To begin with, one-floor wooden houses are fascinating with their unique layout and simpler design. However, if you have a smaller plot, a two-floor building becomes practically inevitable – you must have space not only for the house but also for the leisure time outside of it. What do you have to know to make sure your two-floor summer house shed will be planned as practically as possible? How to assure the installation price of the second floor would not surprise you in a bad way.
Is it worth installing two-floor summer houses?
Nowadays, when attitudes towards the workplace have become much more flexible and opportunities to escape to nature have become much greater, the need for comfort in holiday homes has also increased. Therefore, we can find a big variety of wooden houses in the market that are much more reminiscent of modern, permanent housing than square, primitive country houses. The truth is, to be able to install a spacious log cabin on your garden plot that meets your needs for different premises, it is necessary to rethink the future project carefully
One-floor summer houses can be a good choice if you do not lack space on your plot - this means that there will be enough space for all outdoor activities (even after the house is built). In this case, experts recommend considering a way much modern cottage design, which often requires a little more space. There are many examples on the internet of how unique log cabins could look if you install a spacious terrace, a roof, or just choose a non-standard house layout. It is also a fact that by choosing a one-floor summer house shed you will be able to focus on its unique layout more than on the technical aspects, highly important for two-floor houses.
However, if the area of the plot is limited and you would not like to sacrifice all the space dedicated for outdoor vacation, we recommend considering a two-floor house. It will let you save space on the plot, as well as money for the construction of the house.
One and two-floor cottages: the main difference
When deciding whether a one- or two-floor garden house would be the best choice for your plot, you should be aware that the key difference between these options is the additional cost of second-floor ceilings and stairs. After all, the latter must not only have a good appearance but also be a high-quality one and meet all safety requirements.
When designing the ceiling for the second floor, it is important to know that it can be made from both wood and concrete. Wooden partitions have a much lower price as they do not require additional formwork. Such partitions are easy to install, and the insulating materials, as well as communications of the garden house, can be hidden in the floor constructions themselves. True, compared to concrete, wooden floors have one major drawback – the dynamic sound insulation is considered as their weak point in general. However, this problem can be easily solved by using a double layer of hardened OSB. It is important to know that to install a high-quality wooden floor, it is necessary to calculate its future loads well, otherwise, the disadvantages of wooden floors will occur. If you decide to lay the floor yourself, listen to the experts as much as possible. The concrete option avoids those problems that usually arise when workers have a lack of expertise or people decide to install the second floor of the house independently.
Stairs in the house are significant both functionally and visually - unlimited stair size, shapes, and a wide choice of materials allow you to create unique staircase design solutions that complement the interior. However, perhaps the main criteria when choosing stairs for your home should be their safety and comfort.
First of all, before looking around the stairs, evaluate what space you can allocate to them. For example, a wide and twisted staircase with a modern design will not be the most suitable choice in summer houses that already have a lack of space. Secondly, although we often give a priority to an original design when installing stairs, it is recommended to start with the choice of safety details and the shape of the stairs. For example, if there are children or the elderly in the house, the beautiful but uncomfortable shape of the stairs will make their lives much harder. In this case, you should choose a non-slippery stairs cover, such as natural wood, carpet, or PVC linoleum, and pay more attention to the railings.
The third aspect that is recommended to consider is the design of the stairs. Keeping in mind that stairs are a long-term thing, we recommend choosing the most subtle and versatile design. In this case, changing the style of the house will not require remodeling the stairs. Last but not least, the budget for the stairs is considered. In this case, those who want to save should reject the idea of a uniquely designed staircase and stick to the simple, straight staircase option that will do its job perfectly.
How to choose a safe staircase?
The truth is that when installing the interior of a house, we are usually particularly concerned about the future design of its interior, but it is necessary to start with safety factors. It should be borne in mind that for stairs to be truly safe and comfortable, very precise calculations must be performed before the installation works could start. There are cases when a very small error of a few centimeters damages the entire design of the stairs.
One of the most important rules in terms of safety is the same height of the stairs. Given that stairs are made particularly early, perhaps the main reason for the differences in the height of the stairs is the unpredictable design of floor level. Generally speaking, the height of the first and upper steps is determined by the height of the floor or interlayer present at that time.
Secondly, although the width of the steps itself does not have a direct impact on safety, the correct ratio of the height to the width of the steps is a particularly important factor. According to the general rules, the height of the steps is usually 15-19 cm. Therefore, when calculating the proportions of the steps, the distance between the first and second floors should be divided by the nearest number that allows you to get the standard height. As the height of the steps is reduced or increased, the width of the stairs changes accordingly: a change in height of 1 cm changes the width of the stairs by 2 cm. The minimum depth of the step according to official requirements should be at least 22 cm, measured from the edge to the point where the new step begins.
The third important aspect when looking for safe stairs is their angle of inclination. When designing stairs for two-floor summer houses, it is important to keep in mind that their angle of inclination must not exceed 45 degrees. If the angle at which the house stairs are inclined is greater, the stairs are only suitable if they lead to extremely rarely used rooms.
Fourth and no less important is to ensure that a two-floor summer house shed has safe stairs cover. The properly selected material is non-slip, so it is recommended to avoid glass, natural stone, or tile. Probably the least slippery materials suitable for stair coverings could be natural wood, carpet, or even PVC linoleum.
To make two-floor summer houses projects be truly safe, it is important to keep in mind railings as well. According to the technical recommendations, the recommended safe height of stair railings is from 80 to 90 cm, but if children or the elderly live in the house, it needs to be adjusted. We also recommend considering handrails from vertical elements, as horizontal ones are not safe enough - small children often come up with the idea to use horizontal elements as a ladder.
Are two-floor houses more expensive?
Considering the price of one- and two-floor summer houses, it should be emphasized that this difference usually depends on the choice of building materials and stairs. As mentioned earlier, when choosing a concrete partition for a second-floor installation, it will cost you more, but less attention will need to be paid to load calculations and sound insulation. In the case of a wooden partition, you will spend less money on the partition.
However, the choice of stairs will significantly affect the price much more than the type of partition chosen. The truth is, while the exact prices of many structures and items can easily be found online, stair manufacturers usually provide only preliminary costs for the manufacture and installation of stairs. This is because the final price of the stairs is determined by many important factors, such as the layout, location, height, and finish of the stairs.
It is quite common for the cost of work to fluctuate due to additional factors observed during the design process. For this reason, to make the calculations as accurate as possible, it is recommended to submit a house project to the contractor and discuss the essential preferences. It will allow a more comprehensive assessment of not only the cost of future stairs but also additional nuances. It will also make it easier to ensure that your design does not conflict with mandatory stair installation rules.
However, according to common practice, the average cost of stairs usually ranges from € 850 to € 2,500. However, choosing an exclusive staircase design or unique architectural solutions can increase this price drastically. The materials picked for the construction of the stairs will have the same effect on the price.
For those looking for the simplest possible stair solution, a single-level wooden staircase is usually recommended. Whether they connect the first and second floors or lead to the attic, this type of staircase is the most economical way to connect the two floors in a straight structure without additional nuances. It will be cheaper to install such stairs if you choose pine or other coniferous wood for their production. Otherwise, if you choose hardwood, such as oak, for the stairs, the total cost of the stairs will increase significantly – the usual, straight stairs will cost on average from 900 to 2,000 euros.
Those who want a slightly more interesting design of summer houses usually choose a slightly winding staircase. It is quite similar to a straight staircase but mostly has a single, 90-degree bend. The price of a single-floor curved wooden staircase made of softwood usually starts at € 1,200, and if such stairs are made of hardwood, they usually cost more than € 3,000.
Slightly more modern two-floor summer houses are usually installed by choosing a half-decent staircase, which consists of two or three parallel stairs connected by pitches. This type of stair not only looks quite original but also saves space. In most cases, the price of this type of semi-decent stairs starts at € 1,000 and can increase to more than € 3,000, depending on the construction and finishing materials used.
Probably the most expensive type of staircase is considered to be a spiral staircase, which is usually made of metal. The production of such stairs is also possible from wood, but a rather complex process increases the cost of work as well as the cost of the materials themselves. Due to their unique design, spiral staircases are usually chosen when the space in the room where the stairs are planned is the largest. The cost of this type of staircase starts from 1,800 euros, but depending on the size, design, and materials used can rise to more than 5,000 euros.