Frequently Asked Questions

Spiral Stair Application

You should check with your building inspector for local codes. It may be wise to obtain this in writing. We consider most spiral stairs to be secondary or ornamental stairs.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The selection of Steel Spiral Stair products to comply with your local building codes, safety laws, or any other law, ordinance, regulation, etc., that apply is the entire responsibility of the buyer, building owner, architect and or engineer. We have no responsibility in this matter.

No, each stair is made to order and they can be customized to suit. When cost is a factor our most typical design is the best buy.

The stair might be screwed through the door. For smaller stairs add 2 inches to1/2 of the diameter. This is the minimum width door opening required. (Measure the clear width available - it will be smaller than the nominal door size)

Will there be any obstructions in front of or behind the door? Is the room you are entering at least as large as the stair length? Is the door well unusually thick? On the inside, is there a wall next to and at a right angle to the door?

We can cut the stair in half and modify it so you can reassemble the two halves in a few minutes. Note: The door opening size above still applies.

For really tough situations we can "knock down" a stair. We fabricate and shop-assemble all parts, including the steel handrail, to fit your exact measurements then knock down again for shipment. This is still a custom built stair and it is NOT adjustable.

You can transport the stair in just about anything. Assuming you have a normal floor-to-floor height, the stair will fit in the back of a pickup or a small open trailer. We have delivered many stairs in a short-bed, Toyota pickup. Some smaller stairs have made it into vans. The weight varies, depending on diameter, length, and features. A typical interior, 12-rise stair, without wood decking, runs in the 400-pound range. We can deliver to some areas or have your stair shipped. Ask for a price quote on delivery.

It can depend on the design and of course, how many orders are in front of you. You should allow a minimum of 4 weeks. Call for a time estimate before ordering.

This is not a kit. Each spiral stair is built to customer requirements. Like most other purchases of this sort your selection of components will determine the price. However, don’t let that scare you. Ask for a price quote. We are not high-pressure sales oriented!

Stair Well

On smaller stairs, the finished opening must be at least 4 inches larger than the diameter of the stair to allow for finger clearance. Larger stairs, 60" diameter and above, allow 5 inches. Our platforms are made to fit square wells for this measurement and will not properly fit smaller wells.

Example: 48" diameter stair requires a 52" finished out square hole.

A 60" diameter would require a 65" finished out square hole. Optional platforms can be made to accommodate off-sized and special wells.

Yes, in most cases the metal frame platform is needed. A few exceptions are possible. The platform normally occupies about 1/4 of the well. In very limited cases, you can frame your own platform into the opening. Head clearance can be a problem.

These are our references for two common stair set-ups. "Well" being mounted into a corner, "Loft" mounting to one side only.

No. They are ordered separately. Not all customers use iron railings around the well.

Construction

Our basic tread is an open steel sub-frame with screw holes to mount a wood tread. Formed diamond plate treads are available on special order. Smooth sheet metal treads are available on special order but are not a practical choice. We feel they have no advantage over the open frame since they also need to be decked with wood for most interior uses, such as carpeting. Natural woods are more attractive on an open frame stair. Your building codes may require a partial riser for residences. A partial wood riser with a maximum 4" air space is commonly used.

The basic interior stair uses a 1" x 1" x 11/12 gauge square steel tube baluster for each rise. (This is much stronger than the ones used on most kits we have seen.) The basic exterior stair uses a 3/4" square solid bar baluster which eliminates the problem of rusting out from the inside. Many optional balusters are available.

Yes. For exterior stairs, we use solid stock rather than hollow, where possible, for the balusters. Some of the tread parts are slightly heavier.

Finishes

On typical interior stairs you have a choice of one coat of black primer or one coat of lighter colored primer or we can leave the steel bare for your own special finish. Exterior stairs can be supplied bare for galvanizing or one coat of primer. See rust question.

NO! All steel rusts and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! All steel products require maintenance when used out-of-doors. For rust resistance, we recommend galvanizing for exterior products. We can arrange for this service or to save time and costs you can take care of it yourself.

General

Stairs are installed by the customer. Most spiral stairs consist of 3 main components. The stair, the platform and the base. The actual assembly required involves setting these three components in place, anchoring them and then mounting your wood treads. Very customized orders could require special skills.

You do. All that is required is to measure the finished floor to finished floor and maintain the minimum well size required. There are additional layout decisions such as the tread degree and hand. We do occasionally measure on extremely customized orders.

In some cases you may be better served by a conventional stair. Spiral stairs are ideal for second stair applications. They are not conducive to the moving of furniture or bulky items from level to level. The larger diameter spiral stair does lessen the problem, but, it does not eliminate it. A spiral stair should not be used to replace an existing conventional stair unless you use a large diameter unit and provide other means of moving large items from level to level.

For a stair that is in constant use, do not be lured into using a small spiral stair to save floor space because it is a direct trade off with foot room on the stair. Small spiral stairs are tricky to walk on, especially on descent. Your heel nearest to the center column has little area on which to step.. On larger stairs your travel path is further to the outside where the tread is wider, thus making it easier to negotiate.

Please contact us for ordering information.