Second Stringer Layout - Building Stairways

Second stringer layout is only required for closed stairways, when you're not using a pattern and there's only one stringer on each side of the stairs. The picture below provides you with an excellent example of two brackets stair stringers that needed to be laid out individually.

Using A Pattern For More Than One Stairway

If you're going to build more than one set of stairs that are going to be duplicates or exactly the same, you should create a pattern. When I was building more than a hundred stairways per job, I always used to stair stringer layout patterns to increase efficiency.

Advantages For Using Stair Layout Patterns

I remember when I first started learning about real estate, someone told me that there's only three things you need to know about a piece of property. Location, location, location.

The same message can be transferred to stair building and home construction. Efficiency, efficiency, inefficiency and don't forget it. Stringer layout patterns, provide you with exact duplicates of the same stringer.

Disadvantages For Using Stair Layout Patterns

If you're building more than one set of stairs that are going to be exactly the same and you're not using a stair stringer pattern, you're wasting time and could create variations in the other stringers.

Let me give an example of what I'm talking about. You lay out four stair stringers and if you move the framing square a 16th of an inch in either direction, while your moving the framing square, from one step to the next, you just created a variation.

If you moved the framing square an eighth of an inch forward on one stringer and a 16th of an inch backwards on another one, you could create one stringer that was its least an inch and a half longer than the other one.

If you need to lay out more than one stringer, place them on top of each other, and make sure that they match the other ones. Otherwise you might need to make some adjustments, before building your stairs.

Stairs / Stair Glossary

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