Give a single-flight staircase a little more impact

May 01, 2013 2 min read

Those of us who live in single-story residences, often referred to as ranch-style dwellings, know what it's like to operate on a single level. While it's nice to an extent to live in a house where all of the rooms are on the same floor, these residences are seldom constructed on entirely level ground. 

In order to match up with an uneven foundation as a result of a lot that's not even, many single-story homes have small staircases leading from one part of the house to another. These steps differ from a standard staircase because you'll be able to see where they are leading as it is essentially on the same floor and they often consist of just one or two treads. 

Most of us encounter these small staircases just about every day, though we'll hardly notice them at all. But if you have small children or live with the elderly, even small steps like this need to be considered a potential safety hazard. 

Assuming that everyone in your home is entirely mobile, there's no need to cover your stairs with a ramp. Simply add a stair rail to the wall near the steps so that everyone - young and old - can hold on if need be. If you feel that your steps are too broad for this to be a practical solution, take a page from Greek Revival architects and place your balustrade in the middle, giving everyone a chance to hold on to something should they be at risk for losing their footing. 

You may be worried that this will spoil the looks of a clean-lined house, and if you are, consider making your step stand out a little more. Painting the risers an interesting color, for instance, can make it visible and interesting. 

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