Q&A Jennifer Sheahan: Will removing the bannister of the stairs make my hall look bigger?

Irish Examiner columnist and Home of the Year 2021 winner Jennifer Sheahan has the answer to your questions
Q&A Jennifer Sheahan: Will removing the bannister of the stairs make my hall look bigger?

QUESTION

I want to remove the bannister on my stairs to open up the hall — would you approve? 

I feel it would greatly improve the area and make it look much more modern. 

I love your home so much and the tips!

ANSWER

I love this idea! Bannisters can visually take up a lot of space and block off the light. 

Here are a couple of considerations to think about: Building regulations require a bannister on at least one side of the stairs in private dwellings. 

This is because climbing stairs without bannisters can be difficult — I especially find it useful to lean on a bannister when I’m trying to carry something heavy up the stairs! 

However, this could be a simple handrail mounted on the wall side.

If you’re worried about the open stairs being a safety problem you could look at clear bannister panels. 

These are usually made from acrylic, lucite, or toughened glass. 

Jennifer Sheahan outside her renoved artisan's cottage. Picture: Joe McCallion
Jennifer Sheahan outside her renoved artisan's cottage. Picture: Joe McCallion

They would provide the stability and safety of a bannister while visually opening up the space. 

Keep a cloth handy as they may need a wipe from time to time!

  • Got a question for Jennifer Sheahan or any of our Home team? Email home@examiner.ie

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