I can recognise that!

Nevertheless, this week have built a spiral staircase that’s only been eleven years in the planning(!)

Hard work, but great fun - it’s like Meccano for grown-ups (which isn’t to knock grown-ups who use Meccano or Erector). Remember this from Newcastle Baltic’s inaugurational private view.


Well done!

Seeing the word spiral sent me back 60 years to architectural school, why I‘m not sure, where I had to construct the shadow cast by a cone onto a sphere. I think a pyramid was in there as well somewhere. Great accuracy & determination was needed with pencil then ink pen on cartridge paper, using a drawing board, T-square, set square, ruler & compass.

One degree out constructing a metal spiral staircase….? What plus or minus allowances are allowed?

Thanks, it was complicated. We got the all important starting point right first time, but it still took three attempts to get everything else correct!

I’d used an online CAD programme to work out whether it was possible to get enough headroom when passing underneath a a large beam. It had seemed OK, but then wasn’t - because we were following the staircase plans. fortunately by removing one step that contributed nothing to the descent, all was OK.

But I take your point, spiral staircases and their ilk, are really hard to visualise, particularly if working from 2D printed plans. But ours now works well and makes a huge difference.


If you have another project like this send me your 2D plans with the elevatons etc. Required LOI and LOD. I’ll send you them in 3D with the take offs and schedules.
Forgot to say aussi the section cuts etc in 2D


We thought about a spiral staircase for when we do the loft conversion but getting furniture upstairs made it impractical for us, though I really wanted one

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Once lived in a house with a spiral staircase up to my “office”. We had to take out a window to get a desk in. A pedant pal pointed out that the stairs weren’t really spiral because the diameter didn’t increase or decrease as you went up – the definition of a spiral. If I was feeling particularly pretentious, I’d call them my helical stairs.


A French nurse found a stray cat outside her front door which I later collected with a view to finding an adopter. Had a call from an English woman who wanted to adopt a shelter cat. She had two children and three shelter dogs.

Amazing. The cat wandered confidently about her house, we followed him, his tail high, exploring everywhere, including a spiral staircase which was built child size, for the kids & the pets.

Cat felt at home straight away, then the kids were later introduced, and then the dogs! Cat took over, undeterred by kids or dogs. Happy ending and I was very impressed with Dad paying out to provide his children with their own very special helical wooden staircase.



The 3D CAD programme I used to calculate was on a spiral staircase web site and was very simple to use I first used AutoCAD and 3D Studio 30 years ago, but this calculator was virtually automatic, one just enters all the necessary co-ordinates.

This is a neat little explanatory video on how one assembles a similar staircase - I think they used a digital skyhook to suspend the plumb line. We didn’t have one of those!

Escalier en colimaçon en Kit Viva - Upstairs24 - YouTube

One reason it’s not inconvenient for us is that our three storey house has an entry on every floor (it’s built into a steeply sloping schist rock face.)

The French is even more ‘pretentious’ - escalier heliocoidal

That’s one up on our house in Wales. A row of houses had been built by blasting a wedge out of a steep hill made of slate, and the houses built from the slate. We had an entry door on both floors and a steeply terraced garden which was about 30 foot above the roof at it’s top. It was like an Andean terraced garden.

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Just discovered that the said house has just been sold. Here’s a picture from the property listing. The first floor door was at the back of the house and this is half way up the back garden :open_mouth:

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Did you need ropes and crampons for gardening?

I just leave our steep bits alone - mainly wild box and vines