Don't Overlook These Important Details When Installing an Outdoor Staircase

Posted on: 30 May 2017


If your property is very hilly and sloped, you may need an outdoor staircase to easily make your way from one spot to another, or you may need a staircase from a balcony to the ground floor. Whatever the reason for installing an outdoor staircase, you want to ensure you don't overlook any detail, for your own safety and to ensure the area looks its best after those stairs have been installed. Note a few considerations to discuss with your contractor before work begins.


Stone steps are a very rustic and natural choice that work well on most properties, as they may easily blend with vegetation or flowerbeds, and they won't detract from a natural and earthy look to your space. However, some stones are very slick and smooth and may be dangerous for an outdoor staircase, as they're more likely to get wet and hold dirt or mud, making them even more slippery. Be cautious about using slate or granite or any stone with a smooth surface, and opt instead for flagstone or something with a rougher texture.


Lighting is very important for an outdoor staircase, as your home's exterior lights may not be sufficient to keep those stairs illuminated. Always consider how you will incorporate lights into your staircase design, and especially for a darker material or color. You may want your contractor to install lights at the center of each riser, or add them to both sides of the stairs. For a shorter staircase, you might install an overhead light at the top of the staircase, if it will properly illuminate the entire fixture. Whatever your choice, be sure the stairs are easily visible, even at night.


When adding a staircase railing, you want to ensure it doesn't block the view of your vegetation or flowerbeds, or interfere with your view of your home's pool or other such space. You may like the look of an oversized, rugged railing made of thick beams, but consider if this would get in the way of nearby flowers, or if you would not be able to easily see your children in the family's pool. Opt instead for glass balustrades that can also serve as a railing for added safety, but which won't interfere with your home's landscaping, view of the city, or view of a pool. The glass can also reflect light at night so it can add even more safety to the staircase if it's installed in a darker area of your property.