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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

How too build steps?
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REt    Posted 11-22-2003 at 11:32:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
need a carpenter here. Want to know the procedure to build some steps. Just how do you start measuring? I know that it depends on how far it is from the top to the bottom, so what kind of formula is used? Then, what is the measuring procedure to cut in the steps? I have an idea how it is done, but not sure of it
REt


Joe Dirt    Posted 11-22-2003 at 17:43:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
I cheat. I went to Menards and bought the pre-made stair stringers.


PatM    Posted 11-22-2003 at 16:03:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
Here's a couple links

Best Deck SIte, but ya gotta spend $$ to get past this page

I use a framing square for layout, and a pair of "stair nuts" on the square. You set the nuts for riase and run, and can just slide down the stringer.

Woddcraft article, slow loading, but pretty good and comprehensive



ret    Posted 11-22-2003 at 20:11:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
That woodcraft site really helped. Can't access my crawl space anymore, cause the entryway is level with the grade, and 5 ft to the floor. Have to go in backwards, hard on the stomach. Too much cutting on my gut the last few years, so gonna cut a hole in my mud room floor and go down the easy way.
thanks again guys
REt


Willy-N    Posted 11-23-2003 at 09:12:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
I did the same thing to get under my house. I did it in a closet under the stairs. It was easy to do. I drove a nail where I would like to go thru and went under the house to look if I could do it. After I found out how it looked and nothing was in the way I just cut the plywood between the joists nailed a 2X4 on the sides of the joist to support the plywood again. I took a 2X10 and nailed it between the joists right at the back of the opening to help support the plywood and 2- 2X10s going down on a angle to the grond below. At the bottom of them I placed 2- 2X8X16 Cement Block tops and nailed a peice of treated wood across the bottoms of the 2X10s going to the ground and they sat on the concrete blocks. I just bought stair Joist brackets and screwed them to the sides of the 2X10 where they were needed to hold the steps and screwed the steps to them. Works great for getting under the house during the winter and I do not have to worry about Varmits getting in the craw space access to the out side. Mark H.


Lazy Al    Posted 11-22-2003 at 15:14:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
After reading below a couple of more things .
two risers and one tread should add up to 24 to 28 inches . Dont' forget to cut off the thickness of your tread from the bottom of your stringer so they all end up the same hieght step or you'll be stubing your toe all the time ,
Good luck
Al


Bob    Posted 11-22-2003 at 15:00:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
Do you have a library near you. We have videos and carpentry books that give explicit descriptions to creating stairs - not to say the two descriptions below aren't fine - I like to see pictures and drawings as well as the written instructions - I can read, Really ;-) There are code requirements for the width of the step, the rise min/max and often landing requirements. In the last three towns I have lived they have had excellent construction books and videos.


Doc    Posted 11-22-2003 at 12:05:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
Straight from Tom Silva of This Old House.

Tom Silva replies: The perfect rise on a step should be between seven and eight inches. To find it, measure the height from the first floor to the second floor in inches. (Be sure to measure from finished floor to finished floor. If you measure from the subfloor and then lay down your floor, the measurements will be off and your stairs won't fit.) Take the floor-to-floor number and divide by eight. If it's a fraction, round off to the next higher number. Take that number and divide it into the floor-to-floor number and you will have your rise height. For example: If your floor-to-floor height is 110 inches and you divide by eight, you get 13.75. Round this off to 14. Now divide 14 into 110 and you get 7.86, or 7 7/8, of an inch. Steps should be nine to eleven inches wide.

Hope that helps.


deadcarp-yup    Posted 11-22-2003 at 16:55:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
no hard rules really - just avoid plywood for anything & don't let the rise exceed 7 inches or the run be under 10 inches for us old folks :) cut a matching stringer for each side and every 2 feet across under the steps - leave at least a 2x4-worth of wood to carry the weight. if your wood's not wide enough and you can't get leave that much meat, then nail a nice clear 2x4 doubler alongside the stringer. loosely tack a few steps down and try them. if you got them this far, they fit alright but they still seem flimsy, beef them up with more 2z4s with a wide nailed vertical block under each step. when you're happy with strength, then attach steps and risers - they'll just make everything stronger :)


toolman    Posted 11-22-2003 at 16:06:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
docs given you a good description,you should be able to find example drawings from that site as well ,nice to have drawings to help along.


Willy-N    Posted 11-22-2003 at 11:53:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
The minimum and maximum riser and tread sizes are determined by your local building codes. You must set the risers and treads within these limits..
The medium riser size is around 7" and may vary up or down from this figure. Normally the measured stair height is divided by 7 and to determine the number of riser spaces required. The measured stair height is then divided by the number of risers to determine the riser height. If this figure does not fall within required parameters, riser spaces may be added or subtracted until a satisfactory riser height is achieved.
The medium tread width (run) is 10" to 11" and may vary according to code and/ or stair length restrictions. Stair length restrictions may limit the overall stair length and treads width may be determined by dividing the stair length by the number of treads. If stair length restrictions do not apply, a tread width not exceeding 11" is recommended as this will allow the use of treads cut from standard dimension lumber i.e.- 2 12
(1 1/2" 11 1/4" finished size).
After you figure how many steps are needed you then add up the width of the tread used and that will tell you how far out the bottom of the stairs will be from the top landing. Don't forget to figure in the thickness of the wood and any part of the tread that may go under the step above when you do your layout for the steps. Mark H.


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