Building Wood Stairs in the Attic in 4 Steps

What You'll Need
Hand saw
lumber boards
flathead screws and nails (stainless steel)
joint compound
electric saw
stair treads
electric screw driver

Building wood stairs in the attic is not a complicated task if you have some basic carpentry skills and the needed tools and supplies. Although the building project may look time consuming, the space you gain for storage or other purposes is definitely worth investing.

 Step 1–Build Support Structure for the Rafters

You have to first outline the perimeter of the wood stairs by hammering long nails next to the joists. It best to ask a professional carpenter for advice on where to place the opening. Take a carpenter’s square and draw the opening of the staircase on the ceiling of the room that is situated below your attic. Cut one rafter with the hand saw and climb up to the attic area to make some more cuts. Don’t saw through the double beams because you will risk damaging the structure of the house. Use lumber boards to construct a frame and fit it inside the perimeter of the staircase opening.  Secure the frame by using nails and screws so that it fits tightly. The so made structure will support the rafters, and it is best to use flathead screws and nails. This part is the most difficult one and if you haven’t worked on a similar project, it is best to use the services of a professional.

Step 2–Secure the Stringers

Measure the length of the stringers that will come from the opening of the attic down to the floor below. Treads that are nailed across the stringers will serve to support them, acting as the stepping part of your staircase. Cutting the stringers too short will just waste the lumber piece. To be on the safe side, use two 2x12 feet boards to create the stringers. You may ask at the carpentry shop to cut the stringers for you. Once you have the pieces, use a nail gun to secure them to the floor and the attic opening. 

Step 3–Create Treads and Risers

Purchase ready made treads or use plywood to cut treads for the steps. Nail them to the stringers and cut raisers to enclose the fronts of the steps. Install the raisers and treads by using glue and small flathead nails. You may consider investing in treads and risers made of more expensive material if the staircase will be visible from your living area.

Step 4–Finishing Works

Use wood paneling or drywall to enclose the stairs’ sides. If your budget is larger, you may opt for upscale paneling. You may also leave some storage room under the stairs. Finally, purchase and install door on the side of your attic staircase. Attach fittings to the wall and buy pre-made handrail to make the wooden handrail for your staircase.