Spiral stair planning

Planning Assistance: Precision Pine works directly with each customer to assure the staircase ordered will suit his or her needs. We will help you with positioning your spiral, ascertaining proper floor-to-floor height, and ensuring adequate clearances.

Precision Pine offers a free design service at no obligation to the customer. With this design you will see how the spiral will be installed before you make an order!

When Precision Pine plans your spiral stair the diameter is usually based on code requirements, the space available, clearances to any nearby obstructions and anticipated amount of use. We recommend ordering as large a staircase as possible for additional comfort.

The floor-to-floor height determines the number of treads required and this sets the total amount the stair will rotate as you climb it (4′-0″, 4′-6″, 5′-0″, 5’1″ and 6′-0″ spiral treads turn 30 degrees each; 5’7″ spiral treads turn 28 degrees). With the total rotation known we plan the position and orientation of the staircase for the best access to the top and bottom floors. We check that there will be adequate headroom at all areas of the spiral.

Precision Pine will send a final version of the plan for the customer’s confirmation before manufacturing.

Tools, Other Materials And Time Required: The installer will generally need the following tools and other materials:

Tools: A wood saw (an electric miter saw is ideal), hack saw, hammer, no. 2 square drive screwdriver or bit driver for an electric drill, wrenches (1/2″ and 9/16″ sockets; 1/4″ and 3/4″ closed end; either one 1-1/2″ and a 1-3/8″ open end wrench and a medium size or larger pipe wrench, or two pipe wrenches), locking pliers, electric drill (with bits of 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/4″, 3/8″, 9/16″, 1/2″ and 1″ diameters), 24″ bar clamp, two 6″ C-clamps, and two 3″ spring clamps. Additional clamps are always helpful.

You may need additional or fewer tools depending on your carpentry expertise, special installations, floor makeup and design, and/or future design improvements in the stair kits themselves.

Materials: 2x lumber for temporary bracing of stair top and 1x lumber for temporary handrail supports.

Assembly of these kits is straightforward. At least a general knowledge of carpentry techniques and tools is required. Many of our spirals are installed by home owners. Some feel more comfortable to have the work done by an experienced finish carpenter. At least two people should be on hand to install the stairs.
The time to build these stairs will vary, depending on the installer’s speed (whether experienced or not), the size, height and/or complexity of the stair, and the amount of nearby obstructions (spirals with nearby walls will usually take longer than spirals built out in the open). Spirals with balusters under the handrail will require more time than those with balusters mounted outside the rail.
As a general guide a standard, medium sized stair with minor nearby obstructions should take about two days for someone who has installed one of these spirals before. Carpenters without experience with our system have done the job just as quickly, but often require more time.
To save time the installer should read the assembly manual before starting the work. Upon request Precision Pine will send customers the assembly manual well ahead of kit delivery. We are here to answer any questions before and during the installation.

Precision Pine will send out assembly instructions well ahead of delivery of your kit. We strongly recommend that you and/or your installer read and understand the instructions BEFORE attempting to install the stair. Installation will go much faster once the process is understood.

We encourage all customers with questions to call us before beginning assembly. Call 1-877-885-8902 toll free (weekdays 8: a.m. till 4:30 p.m. EST) for help and support from our staff. With pre-arrangement we could plan to contact you when our offices are closed.

Suggested Clearances For Spiral Stairs: Precision Pine recommends a clearance of two inches from any nearby obstructions to the stair perimeter. (For example a square opening in the top floor with FINISHED dimensions of 5′-4″ by 5′-4″ will comfortably accommodate a 5′-0″ diameter stair.) Stairs have been installed in slightly tighter openings. The 5′-1″ spiral has been specifically designed to fit in a 5′-4″ by 5′-4″ opening. However, if you order a Smart Spiral or Contemporary style, you may need to provide a finished opening of at least 5′-6″ by 5′-6″.

Headroom Considerations: Adequate headroom must be provided as you pass under the top landing edge, and under the ceiling above the landing. Precision Pine plans minimum clearances of 6′-6″.

Positioning: Final positioning of the spiral is determined by the final size of the top landing. The top landing parts are supplied a bit longer than necessary in case an obstruction is not apparent during planning.

The staircase should be positioned so that it doesn’t interfere with walls, doorways, windows, interior trim materials, light switches, thermostats, receptacles etc. Remember the recommended clearance is 2″ beyond all parts of the stair perimeter, or 4″ overall. If you need to position the stairs closer to an obstruction let us make appropriate recommendations.

Floor-To-Floor Height: Floor-to-floor height is the vertical distance from the finished surface of the lower floor to the finished surface of the top floor. Each spiral staircase is set to match the customer’s floor-to-floor height, so an accurate measurement of this distance will be required when ordering. It is important to consider what finish flooring (hardwood, carpet, tile, etc.) might be added over the subfloor of either floor. The thickness of the finish flooring on either floor can increase or decrease the total floor-to-floor height.

Precision Pine will make the appropriate recommendations and adjustments to the floor-to-floor height after discussing these points with the customer. If you are estimating the approximate floor-to-floor height for a price quote, remember to add the thickness of the top floor system (often 10-1/2″ or more) to the ceiling height over the lower floor.

Stair Orientation: Stair orientation involves which way the staircase will turn and the best direction to get on and off the stairs. Your floor-to-floor height will determine how many treads are required, therefore how much the stair will turn from top to bottom. As you climb a RIGHT HAND staircase the handrail will be on your right. A LEFT HAND staircase handrail will be on your left. Usually you want to step onto the stairs with a clear access from an open part of the room, and exit off them into an open area. When possible some customers orient the stairs to enhance the visual effect on the lower floor.

Tall and Stacked Spirals: Spiral stairs may be ordered to suit any floor-to-floor height, but particularly tall units (usually floor-to-floor dimensions above 12 feet) may require permanent side bracing. Precision Pine advises customers when this is necessary and supplies side bracing at no additional charge.

Stacked spirals may be ordered to climb between three or more floor systems. In these cases the upper staircase starts up from the lower staircase top landing.

Precision Pine offers a free design service at no obligation to the customer. With this design you will see how the spiral will be installed before you make an order!