As I commenced the task of writing this book, I might have been asked 'Why another book on stairs?' This is, however, an abridged version of my husband Alan Blanc's book Stairs, Steps and Ramps which was published in 1996, the year after his death. True to Alan's thoroughness, the book was too long with too many illustrations and it was very expensive. I have now reduced it, in some cases by condensing the size of the diagrams, in others by omitting unnecessary examples, at the same time bringing in illustrations from recent buildings. The history of stairs has been omitted, but can be found on the publishers' website or, of course, in the original book.