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Southern Home Design - the Grand Staircase

Services for Real Estate Pros with Tim Barron Architect, Inc.

Southern Home Design - the Grand StaircaseGrand Staircase

As I think about it, one of the features that makes a Southern Home grand is a Grand Staircase. A Southern Home doesn't need a staircase to be southern. In fact, most of the southern homes I remember from my youth didn't have stairs - they were one level (or at least - nearly level). But I can remember the impression that homes with a Grand Staircase made on me - it was like "Wow!"

I can't really put my finger on why - maybe you can help me with this. Part of me says it started with Scarlet descending the stairs in Tara, but I'm pretty sure my amazed reactions started before I saw "Gone With the Wind" the first time. (I was an "active child" and my parents didn't make a habit of taking me to long movies.) The years I spent in Louisiana really deepened my appreciation for the glory of the Grand Staircase. Many of the plantation homes along the Mississippi had beautiful, sweeping stairs detailed with intricate wrought iron railings and carriage trim. This influence found its way into the nicer "modern" homes where my friends lived.

It seems that stairs in homes these days are usually pretty bland - even in expensive homes. And that's a shame. Yes it costs a bit more to do something special, but it's a drop in the bucket when you're spending several hundred thousand for a home. When Designing Southern Home Plans, I incorporate items that make a home special and on my list of features where a little extra money will make a huge difference in perceived value, this has to be in the top 5.

In some ways, it's even easier to build beautiful stairs now than it was back then. The sweeping, freestanding stair shown above was hand-made by an elderly craftsman, done the old way because my client wanted it that way. But this stair could also have beenSouthern Home Stair built with a prefab wooden stair for about $5,000 more than a straight run stair. Prefab stairs come complete with railings and trim, ready to install. As an option, they can provide the structure, and then a finish carpenter can add the trim. Take a look at these prefab stairs by Southern Staircase, Inc. in Alpharetta Georgia. These beautiful grand staircases can easily be a part of your Southern Home Plan.

And if you can't wrap your mind around the idea of a curved stair, at the left, you see a simple, straight run stair with 2 landings that looks pretty grand! This stair takes up 24 square feet more than a straight run stair, and added very little cost.Southern Home Stair

Some people think you have to have a HUGE home to have a grand staircase. This is not true. If you don't believe me, consider this - Fowler Custom Homes built this beautiful stair on the right in a 2500 square foot home in the Preserve in Hoover, Alabama! When you walk into this Southern Home, you get that WOW feeling, even in a smaller space.

If you are looking at the stairs in your home and wishing for something better (like I justStair Light did!), don't fret. There are some simple ways to dress up an existing staircase. Little details like a starter tread, box newels, turn-out volutes, or new railings and pickets can make a dramatic difference. The trick is working with your staircase to get the right trick to make it more grand. I can help you with that - and I'm just a click away!