External staircase

scala esterna

External staircase

Do you need to build a staircase on the outside of your house? On this page we are collecting information and advice for you.
You will find a small technical but also photographic path to help you imagine and design the staircase that will become the staircase of your home. 

We will examine the following aspects of external stairs


About external stairs: construction in Verona

In Verona, we designed and built this outdoor staircase in porphyry and stone, shaping the risers and treads of the steps. To see all the photos click: 

porphyry and stone external staircase

External staircase: characteristics

What characteristics should an external staircase have? As with external floors, the staircase must also:
► resist frost
not be slippery
These two requirements cannot be waived, so the staircase must be designed and built to meet these two criteria. 
The materials used to cover the steps must also respect these two fundamental criteria.

But there are also some requests that we usually receive, such as:
► the steps must not be too easily soiled
We are outdoors and therefore have to deal with dirt, leaves, dirty shoes... for the same reason:
► the steps must be easy to clean

Porphyry, pebble and white stone staircase

In this house, we have created the external paving and this double staircase leading from the street level to the mezzanine access to the two buildings. After the first three straight steps, the two avenues separate to form two curves with a flowerbed inside. Read all about this project here:
semi-detached house in verona: external paving

External staircase: types

The function of stairs in the exterior of the house is to facilitate the vertical movement of people around the building, allowing them to overcome differences in height. 
External stairs can be of various types, for example:

  • entrance staircases
  • secondary stairs
  • external stairs leading to an entrance on an upper floor

The last type of staircase is perhaps the least common nowadays because the tendency is to insert stairs leading to upper floors inside. This was not the case in the 1960s when many houses had an external flight of stairs made of concrete or metal, on which concrete or stone steps were then placed. 

The most common types of stairs are the first ones, those that compensate for a slight difference in level in the garden between the living area and the street. The entrance staircase has a decisive influence on the home and must be carefully studied and designed. It is usually connected to an entrance, which can be a porch, and to the pavement that surrounds the house. 

Generally in this type of staircase, the calculation for determing the riser and tread provides for deeper treads and slightly lower risers. The width of the staircase/ pathway is usually about 100/120 centimetres and the materials chosen range from porphyry to prun stone and porcelain stoneware

External service stairs are used as a connection between the ramp of the driveway and the pavement of the house, or to compensate for the different levels of the pavement, or at the back of the house to connect the living area to private play or relaxation areas. In these cases, deep steps are generally not created, but the ratio between riser and tread is the classic one (30 cm tread and 18 cm riser).

Porphyry staircase in Vicenza

An outdoor staircase must be safe and visually impactful: in this case it was made of a natural material with excellent slip resistance.

Read more details about this porphyry staircase here: EXTERNAL STAIRCASE IN VICENZA

What materials for an external staircase?

Here at Pellizzari we have a wide choice of materials that can be used to build an external staircase in the garden. Some are also suitable for solid use, others are only suitable for covering a concrete staircase. 
Let's take a look at some of them:
Prun or Lessinia stone
Trentino porphyry
► Luserna stone
► Tibetan stone or Indian quartzite
Porcelain stoneware

 In the following articles and in the gallery you will find ideas, photos and suggestions on the world of outdoor stairs. 

External office stairs in Vicenza

We made these external square porphyry stairs for the offices of a company in the north of Vicenza. Here you can find more photos:

company external stairs in vicenza


What materials for your external staircase?

Each material has its pros and cons.

Porphyry has the best slip resistance, but you need to like a rather rustic look and a dark colour. As a volcanic material, it can easily withstand frost and weather, but is difficult to work with due to its extreme hardness.

White prun stone (as well as trani or vicenza stone) is very refined, extremely elegant and can be shaped, worked in bullnose or to create rounded steps. Unfortunately, like almost all marble, it is absorbent and, over time, frost, the use of aggressive detergents or de-icing salt can ruin it.

Stoneware does not have a rough, non-slip surface like porphyry, but it is just as frost resistant and does not stain. It has a reduced thickness (usually 1 cm, but nowadays there are also 2 cm thick stoneware tiles) and the dimensions dictated by the size of the tile (although today there are very generous formats thanks to the production technique of large slabs).

External stoneware staircase, Vicenza

External Prun stone staircase, Vicenza

External marble staircase, Verona

External staircase in wood-effect stoneware, Vicenza

Marble and porphyry external staircase, Verona

Trentino porphyry staircase, sawn steps

External porphyry cubed staircase

External marble staircase, Vicenza

External stone staircase, Vicenza

External stone staircase in a private house in Vicenza. More photos here:

Villa in Vicenza: stone staircase

External stairs made of various materials

Coat your external staircase in the provinces of Vicenza and Verona!

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