How to Build Wood Stairs That Are Sturdy and Attractive

Homeowners nowadays are resorting to unleash their DIY prowess in order to save money and improve their homes without professional help. However, there are cases when things get a bit […]


Homeowners nowadays are resorting to unleash their DIY prowess in order to save money and improve their homes without professional help. However, there are cases when things get a bit confusing, and worst, it can become frustrating as well. But for most DIY enthusiasts, every endeavor is a channel of learning, that’s why it is must to learn some helpful tips to guide them through the process.

Always be safe. The old adage states that “it is better to be safe than sorry.” This saying fit perfectly well in house constructions, particularly in building stairs. Stairs can be hazardous to all, especially to those who are physically vulnerable such as the elderly and small children. That goes to show that construction of stairways should always comply with your local building codes to ensure you get the allowable measurements, types of clearances and supports.

The IRC or the International Residential Code is the authority when it comes to home construction rules. This code is followed by most countries. However, there are also specific rules implemented by local building department in your area, so might as well pay them a visit before you get things started. In a nutshell, this code will determine the measurements needed in completing the stairs such as the overall dimension of the stairs, most specifically the rise and run of the stairs, the size of the stringer, and the type of the railings that you can use. What are stringers? Generally, stringers are used to support your stairs.

These are locally available at most DIY stores, or you can cut them yourself from a lumber. For you to create a stringer, you must first figure out the rise of each step and the run on each stair. On most codes, a maximum rise can measure up to 7 ¾ inches, although most builders would suggest measurements between 7 to 7 ½ inches for ease of climbing. In order to determine the number of steps needed, measure the height of the area where you want your stairs to be placed from the ground and divide it by the height of the rise.

For the depth of the thread, the minimum measurement is 10 inches. What is a landing? A landing is a part of the stairs that is used to turn the direction of the steps in any direction. It can be placed in the middle or on the topmost portion of the stairs, depending on the design. This landing is most appropriate to use in instances when the stairs will take up too much space in your house. You also need to consider if you want to have a open-faced or close-faced stairs.

Open-faced stairs allows you to see through the steps of the as opposed to the closed-faced types. However, Open-faced types may not be suitable if you have small children and pets living with you as this can cause danger.   What are railings for? Railings are used primarily to protect people while using the stairs. Most building codes require homebuilders and owners to install railings for stairs that are 24 inches off the ground or higher. However, railings can also be used to enhance the overall appearance of the stairs. Railings posts  should be placed with utmost care so that the railings will be sturdy.

To wrap things up, it is always a good practice to check on the local building codes for proper measurements before you start your project. The success of your project does not end in accomplishing the task, but with having peace of mind that you build is not just beautiful, but safe as well.

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