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Building Stairs

Posted by Bruce Miller on September 15th, 1997 09:58 PM
In reply to New Stairs by Mike Podd on September 15th, 1997 09:42 PM [Go to top of thread]

Hi Mike:
I've done a couple of these and have learned enough to know that there really is no such thing as a standard plan for building a set of stairs, as each is different. Some guildelines that you need to know are the minimum/maximum riser (4" and 7") and tread (7" and 11"). These numbers are from my best recollection, but you will have to check your local bureau of buildings to find out for sure. Minimum stair width is normally 30" up to 50" before a center handrail is required. Stair handrails are usually 32 to 37" high from front of tread bullnose, with ballisters (if you have them) with openings not greater than 5". Whew!

The one other thing to make sure you account for is headroom, because if you do the math, I'm sure that you will find that 88" run is not long enough for a 91" straight stair, so you will have to do an 'L' with a landing.

At this point, the only thing you can do is draw it all out on a piece of drawing paper, using a scale (a 1/4" = 1 ft ruler), with top and side drawings. It will help to go to any of the home improvement centers or your local library and find some good stair building books that will give you all kinds of ideas on such things as building good stringers, railings, newell posts, etc. Also, make sure you carefully think through your framing, as you will have to double some floor joists, as well as install at least one, possibly two new headers. And if you have a washer/dryer below the cut-out, you may have some plumbing/wiring/ventillating to redo.

It'll be lots of fun! Have a great time!!

Best wishes

Bruce M

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Topic History:

  • New Stairs by Mike Podd  9/15/97 09:42 PM (: 1, : 3)

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