Stair Building Ideas For Design And Construction

Ledger - Wood House Framing

A ledger is used in the building industry to attach one section or part of the framing to another. A good example of this would be the picture below. The black arrow is pointing to a ledger that attaches to the stair landing and it's providing the stair stringers with an excellent connection point.

Ledgers can also be used to connect roof rafters to walls, floor joist to walls and stair landing joist to walls.

Stair Framing Tip: I seen something like this happen more than once and I'm sure that I'm going to see it plenty of more times, before I die. Inexperienced stair builders will actually assemble a set of stairs without using a ledger.

Obviously, you don't need a ledger if you have enough structural support for your stair stringers. However, I've seen professionals and do-it-yourselfers, use half-inch plywood, metal straps and even wood braces, to support their stairways.

The top and bottom of your stair stringers need to be fully supported. The entire length of the top or bottom cut of the stair stringer needs to make a solid connection, when connecting it to another part of the framing.

I even have a picture of a set of stairs with only 3 inches of the top section of the stair stringer, connected to the balcony framing. The rest of the 4 x 12 stair stringer is unsupported and if that section ever splits, it could cause the entire stairway to collapse.


Stairs / Stair Glossary

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