Building, Design, Loft Conversion
comments 46

Banisters, balustrades and building regs

Open plan landing and staircase

So where were we?

That’s right, we were here. Awaiting new carpets, a banister and handrail.

White landing staircase Negative Space

I did not want a banister or a handrail. But the building inspector does. And I guess it’s not that realistic to keep it like this forever. Even though is looks so purty.

After mulling over several ideas (metal, glass, A.N. Other, you can check out all of my ideas here on Pinterest) we stuck with what we knew and also what we liked best.

Birch Plywood Spindles


Not just any old timber though. Two 24mm sheets of birch ply laminated to form a 48mm depth board and then ripped into cross sections. These lengths
would become our “spindles”.

Baton fixed to ceiling

We fixed a timber baton to the ceiling to make sure the top of the spindle, once screwed in, aligned itself vertically so the bottom of the spindle attached perfectly to the side of the staircase stringer.

The baton was filled and sanded back several times, then caulked and painted over in emulsion to make it appear part of the plastered ceiling. In fact you can’t really see it in the next photo, but that’s what Chris my lovely joiner is screwing the top of the spindles into.

Banister being fitted

Fixing the spindles to the stringer

All of the fixings were countersunk so we can fill, sand and paint the facings of the spindles white in due course.

Fixing the spindles to the stringer

So from this view, you won’t see any screw holes. It will all appear white.

Birch ply spindles

But from this view, you will get to see all the beautiful lamination in the ply. Just like you can in the stair treads.

Open Riser Staircase

Full height ply spindles

The spindles were fixed 95mm apart in order to comply with building regs. Apparently if you can get a 100mm sphere through a gap, it’s considered dangerous. You might fall through or your child might get their head stuck or something. Which is ridiculous, as Charlie has a massive head, just like his dad.

Design detail

Loft extension staircase

Open plan landing and staircase

We’ve still got a few bits to sort and a handrail to fit, but we’re getting there. If anyone would like to read more about the stairs by the way, click over here.

View this post on Instagram

Today, I've got @_dustychris_ (covered in ply dust) finally getting the banister fitted on our first floor staircase. After originally going for metal (which didn't work out so well), then debating glass (and discounting) we finally settled on timber. And it's finally coming together five months after we completed our loft conversion. We've still got a few spindles left to go up and then there's some paintwork and varnishing to sort. But so far so good! Who knows we might even have got past building regs by the end of this month (frickin hate building regs). . . . #plywood #stairporn #scandi #ply #joinery #barejoinery #makingspaces #designupnorth #staircase #banister #minimal #scandinavian #myhomevibe #realhomes #instahome #instainterior #sassyhomestyle #styleithappy #openplan #minimal #timber #interiors #interiordesign #interiors123 #interiors4all #3bedsemi #loftextension #loftconversion

A post shared by Karen Knox – Making Spaces (@makingspacesnet) on

More pics…

Full height ply banister

Minimal Staircase and Banister

Minimal Staircase and Banister

Here’s how the spindles look at the top fixed onto the baton.

Full height spindles and picture ledge

They’ve been fixed so they sit slightly higher than the baton as I want to use this as a picture ledge for artwork, post cards and the like. Should be a pretty cool feature as you come up the stairs.

Loft staircase

Unfinished ply spindles

And a couple of pics from the stairs below.

Birch ply treads with open risers

Looks pretty cool doesn’t it?

Birch ply treads with open risers

So what do you think peeps? Do you like? We’re really happy with it, will be even more so when we’ve painted two faces white.

Open Riser Staircase

Wish us luck in finally getting our build signed off peeps. I’d better get practising my best smile for the building inspector hadn’t I.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.