When you're choosing a new staircase design for your home, the first thing you need to consider is if there are local building codes that would affect your choice of style or building materials. Once you've consulted with your city or county or other such municipality about their restrictions or requirements, you might note a few other considerations that could affect your choice of staircase designs for your home.
You may know to consider the safety of children when choosing a staircase style, but may forget to think about your pets! Smaller animals that aren't accustomed to stairs can risk falling over the edge of an open side, and may also struggle with very tall risers. Solid glass panels under the rails can ensure that active puppies or clumsy cats don't tumble off the stairs, and making the staircase longer, twisting or curving it if necessary, can means shorter risers that are better for smaller animals.
On the other hand, larger animals may not be comfortable walking up very small stairs, and may need deeper risers to accommodate their longer legs. Very active dogs may tend to slip on plain wood or stone steps, so something with a bit more tread or a carpet runner up the middle of the stairs may make things safer for them.
Elderly persons and physical limitations
If there is an elderly person in the home, or someone with arthritis or even a bad back, they may not need to use an elevator to reach a second story, but may appreciate a landing in the middle of the stairs. This allows them to comfortably stop and catch their breath, or give their knees a rest, before making their way up the rest of the stairs. Also, avoid winding staircases and very steep stairs if anyone in the home might find them cumbersome.
Light and heat
If the home's staircase will be located in direct sunlight, or under a heating vent, you need to consider if the material for the railing and the stairs themselves may get overly hot. Metal stairs and a metal rail can add a very modern look to your home's staircase, but can get uncomfortably hot when exposed to direct sunlight or too much heat. Glass stairs can look very stately, but they may reflect light and create an uncomfortable glare. Be sure you consider the placement of the stairs and any surrounding light when choosing the staircase material, to ensure your comfort when using the stairs.