Really Basic Stair Construction Advice

By Greg Vanden Berge

I have spent at least 10 years of my professional career doing nothing but building stairways, staircases and stairs in all shapes and forms.
I have built stairways that curve and bend, long and small and even short and fat. I used to average building three sets of stairs a day and would consider myself to be a master stair framing and stair building professional.

I would like to share a little bit of my stair construction advice and things that I've learned about stair building with other contractors and anyone else who is interested in the art of stairway construction. You're going to need to understand simple math, before you can build a simple set of stairs.

If you can't add, subtract, multiply or divide, there is a good chance that you're going to have difficulties building a set of stairs and I would suggest that you quit reading this article immediately. A set of stairs is nothing more than equally divided sections that we call treads and risers.

In other words, each individual section or stair steps are equally divided and should be the same size. That wasn't that difficult now was it? Try to imagine each individual stair tread or stair riser section, the exact size, multiplied by how ever many stair treads and risers there are in that individual stair case.

If you have a set of stairs with 10 steps, each one of them are going to be exactly the same size and should not vary at all. If your first stair riser is 7 - 1/2 inches, every stair risers should be 7 - 1/2 inches. If one stair tread is 11 inches, then every one of the stair tread should be 11 inches.

I hope this gives you a basic idea about stairway construction. This article wasn't meant to teach you how to build stairs, it was meant to give you a basic idea about stair building and stairway construction.

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