Transforming an existing property into the home of your dreams takes vision, ingenuity and determination. Homeowner Annette Andrews and her project team showed these qualities in abundance with a spectacular refurbishment centred around a stunning twisted column oak spiral staircase from British Spirals & Castings.
The extensive work at the Billericay home saw the internal floorplan torn up and walls torn down to create light, open living spaces. Right in the centre of the property, Annette chose to replace the existing kited staircase with a statement spiral staircase. “I have always wanted a spiral staircase and one with ‘wow’ factor.” she explained. “Once I saw the twisted column staircase, I knew anything else would be a compromise”.
Pivoting gracefully around a hollow, twisting column, the handcrafted staircase’s curved treads create and effortless sweeping motion. The solid wood design is made in a single piece with all fixings hidden, giving it an organic feel which emanates quality and distinction.
With the staircase chosen, the next task was measuring up and finalising the bespoke design. Project manager, Rob Drumgold worked closely with British Spirals & Castings throughout the work:
“I met Richard Harding on site very early on in the work, and we discussed the complexities of the project. We were a little short on width on the upstairs landing to fit the stairs in, so between us we decided to move the bedroom wall over to give us enough room. Further on in the construction, I had several conversations with Antonia Harding to discuss some of the more accurate measurements. They provided assistance all the way through the design stage and prior to fitting. The service is some of the best I have ever come across in my 38 years working as a carpenter-builder.”
In addition to ensuring a seamless final fit, there was also the challenge of getting the wide diameter staircase into place. “The staircase was delivered when we had the front window of the lounge out. This gave us enough room to get the part assembled stairs within the house.” Rob explained. “I had discussed all the dimensions needed to get it in the house with Antonia. I would always recommend that owners make sure they have enough space to allow a staircase both into the house and exactly where it needs to be fitted.”
Once assembled, the staircase remained in the lounge for around a week whilst Rob and his team fitted the stair trimming, ready to receive the stairs. The staircase was then installed during the first fix stage, prior to plastering. Rob’s experience as a carpenter ensured the work was completed quickly and accurately- including the all-important fitting of the handrails and spindles
.“The twisted handrail and spindles all needed to be glued and fitted in one go. The mortise and tenon joints on the handrail (where they connect to the newel posts) and all the spindles were all glued and fitted at the same time. We use a foamy glue that expands to fill all the gaps, a bit like expanding foam. The only challenge is it does set quite quickly, so all the work had to be done fairly promptly. By making sure we were fully prepared before starting the work, we could ensure it all went smoothly and the end result was excellent.
Since this staircase has been fitted and coated with three coats of hard wax oil, it has had a terrific response from everyone who has visited the house. My scaffolding contractor, who has worked on many high-quality projects, could not believe how beautifully it was made and commented it was the best set of stairs he had ever seen.”
With the refurbishment work completed, Annette Andrew’s home has been revitalised. Large folding doors open out invitingly from the open plan kitchen diner area into the lavish garden. Upstairs, rooms have been re-modelled with large vaulted ceilings and electrically operated Velux windows fitted to all the bedrooms and above the galleried staircase. This fills the house with natural light and, at its heart, the twisted column spiral staircase takes pride of place – a testament to the quality of the work.
Commenting on the fully-installed staircase, Annette Andrews said:
“It looks fabulous and is now the talking point when people come into the house. Everyone has remarked on how stunning it looks and what good quality and amazing workmanship. I couldn’t be happier!”.
Rob Drumgold added:
“British Spirals and Castings should be congratulated on the outstanding quality of this product and the service they provide. I definitely will be using them again if we have a client who requires a spiral staircase. I would recommend them without hesitation. The client is very pleased with the end result, and that is the most important thing for us as a company. We rely on referrals and let our work speak for the quality we deliver so it is essential to have companies like British Spirals & Castings we can call on.”