, marble or even ceramics, also subject to deterioration if not maintained in the best way
- external steel spiral staircase, very frequent as the metal spiral staircase which I mentioned before. also thanks to a special treatment, hot galvanizing, a topic that is worth exploring a little longer
What is hot dip galvanizing and why it is crucial for the spiral staircase for outdoor spaces, if you want it made of metal
An external spiral staircase must absolutely be designed with the idea of ensuring the greatest possible resistance to weather, temperature changes, humidity and even designed to combat aggressive elements such as salt in sea resorts.
In aid against oxidation and corrosion there is a particular treatment called hot galvanization, specifically of steel, ideal for structures exposed to external agents, as a metal spiral staircase for outdoor use.
Unlike the film formed by the process of normal painting that is delicate immediately and susceptible to damage of various kinds, a bath of molten zinc on pre-treated surfaces holds very high performance in terms of strength.
While it works to defend the external surfaces as well as the internal ones of moisture and corrosion, the molten zinc creates a real alloy with the iron completely adhering to the element and not just leaning on it.
This melting of iron-zinc metals in the right thickness, prevents the deterioration of the surfaces caused by water and other aggressive substances for a long time, and can still serve as a basis for any different paint or finish.
Even with this additional information a little more technical, you will have come to the conclusion that you can really customize, in the best way for your needs, even the choice of an outdoor spiral staircase, that fully enhances your spaces and simplifies the way you live the house for you, your family and your guests.
Learn more about the external spiral staircase
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