One of the biggest risks associated with building stairs during the construction or renovation of your home is that they will collapse, causing the people working on or using them to be seriously injured. These injuries could range from minor scrapes, bruises and broken bones to major head injuries and even death. Whilst you should avoid these sorts of collapses at all costs, it can often be helpful to understand what causes them in the first place. This will ensure that you are very aware of what you are doing when building.

  • Poor quality materials
    Unfortunately, some people (homeowners and contractors alike) will try to save some money by purchasing low quality materials for building stairs. If the materials have not been specifically marked as suitable for use in these sorts of constructions, you are risking them collapsing under the weight of users or of other materials.
  • Poor quality construction
    Some people will also attempt the construction of stairs themselves, which can be very problematic if they have no experience with this sort of work. Even if you employ a contractor, however, this does not mean that they will exercise the appropriate processes. Improper construction can also cause the flight to collapse eventually.
  • Not enough materials
    Some people (homeowners and contractors alike) will also try to save some money by not purchasing enough materials for the construction of the stairs. They will simply purchase the bare minimum and will make do with what they have. This will mean that the construction is not properly undertaken and that it could all fall apart.
  • Lack of reinforcement
    The area where most mistakes are made is in the reinforcement of the stairs. This is in the form of the joists that support the individual treads, the handrails and balustrading, and the way the flight is connected to the top and bottom. This can severely weaken the overall structure and is actually the most common cause of collapse.

It is important to note that the source of a collapse when building stairs will be investigated thoroughly, especially if someone was injured. If it is found that the collapse was due to one party’s negligence, they may be held financially responsible (both for paying to have the stairs fixed and paying for the injured person’s medical bills). In some cases, the contractors responsible for the construction may be at fault and, in others, the homeowners who commissioned the flight may be at fault. Sometimes both are.

Unfortunately, some of these incidents cannot be predicted. We generally trust that the process of building stairs is undertaken correctly and rarely second guess how safe we are before it is too late. This trust that we have can sometimes backfire, as shown in the number of stair-related accidents and injuries that occur each year. If you are worried about your flight collapsing, make sure that you speak with the contractor in charge of the construction and never attempt to do this yourself (unless you have experience).