16 Replies

I was curious if anyone had used spiral stairs in any of their plans? Due to the narrow lots we come across sometimes, it's necessary to get creative in putting the pieces of the puzzle together to build space, and spiral stairs seem like an option, but in real life, how do they work for people? 

@Karen Margrave

I have done them twice both sets I hated how they felt when I walked up them. It felt a little like a staircase and a little like a ladder....

I was using them to get to an open loft that we added and the second one was for a master bedroom that had a second floor to the master suite. So there was a spiral staircase that went up to the second floor. 


I have a unit that duplexs to an attic with spiral stairs.

They work for this unit because its ideal for college students.  However, any other tenants (Families, etc..) run away.

Best advise, try to stay away from them if you can.  It really limits your tenant base and if flipping homebuyers hate them.

If you don't have another option it sure is nicer than a ladder ;).

However moving anything of substance up and down them is an absolute nightmare.

Have installed a few of them on multiple really narrow houses. Had to use the 2nd floor balcony above the front door for furnitures. Limits your interested clients, would probably scrape off 45+ year old clients outright. Only thing that would be of use is for a mezzanine bedroom, maybe roof deck also.

@Karen Margrave

I have never put spiral staircases in but have wanted to rip them out. As a rehaber of higher priced houses I came across a two story with that style of staircase. The very first item on the budget was to remove the staircase and replace it with a traversing staircase. This house had plenty of room so it was not a big deal to give up the usable square footage for the new staircase. Unfortunately this house fell through and we did not get the chance to make the change. Hope you figure it out.


We had a home nearby listed for $480,000 & for some reason they had put in a spiral staircase from the family room to the bedrooms. It was a sprawling home so it was a whim rather than a necessity. During several open houses our agent told us very few of the over 40 crowd would take them but kids loved them. 

However, another builder we worked with had an in-fill opportunity & jammed in high density 3 story townhouses whereby the living area started above the garages !

To market them he installed elevators from the garage to the top floor. They sold out immediately. 

We also found several in homes we viewed on the market in Hilton Head with elevators from the garage (most water front homes are above the garages) to the roof.

@Karen Margrave

I have used them on one house on a slope from the garage to the living area.  It sold to a software developer in his mid 30s rather quickly.

We are putting them in a new duplex condo right now.  We have to use them as there simply isn't room for a full flight of stairs. but they go from the second floor to the attic/loft space which will have a full downtown view.  I expect that these will sell to young professionals.

I will send pictures when I have something more interesting to look at.  They look neat, but are typically narrow.

I've seen a few of those in loft-style properties. My question is how the heck do you get the furniture up to the bedroom?

An elevator in a house is sweet. We rented a beach home in FL one year and it had one. It was ridiculously convenient. 

the first rental I bought had a spiral staircase. One day I was driving and it just hit me - "Oh crap, how is anyone going to get furniture up there?"  I didn't watch the move in but there was a back door to the kitchen roof and big stuff could have been hoisted up that way. 

My place was only 10 ft wide so stairs were an issue no matter what. 

Originally posted by @Ned Carey :

"Oh crap, how is anyone going to get furniture up there?" . 

 & that my friend is why they have Ikea :)

We had a whole Ikea bedroom closet & cabinets left behind because they couldn't be bothered dismantling it.

Had about a 32" stair in a unit, tenants (college kids) loved them. I didn't mind them but would prefer straight with a landing and a return but that wasn't an option in that unit. Had an A Frame with probably 36/40" stair the rise wasn't as steep as the smaller as the run was longer/wider providing a few more steps, really not comparable.

Not bad until you have to carry a bed upstairs, large furniture probably will be a challenge, girls just abandoned larger stuff when they left, they asked and I said fine. The boys next door got the stuff out. What ever goes up should be able to come down. Might consider a large window too, had a fire escape that was easier.

You need headroom above the stair case to at the top landing, not a doorway and space next to the stairs to lift things straight up.

Those that sell spiral steps can best advise on clearances needed, size with rise at each step, they have software for instant calculations. That's all I got on that. :)  

Here is a BP thread I am following where they are rehabbing a house with a spiral Staircase.  http://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/522/topics/171...

Looks like they removed a couple of walls that were enclosing the staircase, to make it a focal point.  

It will be interesting to see what the buyer feedback is

That particular thread is documenting a project that doesn't have a spiral staircase and is crowd funded.  The one with the stair case is a private deal, but I'll be happy to share photos when the stair cases are in.  Right now all I have is an empty place where they will go.

there's a lot of these in New Orleans where I'm from and they a wretched! Moving anything more than a glass of wine up them is a real chore. My friend has some that went to a loft in her apt. I still have no idea what that loft looked like.

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