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Many homes have ample room to add on a new bedroom, office, or other space to enjoy. When adding on space, especially when going up, you will need to consider the type of stairs you want installed. You will need to consider how the room will be used, how much traffic it will have, and who will be using the stairs when choosing the right design.

The problem with conventional stairs is that they are often expensive and difficult to build. However, with so many new options on the market today, you can have beautiful stairs that will be both functional and add elegance. Best of all, many of the current options allow you to do the work yourself although you can always hire a professional contractor. You will find that your options include spiral, circular, and straight designs along with many others. Additionally, you can choose to have the stairs narrow, wide, with a gradual or steep slope, and so on. In other words, you can customize the stairs to match your specific needs.

No matter which type of stairway you choose, you need to make sure you have all the appropriate permits. Building a stairway is considered construction and therefore, you will need to understand the codes so you know exactly what you need. For instance, there will be the location of the balusters and railings, the tread width and depth, riser height, and so on, all of which would be a consideration for safety and functionality. Your local building code will need to know the precise dimensions of each. Some codes do accept standard numbers but you will need to check with your local organization first.

The Building Officials and Code Administration passed the National Building Code in 1993. This code allows that risers not be higher than eight and one-quarter inches and that the tread not be deeper than nine inches. Again, there are times when these dimensions might be revised so it is crucial that you work with your local building code authority.

What you should do is contact the building code authorities called first. They will come out to the house to inspect the location where the stairs will be built and then let you know the dimensions that you can use. Once you have these dimensions, you can then start the shopping process. This allows you to make sure the measurements are precise in that once the stairs are in the building inspector will come back out to make sure you are �in code.� In addition to meeting these codes, you of course need the stairs to look nice, be safe to walk up and down on, and easy to use.
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