How to Build Stairs

Stairs are an integral depart of multi-level houses and many yards. It might be necessary to build a simple stairway between the floors of a house, down to the basement, up to an attic, or on an outdoor deck .

Building stairs requires careful plan and consideration. Yet the actual structure is reasonably straightforward, arsenic long as you follow codes and basic build techniques .

Stair Building Essentials

At its most basic, a stairway consists of horizontal treads that you walk on, vertical risers that separate the treads, and step stringers that hold the treads and the risers. other items contribute to the stairway, but those are the three independent elements that need to be planned and designed before the build begins .

Stair Treads

The step tread is the step—the part that you walk on. Stair treads should be 10 inches deep or greater. Stair tread width should be at least 31 1/2 inches .

step Risers

The step riser is the vertical board that runs from the top of one pace to the bottom of the one above it. A riser closes up the treads for a cleaner look and for improved guard .

Risers can range from 6 1/2 inches to 8 inches high, but by and large should be 7 3/4 inches, if possible .

step Stringers

A step stringer is a long V-notched while of wood that is positioned diagonally from the top heading to the buttocks landing. Treads and risers rest on the stringers .

Depending on your need, staircase slopes range from 30 to 50 degrees. At least two stringers are used in every neat stairway run, one on each side. sometimes, one or two carriage stringers run down the middle .

Stringers are sized and cut to exact specifications to adhere to building codes. You can cut your own step stringers from two-by-twelve dimensional lumber or purchase pre-cut stringers .


Pre-cut wood stringers can be purchased at most family centers. These stringers typically have space for between two and eight step treads. If you ‘re not a mathematically inclined builder—or for anyone who wants to save time—using pre-cut step stringers can be a bang-up help.

other Stair Elements

Stair Header and Landing

The upper berth character of the stairs is attached to a step heading. The step header is share of the sign of the zodiac, deck, or early structure receiving the stairs—technically, not function of the stairway. The header must be hard enough to support the top section of the stairway.

The land is the grind or floor at the bed of the stairway. The land must be level and potent enough to hold the bottom of the stairway .

hedge Boards

Skirt boards on the out side of the stringers provide a clean look and make the stairs dependable, since they make it more unmanageable for feet to by chance slip off .

step Railing

Hand fulminate is required for most staircases. If the stairway has more than four risers, you ‘ll need to have railing on at least one side .

Codes and Permitting

Staircase, guard, and railing build code provide specifications while leaving some room for tractability. Check with your local building permitting position for code that applies to your area and to your stick out. With few exceptions, obtaining a build up license is required when building stairs to ensure condom and code complaisance .

When to Build Stairs

indoor staircases can be built at any clock of year. For outdoor staircases, it ‘s dependable to build in dry weather. Any pressure-treated wood that you cut for outdoor stairs must be treated with a copper solution before the wood comes into contact with water .

guard Considerations

When installing step treads, oeuvre while standing on the ground adenine much as possible. When you need to stand on step treads to work on upper treads, make certain that the treads are already securely attached to the stringers .

Pay particular attention to the point where the top of the stringers attach to the header display panel. On freestanding stairs, this is the only attachment target, so it needs to be very secure .

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