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How to Build a Simple Set of Stairs

by Guest on Nov 5, 2014

Stairs are the standard, most basic method of getting from one level of our homes to the next. But building a safe and functional set of stairs can be a daunting and even challenging. Happily, these basic step-by-step instructions in this guide will help you rise to the challenge of building your first set of stairs.

First - Measure & Cut the Stringers and Risers

Our first step is to measure the length or distance of the staircase and cut the stringers to fit (be sure to measure to the final upper and lower floor levels for new construction). For a solid set of stairs, cut three stair stringers from 2" x 12" lumber. The third-stringer for the center of the steps gives the extra support for a nice solid and secure feel while going up or down the stairs  Next you will want to put a small notch in the bottom of the stringers to fit over a small piece of 2" x 4" lumber which will be used to anchor the bottom of the staircase. All 3 stringers should be notched in the same manner.

Now for the stair treads, you will want to cut 10" treads from 2" x 10" lumber. The 7" risers will come from OSB sheets. You will also need a single piece of treated 2" x 4" lumber cut to a 3-foot length that will sit on the bare concrete floor and will secure the bottom of the staircase.

Next - Install the Bottom Anchor 2x4s

Place one of the stringers in its spot against the wall and have an assistant keep it firmly in place. Position into the notch the treated 2" x 4" then push it firmly against the wall. Drill through the 2" x 4" with a masonry bit into the concrete floor, and use concrete screws or nails to attach the 2" x 4" to the concrete floor.

After That - Attach the Stringers

Now you can connect the top stair support with the metal brackets and then toenail the first stringer to the 2" x 4" on the concrete floor. At the other end of the 2" x 4”, connect the second-stringer in the same way. Now you can place and connect the third-stringer midway between the first two outside ones.

Last Step - Install the Stair Treads

With the three stringers firmly in place, you can now nail each of the  2" x 10" stair treads into the center of each stringer. Be careful to center the nail in each stringer so as not to split any of the stringers. After attaching all of the stair treads, you can nail the OSB risers into the center of each stringer. Once again be sure to center the nails in each stringer.

And that’s the final step.  Now that you are all done with the stairs, you can finish them with either tile, carpet, or any manner you choose. For additional ease of use, you may want to add in a wooden stair railing.

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