This should be more than enough for most types of structures. By using our site, you agree to our. Measuring and cutting stair stringers is a relatively simple process once you understand how it’s done, but it can be easy to make mistakes. … Using the formula for comfortable stairs, our optimum riser height will then measure about 7″. This image shows a contemporary technique where solid stringers and open risers are set higher up against the fascia and angle brackets secure them to the deck. Stretch your tape measure from the bottom of the board to the ground. More than likely you will have at least 3 stringers under there. You’ll be able to cut a maximum of 14 steps into a standard 16 foot (4.9 m) 2x12 stringer board. The stringers are the notched, sloping boards that will go on either side of the stairs to hold the steps and support the weight that’s placed on them. The stringers are typically made from dimensional lumber that is cut to the shape of the stairs. After fastening the stringers to the hanger and rim with structural screws, I installed 2x8 blocking between all of the stringers … To level existing stairs, remove any baseboard or pull back the carpet to access the underside of the stringers at the floor. To learn how to draw out the plans for your stairs on paper, keep reading! If you have the square positioned the wrong way, the rise and run dimensions will be reversed. Attach a cleat to the hypotenuse and use it to mark the stringer. Solid stringers can only be used on the outer sides of a set of stairs. Measuring and cutting stair stringers for your own DIY deck or porch project may seem complicated, but the process is actually quite simple. That gives you an 11″ tread depth – and a starting point for planning your stringers. • Use a dimensional sized 2-by-2 piece of lumber for blocking material. Prior to drafting up a set of detailed plans, review the International Residential Codes (IRC) for building stairs. Take a piece of 2x4 and sister it to the existing stringer. In order for your stairs to be consistent (and to avoid a cumbersome head or foot step) it’s important that the distance between each step be as precise as possible. For larger projects, it may be necessary to adjust the measurement for the stairs’ overall run to account for one or more landings. Check across the tread cut … Test Fit the Stringer to Make Sure Your Stair Rise and Run are On Point. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Make sure you leave at least 7 inches (18 cm) inches at the head of the board for the final riser, which you can trim to fit later. When they fall on uneven ground they can become misaligned over time. Check across the tread cut on each stringer using a level, and be prepared to shim the foot of the stairs to bring the stringers into alignment. For deck stairs, the tread depth and the run are generally givens, because treads are often built of three 2 x 4s, with a 1⁄4″ gap between each board. Here we provide an alternative crude but effective approach to stair rise and run measurement using string, plumb line, and level, along with a stick or board (or two of them) of sufficient length. To find the height, extend a level out across the upper edge of the entry point, and stretch a tape measure from the bottom of the board to the ground. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Monolithic Stairs : Specifies that the stairs … Use stringer hangers even when they are not required. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. If your calculations leave you with an extra half step, round down and adjust the rise for slightly shallower steps to make sure they’re in compliance with the IRC. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. Stair stringers are the backbone of any set of stairs. Keep your plans more or less to scale so it will be obvious how everything is supposed to fit together. You might guess it was the walls below the stairs, but actually stairs are self-supporting structures that are held up by their stringers, the long pieces to which each tread is fastened. 1. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. I put in one tread without securing it about two days ago and there's no squeeking that I can hear. take the total run (horizontal distance the stairs will span) and square that value and add it to the previous squared % of people told us that this article helped them. The Terror of Russia's Nuclear Submarine Graveyard, The Most Promising and Exciting Tech at CES 2021, How Biden's Peloton Could Be a Security Risk, Secret New Fighter Jet Uses F1-Style Engineering. There are two ways to attach stair stringers to your deck. Determine the overall height of the stairs. Set offsets. That's a pretty narrow stair at 7" 1/2" is a heck of a lot off level in 7" Can you remove the treads fairly easily or is it a housed stringer? wikiHow's. To extend the stringer below the floor, enter a negative number. You can then multiply the number of steps by how wide you want them to be to find the run or the distance that the finished stairs will project outward. Run/Tread: The run or tread is the part of the stairway that a person steps on. This means that you may need to dig the landing down a little extra or build it up to ensure that last step is 175mm. Follow the old handyman’s adage: measure twice, cut once. Desired Stair Height will … Scribe a line with a level across the landing and attach the second stringer in same manner. To ensure a precise fit, first clear, and then level the ground where they’ll rest. Deck Stair Stringers Spacing The load supporting requirements for stair treads are more severe than for the rest of the deck because the force exerted by a person walking downstairs is a more intense blow to the surface than a standard stride across a level surface. We don't think about what holds stairs up when we walk down them. Its length is measured … This article has been viewed 103,933 times. How we test gear. Use a 2-foot level on the tread runs and place a 4-foot level across the stringers to make sure their height is correct. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Place a 4-foot level across the tops of the stringers where the bottom tread will attach. A 57 inch (140 cm) deck divided by a 7 inch (18 cm) rise will give you 8.14, which means you’ll be measuring for 8 steps. Because deck stairs may land on uneven ground or on a wavy concrete pad, the stringers eventually move out of alignment. Test-fit the stair stringer by placing it against the deck, and check the tread level with a small level. Because of the complicated math involved in making and installing deck stairs, there is a high likelihood that you will need to use plastic shims to get your stairs installed correctly. Popular Mechanics participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Be careful not to left the square shift while you’re drawing your lines. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/6\/65\/Measure-Stair-Stringers-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Measure-Stair-Stringers-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/6\/65\/Measure-Stair-Stringers-Step-1.jpg\/aid9657256-v4-728px-Measure-Stair-Stringers-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Set Stair Measurement on Square Lay the framing square on the stringer board so the unit run measurement on the outside of the wide body of the square intersects the edge of the board. LP® SolidStart® LSL & LVL Stair Stringers 2 PREDICTABLE PERFORMANCE LP SolidStart LSL and LVL Rim Board and Framing Lumber is straight, uniform, and won’t split like traditional lumber when notched. Using the level, mark a horizontal line near where the stairs will land. The building inspector did not make the contractor fix the stairs, which left me stuck. When fashioning them, you’ll need to account for both the height and length of the stairs. Stringers, which are the basic framing and structural supports for staircases sized to meet proper code ordinances, must be added along the edge of the deck to create solid, level steps. To measure stair stringers, start by dividing the height by the approximate rise to determine the total number of steps, and then take the difference to find the exact rise of each step. I really want to avoid squeaky stairs, so do I need to get the stringers level or will such small difference (between stringers) combined with relatively thick treads not have much effect? Know Your Stuff: The 110 Best DIY Tips Ever, Planing Thin Stock: Master-Level Woodworking Tip, How to Build a Backyard Pergola: Simple DIY Woodworking Project, 5 Pro Painting Tips Every Amateur Should Know: DIY Guy. When you’re done, check both lines with your tape measure to confirm that they’re the right length. Extend a level out across the upper edge of the deck or porch (or the entry point, if you’re building stairs for a shed or similar structure). Multiply the steps by the desired width of each to find the run. While this sounds pretty simple, knowing exactly where to measure the grade requires knowing exactly how the stringers will be supported. These can be adjusted to your exact specifications, making it easier to ensure that each angle comes out identical without the need to realign the square every time. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Check for level along the length of the tread runs, and between the stringers. Triangular Plywood Guide – One option to mark the cuts is to cut a piece of plywood into a triangle, with one edge the rise and another the run. Divide the height by the approximate rise to determine the total number of steps needed, then take the difference of the height and that number to find the exact rise of each step. Don’t do any rounding here. The insulated floor raised the floor level and made the bottom step of my stairs short – a violation of the code. The other number you need to lay out stringers is the tread depth, also called the run. Last Updated: November 7, 2019 If you’ve done the math (it’s grade-school stuff) and the layout right, the … • Install the risers with a level top edge slightly above the top edge of both the blocking and the stringers. Make sure it is level and glue and nail/screw it to the side of the stringer. There are a few things that you must do before you install stair stringers. A total of 8 steps multiplied by 10 (the width of each step in inches) gives you an overall run of 80 inches (200 cm). This document contains strict guidelines dealing with the required dimensions of stairs for different types of structures. For example, if you have a height of 56 inches and a rise of 7 inches, then you’ll have 8 steps. But you have some freedom in the way you design the tread locations. Along with their predictable performance, they also allow the builder to use inventoried products so there’s no need for an extra SKU. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, Start Gardening Early By Building This Cold Frame, Don't Toss That X-Mas Tree: Let's Make Something, Make a Gift: A Leather Wallet Anyone Will Love, Make a Gift: A Copper Bracelet With DIY Style, This Woman’s Dad Built Her a Peloton Studio. Pressure-treated lumber is the best choice for outdoor stairs that will be exposed to the elements, like those leading up to decks, porches, sheds, and barns. References. Instead of cutting wedges the whole width of the tread, it would be better to level it off at the stringers, not the treads. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xcrf_llYL-M&feature=youtu.be&t=4, http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/how-to/a2145/4224738/, https://www.familyhandyman.com/decks/how-to-build-stairs-deck/view-all/, http://www.finehomebuilding.com/2014/11/05/laying-out-basic-stair-stringers, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xcrf_llYL-M&feature=youtu.be&t=50, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. That way, you can avoid ending up a little bit off and being forced to start over. A complete discussion and demonstration of how to measure and cut stair stringers for a deck or porch or other use. Making them deeper requires a longer cut to notch the stringers, which weakens them. Almost exactly six years ago, I wrote a poston a carpentry hack that resolved a problem I had with a stairway after a contractor installed an insulated floor in my basement. Most steps will have a rise, or step height, of about 7 inches, so you can divide the height by the rise to find the total number of steps you’ll need. The minimum allowed by most codes is 10 inches, and that’s a good size to use. They should be stout enough to support the weight of the steps and the people using them. Should a stair stringer be 2×10 or 2×12? For additional support, attach another 2" x 4" ledger under the stringers. This will tell you exactly how high the new stairs will reach.