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Building a Staircase the Easy Way

By Edited Sep 12, 2015 0 0

Building a staircase can seem like a completely daunting task, but it could be a necessity at some time. If you have to deal with more than one level, chances are that you have or need a staircase. This may not be true if you are into rope ladders or like the children's clubhouse feel.

For this article, we will assume that the staircase is the option of choice. It does not hurt to have a good set of stairs to observe before beginning your project.

If nothing else, you may gain a whole new appreciation for them after building your new ones. Observe how the risers (the part that is vertical) are squarely perpendicular to the treads (the part on which one walks). Notice how level the treads are, alone and in relation to the other treads.

The beginning and end should also be parallel with the treads; observe this on your sample stairs if possible. There should have been a warning at the beginning of the article; there is going to be math involved. The math could become fairly intense, but it does not have to stop you.

The nice thing is that we can change things around until they are at least more to our liking. There will be fractions, including those that do not appear on our framing square, but do not fret. It should be noted that even if you are not subject to inspection now, your work must be up to code when it comes time to sell your property.

Most codes allow for risers to be 7 1/2 inches. This is a good compromise between being too steep or too shallow. The object of the math that we are about to do is to find the number of risers that are equal in size for the height of the staircase that we are building. The first step is to measure the height distance between the two floors, not where you anticipate the stairs to start and stop, but the actual height.

Let's take a hypothetical height of 108 inches. This will be divided by our ideal riser height of 7.5 inches, giving us the conclusion that we need 14.4 risers. Try not to trip on that three inch step. What this really tells us is that we need fourteen risers, which will measure 7.7142857… Fear not citizen, it will be alright.

7.71 might as well be 7 3/4 inches, which is a good riser height for code standards as well as feel, four hundredths of an inch is negligible. There are several products on the market to make the job of building a staircase easier, but it will still require the basic math and hand skills to make it best.

The keys to this type of endeavor are patience and patience, as well as patience. It is very good if you have a skilled and willing friend who has built a staircase before; experience is often the best teacher; one day you will be that experienced friend. Don't let it go to your head.

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