Thursday, 24 February 2011

Get to Know the Basic Stair Parts

Before you plan on reconstructing or renovating a stair, you have to know the basic stair parts. You have to have a rudimentary knowledge at least so that the process of renovation or reconstruction will be easier. Also, if you hire a contractor or a professional, you won't be lost in the conversation. You will be able to contribute to the conversation by incorporating your ideas and such.

So what are the basic stair parts? Those are the parts you see and you use frequently in stairs.

These are the following stair parts:

Stair treads

The stair treads are the part of the stairs that you actually step on. It is perhaps the most abused part of the stairs. You'll find that the stair treads are often decorated with carpets and finished with varnishes. The carpets and varnish are decorations as much as they are protection. Since the stair treads are exposed to frequent physical and mechanical abuse they need all the protection they can get.

Hand Railings

This is another member of basic stair parts that you really have to get to know. They function normally to protect us from falling or slipping in stairs. This is the structure made of series of rods along the side of stairs. The hand rails are made for gripping. They support you as you go down or up in the stairs. Hand railings also have a dual purpose

You'd want to get to know hand railings because they serve to protect us but it also contributes to the whole look of the stores. There's so much you can do with hand rails in terms of design.

Additional tip: A lot of stair builders are loving how stainless cable railings look on their staircases. They are cheap, easy to work with and easy to maintain. They can easily swing from classic to vintage to contemporary, too. You can try using them if you are baffled about which material to use for your railings.

This is another stair part that ensures our protection. It is among the stair parts that have a dual purpose as well - protection and design. This is the part of the stair that holds the hand rails. It gives supports to the hand rails by 'carrying' the hand rails.

These three are the basic and most important parts of a stair. Having known its function, you will be able to fully appreciate its importance in your staircase. Also, you will be able to manipulate the said stair parts to your advantage - most especially in terms of design.

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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Stair Lift Or Stair Glide? What is in a Name?

you can see, the history of the innovation determines the naming of products we use today. Perhaps if you live in the UK, Canada, or Australia, a stair lift makes more sense. Perhaps stair glide makes more sense in the USA. I don't know.

What I do know though is that, today's stairlifts are really easy to use, functional, quiet and a pleasure to look at. They can easily become a centerpiece and a point of interest for any visitor to your house.

And, when you think about it, going up the stairs, you may as well call your device a stair lift, as it lifts you to the place where you would normally have a hard time going on your own.

Going downstairs, you will get a feeling of gliding though. Just visualize an eagle taking of from a rock by the mountain top, and gliding downwards, toward the valley below: Quiet, elegant, and a real pleasure to look at. So maybe riding downstairs, your stair lift really turns into a stair glide.

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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

New Stair Construction Building Codes and Tougher 2009 Code Enforcement Laws - What You Need to Know

The construction industry is entering a time of rapid change. New and existing codes relating to stair construction safety are now being enforced. Since safety will no longer be compromised, deck builders will have to confront the age old problem of making a deck safe when it comes to attaching posts to deck platforms, let alone attaching posts to deck stairs. Important issues such as, Child Safety, the American Disability Act (ADA) requirements and many new building materials are major elements driving new stringent code enforcement. This is why it is so important to protect yourself and your livelihood by making sure you are aware of the latest laws and compliance issues related to stairs. If a safety problem arises due to stair construction or compliance, it's not enough to say "I wasn't aware of the new laws." It's your responsibility to be aware and know of issues that could involve the safety of your family, friends, employees -- and potentially millions of dollars.

The number of deck injuries and fatalities have been increasing at a dramatic rate. Between 2000 - 2008, 30 deaths were reported as a direct result of collapse. This number does not include injuries. Statistics show that when a deck collapses that there is a 75% chance of severe injury and possible fatality. You can be proactive and check your deck for wobbly railings, rotted boards, cracks, missing and loose connections.

Stair Injuries: The most serious stair injuries being documented are the direct result of stair rail collapses. This shouldn't come as a surprise, because until just recently, no product or system has complied with the minimum code requirements for 'rail post support' on wood stairs.

Lack of Code Enforcement: There are many reasons one could assume why this important code violation has slipped through the enforcement cracks. Commonly, when stairs are built and ready for inspection, code officials will use the quick 'tug' & 'pull' test, if minimal amount of deflection is evident, then the stairs, will more than likely, pass. To officially comply with the existing stair rail post support code, all stair rail posts must withstand a 200 lbs. lateral load. It's a serious challenge to accurately 'on-site' determine structural integrity in relation to stair rail post support. However "Tort" protection for the building departments, still places the "liability issues" squarely on the shoulders of business & property owners.

The problem: Traditional stair construction using cut out stringers or commonly used stair angles, do not have the rigidity to hold 200 lbs. lateral load (applied to the post) as required by code. Until recently, there has never been an easy or satisfactory solution for building rail post supports that are strong, and meet building code requirements as well.

The Simple Solution: Rail posts can be used with adjustable stair brackets that have been engineered to achieve the required lateral load. This combination has been tested and proven to withstand 200 lbs. lateral load and 500 lbs. ultimate load as required by code- a first in the industry.

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