How to build stairs! Free step by step instructions from Ana-white.com
So how do you build stairs? Do you notch out the tops? Add a bottom plate? Have any secrets to share? Let us know!
2x12s for stringers (most likely sometimes 2x10 or 2x8 are used, depending on rise/run)
2x6 for treads or other tread material
Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!
The first thing you do is take an overall measurement. What is the overall height that your stairs will cover? Write this number down.
Also figure the width you want your stairs to be.
Now some math:
1. Find Number of Rises
Divide Overall Height by 7 (OVERALL HEIGHT / 7 = ????)
Whatever number you come up with will be followed by decimals. Drop the decimals. Keep the whole number. This is your number of RISES.
So in my example, my overall height is 16". 16 / 7 = 2.2857.... I drop the decimals and we know we need 2 rises.
2. Find Height of Rises
Now we know the overall height of all rises and the number of rises, now we just need to find the height of each rise. Take your Overall Height and divide by your number of rises.
In my example, my overall height is 16" and we have two rises. 16 / 2 = 8. Each rise will be 8".
3. Determine Tread Widths.
For us it doesn't matter where the stairs come out, so we pick 11" as our tread width (that's 2 - 2x6s and a little nosing). If your stairs must come out at a certain spot, find your overall desired run length, divide by the number of treads, and that's how you would figure your tread width. Keep in mind what material you will use for your treads.
Marking Stair Stringers
You'll need a rafter square, preferably one that has adjustable metal stops on it. Identify on your square your rise and tread run and mark. For me, it's 8 and 11. In the diagrams, I show 7 and 11.
Line the rise and runs up with the edge of the board and mark. Here's how we marked our stringers for the Momplex:
We are using a rafter square with metal stops.
Marking Additional Stairs
And this is easy now - just move down, lining up the square with the previous marks and edge.
Top and Bottom Stair
For the top and bottom stair, you have to do something a little different. You have to cut off the height of your treads from the bottom, because your treads basically add that height back on the top. And then to connect the stairs at the top to the landing, you'll probably want to add a 2x back there - so notch out or cut off the top of the stringer too.
Here's our pretty dinky stringers, but you get the idea.
The stringers are cut with a circular saw and the cuts finished with a hand saw.
Then we attach a back to the tops of the stringers.
And attach the back then to the landing.
Then we just add the first tread.
And then the next treads.
We use a carpenter's pencil for a gap between the treads.
And just screw all the treads down.
And that's the quick and easy way to build stairs!