How does one buy a staircase? According to Arden’s Matthew Browne, interested individuals should either have pre-drawn plans or an approximate budget when they first contact the company. While Arden can design according to a budget, or quote based on a plan, it’s virtually impossible to design in a vacuum without a clear notion of cost.
There are two primary ways a staircase comes into existence: either through what is known as a design, construct and install service, or a construct and install service. In a construct and install service, an architect presents plans to Arden, which the firm uses to create a 3 to 4 page quote, thoroughly detailing the cost of every design element. The client then approves both the quote and the drawings. Arden fabricates and installs the staircase, a process which usually takes about five weeks after the approval of the quote.
In a design, construct and install service, the process differs only in that the client asks Arden to design the staircase. For the staircase in the North Brisbane Residence 04 (http://www.arden.net.au/Projects/North-Brisbane-Residence-04.aspx), the client wanted a cantilevered stair design featuring timber treads within a budget of $35,000. Although cantilevered stairs traditionally require a concrete wall, Arden’s design team managed to utilize two steel walls to effect the cantilever. The resulting staircase embodies openness, light, and the successful adherence to the client’s budget.
The most costly aspects of a staircase are not the materials, but the style. Potential clients may browse Arden’s extensive online portfolio in order to help them visualize the structural style of their ideal staircase. Arden can then create a custom design which combines the desired form and the client’s suggested budget.
“Nothing is more frustrating than developing an idea that can’t be used,” Matthew Brown explains. “We want to design staircases that we can build and our clients can afford.”