How to Build Stairs

For anyone who has more than one story on their house or works in an establishment that has numerous levels are used to the task of having to walk up and down a flight of stairs.

The structure looks quite simple however if you observe its artistry a lot of its work can be technical. Use this article as a guide for a construction project that will challenge you to build a staircase of your own, enjoy.

Tools required

  • Circular saw and hand saw
  • Screwdriver/Hammer
  • Framing square
  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • Masking tape

Materials required

  • Wood (pressure treated)
  • Screws
  • Joist hangers


  1. First, you have to find out the measurements of the flight of the stairs. When constructing a flight of stairs there are three main segments you need to take into consideration. The riser and the tread, which is the height and width of each step of the stair respectively, and the stringer; is the part that supports the entire stair structure.
  2. To calculate the total rise, use the tape measure to calculate the height running from the ground level to the next story, and to calculate the total run find out the horizontal length of the stairway which is measured from the staircase bottom towards the upper floor.
  3. When both calculations are found for the total rise and run then place a 2*4 board on the deck and use a level to make sure it is aligned and balanced.
  4. Calculate how many steps the stairs will consist of by dividing the total rise of the stairs by 7ΒΌ. The total you get will be the number of steps that your stairs will have. If the number you receive after the division has a decimal, round the answer off to the greater whole number.
  5. Because the last step of the staircase is either on the ground or deck, one less tread is needed than the riser so if there are 13 risers, you only need 12 treads. Calculate the total run by multiplying the number of threads by the width of a stair step.
  6. Lay out your stairs on the 2*12 boards (stringers) using the framing square. Take down the numbers on the outside of the square and mark off the long arm with a piece of masking tape at 11 inches and the shorter arm at 7 1/8 inches. These would be used as the rise-and-run calculations.
  7. Use the long end of the framing square toward the end of the board and line up the two marks with the edge of the board facing you and mark the outline of the square. Then use the framing square to slide up to the top mark. Align the markings and again mark the notch. Continue making and sliding up the length of the stringer. Cut out the lines you marked out using the circular saw. Before you reach the corner mark stop the circular saw and use the handsaw to complete the cutting. Then install the first stringer to test that it fits in properly.
  8. Use joist hangers that are connected to the decking as the base of the stringers. Then use the drill and screws to put in the stair treads. Install the balusters and the sub railings so you have handles to hold on to while climbing the stairs.
  9. When all the pieces are completely assembled, walk on it to test its sturdiness. When you have tested to see that it is safe enough, then paint and stain the stair and allow it to dry. You can do this section by section just in case the stairs will have to be used

Tips and Warning

  • While cutting the pieces to be assembled for the stair, constantly check with the plans to make sure the measurements match that on paper.
  • Always try and buy the straightest and best wood pieces to make the stair pieces. All pieces should be sturdy. Ask an expert to assist you when purchasing the wood.
  • You may need to consult a professional in the field of carpentry, to assist or check along as you work. You may also invite a friend who is willing to keep abreast of the activities.
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