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A dog-leg is a configuration of stairs between two floors of a building, often a domestic building, in which a flight of stairs ascends to a half-landing before turning 180 degrees and continuing upwards. The flights do not have to be equal, and frequently are not.
Structurally, the flights of a dog-leg stair are usually supported by the half-landing, which spans the adjoining flank walls.
From the design point of view, the main advantages of a dog-leg stair are:
- To allow an arrangement that occupies a shorter, though wider, floor area than a straight flight, and so is more compact. Even though the landings consume total floor space, there is no large single dimension
- The upper floor is not directly visible from the bottom of the stairs, thereby providing more privacy
- An object or person falling from the upper half of the stairs is likely to stop at the landing; this is safer than letting it fall all the way to the bottom.