Code issues - the usual prescriptive requirements apply - only different ones; and, most importantly, where you may use a spiral stair is spelled out. A critical issue is that a spiral stair is not treated as a means of egress, except in certain cases. In all others, spiral stairs are considered an incidental stair.
But the cost at about $2,000-$3,000 per vertical linear foot is a major reason for the few spiral stairs that you come in contact with.
For the designer, the top and bottom orientation is tricky to work out because it is a function of the number of risers, and unlike a typical switchback stair, you might be facing any direction when you arrive at the top. Headroom can be troublesome at landings.
Using a spiral stair makes for a steep climb, almost like a ship's ladder; and descending can give a thrill because straight ahead is open space with a railing that appears to be at ankle level.
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