To make a turn in the stairs so that it can change direction, you will need a winder trade or landing – or a combination of both. A winder is a kite-shaped or triangular step that is otherwise used to make a bend in a straight ladder.
The landing is an intermediate platform that is installed between the floor levels to connect the flights of stairs together. The staircase designs for homes could include a quarter landing (one flight width of the ladder) that makes a 90-degree turn in the ladder or a half landing (the width of two flights of stairs) that gives a 180-degree turn, which is U-shaped.
Walk and Riser – Open or Closed?
The staircase designs are made up of a ledge – the part you walk on – and a riser – a step board that forms the face of each step. The riser can be open (with spacing between threads) or closed (attached to a solid board). Open risers are especially popular in modern homes because they increase the flow of light. However, young children and older residents find it a little daunting.
Many people prefer to add one or two features at the bottom of the ladder for extra effect. A variety of combinations are available, including single or double shapes and softer rounded bullnose steps.
Strings, or stringers, can be closed or open. A closed – also called solid – rope runs on both sides of the ladder and completely covers the twigs and risers, hiding the edge of the ladder from view. The top edge of an open or cut string is machined so that the outline of the steps is visible from the edge. This style is more complex than closed string design, and therefore more expensive, but is widely considered more desirable.
The naval posts are direct supports that anchor the handrail, threads and wires of the ladder, forming an essential part of its structure – so don’t take them out unless absolutely necessary. They come in a variety of designs and can consist of a single post, known as a plain navel, or a piece of wood-shaped piece (a new curve) attached to a separate base. If you’re just upgrading your ladder instead of installing a new ladder, it might be best for you to keep existing posts and change to new caps for a new look.