How to Construct Stairs


A staircase should be designed to allow safe and easy move­ment from one level of a house to another. So:

  • it should be of sound construction
  • he angle of the stair should not be too shallow or too steep
  • the length of each flight should not be excessive
  • each step should have the same rise and going
  • each step should be parallel and of a uniform width which is adequate for the use of the stairs

Construct Stairs

  • there should be sufficient headroom above the stair toallow unimpeded passage
  • it should have handrails to assist people ascending and descending the stair; handrails should also be provided along with balusters to protect open sides of the stair
  • it should be well lit.

A staircase has three major components – strings, treads and risers. The whole assembly is held together by wedges and glue blocks.

The strings are the main structural members which run up each side of the treads and risers, from the lower floor or landing to the trimming joist on the upper floor or landing.

The treads are the horizontal parts of the stair you step on when ascending and descending it.

The vertical member between each tread is called a riser. The riser closes the opening between the treads and lends support to the stair as a whole.

The steps formed by the treads and risers are usually tongued-and-grooved together, fixed to the strings and held in position by wedges.

A closed-string staircase has its steps housed into grooves cut in the inside faces of the strings. The tops of the strings are straight.

An open-string staircase has the tops of the strings cut away following the shape of the steps. Many homes have a staircase which is a combination of the two styles – a closed string along a wall and an open string on the other side.

Construct Stairs

The stair is held in position by screwing it to the wall through the wall string below the level of the treads and risers; by screwing it to the trimming joist at the top; and by screwing limbers to the floor and strings at the bottom of the stair.

Staircases with at least one open string can usually be repaired from above. Those with two closed strings staircases between two walls, say usually have to be repaired from below. This is easy if the underside of the stair is exposed, less easy if it has been plastered over.

A staircase is finished off with a hand­rail and balusters (banisters) fitted between newel posts. Together, these form the balustrade.

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  4. How to Build Stairs
  5. How to Fix Stairs

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About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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