ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Build Wooden Stairs

Updated on April 14, 2011

Building a set of wood stairs is really straight forward if you know the process to follow. This becomes more complicated if you have several landings but the method stays the same. First you will need to get your tools and calculator out.

Here are some basic instructions of a simple set of stairs going from the deck to the concrete pad you set up. Let us take this deck at four feet wide and eye level when you are standing on the ground.

Here are the tools:

  • Circular saw
  • Framing square
  • Hand saw
  • Carpenters pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • 4' Level
  • Masking tape

For materials:

  • 3 - 10'/2" x 12" boards - these have got to be the best with no cracks. You do not want anyone falling through.
  • 2 - 8'/2" x 4" boards
  • 8 - 8"/2" x 6" boards - these are the actual steps so make sure the material is good
  • 1 - 45" / 2" x 6" boards
  • 1 sheet of plywood @ ½" / 8" x 48"
  • Plenty of 3 ½" framing nails, and screws designed for decks or nails for the steps.

What is the overall rise?

To find out the exact vertical distance from the top of your concrete pad to the top of the deck, you will take one of the 8' 2x4's and place on the deck and then put one standing up on the pad. Place the level on the 2 x 4 and level it. Then it is a simple matter of measuring from the bottom of the 2 x 4 to the pad. On our example, we will use 64". This is what would be your overall rise.

What is the overall run?

The first step in determining the run is to figure out how many steps are needed in your stairs.

Begin by taking the overall rise (64") and divide that by 7.25", which is the height of one rise. That comes out to 8.83" and when you round up, you get nine. So we will be going with nine risers.

An important consideration is that there is always one tread less than rises so whether you go up or down, the last step is the concrete pad or the deck so there is one tread less. In our case, we would have eight risers total.

The width of a step is normally 10.5". Multiply that by our eight rises which will give us 84" which is our overall run.

Since we have the calculator out, let's figure out the exact rise of each step. You do this by taking the overall rise (65") and divide by 9 (which would have been our total risers) and we come out with 7.11". That comes out close to 7 1/8" for each riser.

Laying out the steps

Take your framing square. The long leg corresponds to the step leg and the short leg of the framing square is the riser square. Use only the numbers on the outside of the square.

Using masking tape, wrap a piece around the framing square for the rise and run. Pencil in 10.5" on the outside of the long leg and 7 1/8" on the outside of the short leg.

Using a saw horse or work bench, place one of the 2 x12"s on it. The long leg of the framing square should be towards the end of the board and line up the ape marks to the end of the board currently facing you. Mark the outside edge of it in pencil, once the square is in position.

Keep doing this until you have the number of steps you need. Our case is eight. Make sure the first riser is shorter by the thickness of the steps or in this example 1.5". The first riser would be at 5 5/8".

Rev up the saw!

The circular saw will be used to cut out stringers (this is the name for the 2 x 12 with the markings on it). Cut on the waste side of the line. If when you cut into a corner the blade misses some of the wood on the bottom leaving a jagged cut, you can finish it up with the hand saw.

Use the first stringer as a template for the next two. Lay it out onto the 2 x 12's and do a tracing. Cut out the other stringers like the first one.

Stringer Strength

Place one of the 8' 2 x 4's at the bottom of the stringer and mark it to the profile of end of the stringers. Next, cut the 2 x 4 and fasten it to the bottom edge of the stringer. Repeat for the others. This will not only help to keep the step strong, but also the bouncing in the step itself. Use the framing nails to secure the boards in place.

Putting the steps together

The piece of plywood you purchased will fasten the steps to the deck. Place the plywood to the top end piece of the stringers. The two outside stringers should be flush with the edge of the plywood and the third stringer will be centered. Begin nailing through the plywood into the stringers using the framing nails. It should take about four nails per stringer.

The 45' 2 x 6 will be nailed in at the bottom of the steps and will fit into the piece cut into the center stringer. This should give you the right spacing for the very bottom of your steps and attach it to the pad.

Now the stairs should be moved into their finishing position. The stringers should be level and the risers centered. Plumb them as necessary. Fix the 2 x6 spacer to the pad by using 3" concrete nails.

The finishing touches

Lastly, cut the 8 - 8' 2 x 6's in half and keep them square. At the bottom of the stairs place the 2 x 6 stair treads by centering them on the stringers and attach with deck or adhesive to make sure they do not move. Continue up and finish at the top.

Following this method you will get a set of sturdy stairs that has a consistant rise and a comfortable tread. This can be used for a short set of stairs with on two risers or a full set from a full floor.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Johnk986 

      4 years ago

      Wynn documented revenue before last number of quartersit could possibly preserve stagnating, or maybe counterpicking. febdcddbkfge

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Nicely explained fellow Canadian!

      Great HUB regards Zsuzsy

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)