## Stairs

#1
07-15-00, 10:18 AM
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Hi folks
I'm looking at building a loft in my studio. That part I have no problem with. Is there somewhere I can get plans to build a good set of stairs? The height is about 8 foot and will go along a brick wall. What are the rules to building good stairs?

Thanks
G.

#2
07-23-00, 11:05 PM
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Garyola
There are as many "rules" for building good stairs as there are carpenters to build them. A good place to start would be at a library with books and magazines on the subject. Something that you will encounter right away will be the minimum rise and run numbers. The steps need to be 10" wide with a maximum height of 8". You should find in the books the type of stair you want: open riser, closed riser, etc. I would need to write a book here to address the whole process, but if you stop back after doing a little research, I will be happy to help clarify or explain the process, as well as assist you in the actual building of the stairs.

#3
07-25-00, 05:56 PM
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Building steps or stairs can be a real charge or a real challenge. Usually they are not too much of a challenge.

Here are instructions for building stairs on a deck, but the principles are the same for interior stairs.

As a rule of thumb. . .the sum of the height of a riser and the depth of a tread should equal between 17" and 18".
Best riser height is between 7" and 8". The sum of two risers and one tread should be between 24" and 25".

The width of the tread should be at least 36". Wider is better. 3'2" to 3'4" is preferred, but an outside deck stair is
best built to suit you and look like it was intended that way.

The stringers for the stair should be made from 2x12. The treads could be either 2x10 or 2x12, and the risers can
be 2x6, 2x8, 1x6, or 1x8. All should be CCA.

CCA is the wood preservative most commonly used. It is a copper, chromium, and arsenate mixture.

Find the the total rise (vertical distance) and divide it by the intended riser height. Start with the 7. This is your
number of risers. Disregard the fraction. To get the individual (unit) rise, divide the total rise by the number of
risers. This is the height of each riser.

Using the 17" to 18" rule subtract the riser height and the remainder is your recommended tread depth.

You could predetermine where you want the steps to end and divide the number of risers into that number to

Use a framing square and "step off" the riser and tread height on a stringer. Repeat the stepping off process. Count
the correct number of steps to be cut before you cut the board to length. It is better to have an extra than to be
too short.

If necessary, rip the treads to their respective widths and cut them to their approx. 3 foot lengths (if that's what
you choose). You might need to cut at least 3 full stringers to eliminate any possibility of sag in your stair treads.

When you assemble the parts the riser boards go on before the treads. On an outside stair, riser boards are
optional and not necessary. Then attach the treads. Keep in mind that you can cut the tread depths wider if you
want overlap.

Attaching the stringers to the deck has many variables. Your choice on methods and techniques. Your stair should
have a handrail and probably spindles. The pattern should match the existing deck.

This is not as confusing or demanding as it may read, but if you are unsure of your capabilities don't hesitate
calling a full-time carpenter. He should be happy to help you out. Some of them may not want to tackle a small job
though. (of course, I would do it!)

More than a Carpenter
http://www.carpenter.cjb.net

[This message has been edited by More than a Carpenter (edited July 25, 2000).]

#4
07-25-00, 08:09 PM
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Thanks for all your help folks.
I will make these stairs in the next 30 days.

Gary

#5
07-29-00, 03:08 PM
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Well, I have tried to follow your advice but I do not have a floor to secure the stairs to. I tried to put the stringer up tight to the landing but this did not work so I tried to measure for the risers and steps. I came out with 1 and a half inches . If I put an extra step in I would have a 7 and a half rise I think it will come out right. do I need to start from the secured landing and then go down?

Thank you so much.

#6
07-30-00, 05:52 AM
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Coolpaw. Try this. Measure from the top of your floor down to your existing floor. Now divide this distance by your riser height. It is you who sets the step or riser height.
Use 7.5" or 8" or 8.5" all within code. this will tell you how many steps you will need. Now take the number of needed steps and multiply by 11.5 inches, and this will tell you how far out your steps will run on the bottom floor. If you cannot attach to your top floor, take a couple of 4x4's and make posts out of the holding up your stairs.
Hope this helps.

#7
07-30-00, 06:24 AM
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Jack: Thank you for your reply. I have a 2 foot square landing attached to the top floor and have 136 in. What I really need to figure out also is how to get the angle on the stringers. It is 96 in. from the top of my landing to the floor. Thanks so much for all your help.

#8
07-31-00, 06:15 PM
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CoolPaw is my father-in-law. I spent about two hours with him this weekend talking through this. His risers will be 8" and his treads 8 3/4". Kind of steep, but that's what fits.

More than a Carpenter
http://www.carpenter.cjb.net

#9
08-01-00, 07:32 AM
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Yes, you are right, and sometimes you have to go by what fits and not necessarily with the way it should be. DYI's and alot of people who answer questions do not realize this. You and I deal with it daily, and do not think anything about it. Have a good day.