Stairs to roof deck - what is the least bad option?

5 months ago

We are planning a major renovation with a roof deck, and we are having trouble deciding the best option for stairs to the deck. The house is an extremely narrow inner-city terrace (only ~4.1 metres wide) so any stair takes up a lot of important space. For that reason, right now we have designed the staircase outside off the 1st floor deck with a spiral going up to the roof.

Here are all the options:

1. [Current choice] Outdoor spiral staircase

  • Pros: The spiral takes up less room. Being outside means we save indoor space (more room for the dining room/kitchen). You also don't have to open a roof hatch at the top of the stairs like you would if the stairs were inside. Plus you get some city views from the stairs.
  • Cons: We have two young kids and a spiral staircase is not ideal - especially if we want to carry things up to the roof deck. The spiral staircase cost is also estimated to be quite high around ~$15K - which is like half the cost of the roof deck itself. A regular stair might cost $4K. Lastly it does take space from our 1st floor deck.

2. Indoor side wall staircase: this would go up the wall of our dining room/kitchen to a hatch in the roof.

  • Pros: Ease-of-use would be better since it wouldn't be a spiral, and it would be easy to take stuff up to the deck from the kitchen.
  • Cons: It would cut off a significant part of our dining/kitchen area

3. Continue indoor stair from middle of house: We already have a stair in the middle of the house leading from the ground floor to the 1st floor - this would extend the stair up through the 1st floor to the roof.

  • Pros: This would save the most space as it wouldn't mean losing any floor space.
  • Cons: It would block a lot of light and flow between the living room and dining room since it would essentially cut right between them. Not ideal with a family when you want as much visibility as possible.

What would your choice be?

Attached are the three options.

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