Remodeling and Home Design

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    Jenny Nybro Peterson

    Susan, I have to look that formula up every time! I am not a math girl, but it's so important to remember these ratios and also be aware of local codes for steps and stairways. I find stairs one of the more difficult things to design, but you're convincing me that I can channel my inner math geek and prevail!

    Scott Hokunson

    An interesting take on this topic, and great advice! I wonder how many plant folk stayed with you? Very sticky point not putting plants first in design, but I agree. Your work is beautiful!


    I like how you zeroed in on a particular type of path and gave us the technical aspects of it. I bet most clients are not aware of how much thought -- and math! -- goes into a great outdoor stairway. Your examples are inspiring, and I'll be keeping your thoughts in mind as I design a new stepped entry for my own home eventually.

    Robert Webber

    Hi Susan, Thanks for dealing with such great points and developing them all so well. Detail like this is what makes everything else work well and creates safety and good pace, no pun intended, around the space. Completely agree with all your measurements and also with all your time use. Snap!


    Susan, you have returned me to my community college landscape design classes and the words of Mr. Bud Merrill, my excellent teacher! Thank you for writing such a thorough and useful post - I am going to print it off and put the pages inside my landscape design reference book. Superb!
    PS, great photos, too!

    rebecca sweet

    And THIS is why you're my favorite co-authors EVER! Seriously good stuff here Susan. Practical and useful to so many people, I'm sure. Like Debra above, I think I'll be printing this out and adding it to my own reference book.

    Jocelyn/the art garden

    Poorly designed stairs are one of my pet peeves (and oddly, quite common). This is a wonderful explanation - and illustration - of how to do it right, and do it beautifully. Thank you!!


    This is so helpful, Susan. I've actually bookmarked it for fast reference in future. Awesome!!

    Shirley Bovshow "EdenMaker"

    10 Stars for this information-rich article on staircase design!

    I don't think I've read a more clear and comprehensive explanation on the important details of stair design for the lay person.

    You are such an effective communicator Susan, I foresee many books dripping from your talented hands!


    Enjoyed this post - thanks! I've also added you to my blog roll if you don't checking out your blog and am curious and new to the landscape designer blog world. Cheer!

    Lorien, thanks for stopping by and welcome to the world of garden blogging! And thank you for the blog roll add - always appreciated.


    This is a wonderful reminder of the thought about technical aspects of a design that are required. I remember that the stairs at Lincoln Center in NYC finally had to be ripped out and replaced because they did not accomodate natural stride and caused many accidents.

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