How To Make Wooden Staircase

How To Make Wooden Staircase

I remember when I started taking woodwork classes, one of the projects we had to do was to build wooden stairs. It was quite challenging but it turned out to be very easy. The thing about stairs is that they come in different shapes and forms, I’ll be sharing how to build a staircase with general staircase information. Stairs are generally made up of three main parts, they include;  stringers, treads, and risers. Stringers are diagonal  5.1 cm × 30.5 cm boards that support your weight as you walk up the stairs. Treads are the top baseboards that you step on, and risers are placed perpendicularly under each tread.

One very important thing to know about building stairs is that your steps must be the same size. It is generally for safety reasons. In some countries, it is against the building and fire code for your steps to vary in size. I’ll advise that you contact a fire and building contractor to be sure of your applicable building code. To build a staircase, you would need:


circular and/or hand saw
hammer or drill
tape measure

wood for risers
wood for runs (steps)
wood for risers unless an open riser staircase (see building code)
Screws or Nails

Also, make sure you draw a plan of for step to know your measurements. I would not be giving measurements so it’s open to any measurement of your choice.


Make Preliminary Measurements

Mark the area where the steps should begin as your top step level. Do not forget to add the gap in your measurement. For instance, if you want the steps to go up a decking,  you can measure 3ft from the ground, to the top of the decking, there you have the rise. Calculate the total rise of the stairs.


Divide The Total Rise By The Typical Rise Per Step.

This is to give you the total number of steps on your stairs. If the total number of rise per step is 95 inches, you can divide it by 7 inches because the typical size pee step is usually 6.5-8 inches. It should give you 13.53 then you round down to thirteen that is your total number of steps.


Divide The Total Rise By The Number Of Steps To Get The Actual Rise Per Step.

This is to ensure that your steps are the same size even with the overall rise.

This would be a little different from the rise height. If we are to go by the earlier example, divide 95 inches by 13. You get 7.3125 inches. So, your steps would rise by 7.3125 inches.


Determine The Run Of Each Step

The run, is the thread length. It should be between 9 inches and ten. This is to ensure that there is space for the average space to comfortably step and be very safe. A practical and approximate approach is that when you add your thread width and risers, your measurement should be between 16 and 18 inches. So for instance, if your ruse is 7 inches then your thread should be between 9 and 11 inches.


Find The Total Run Of The Stairs

One funny story, when I was learning about rise and run, I assumed that run would be the total number of steps. However, it is not. Your run is he horizontal distance your steps would travel from the beginning to the end. You get this by multiplying the run by the total number of steps.


Calculate The Length Of Your Stringers The stringers are placed diagonally under the length of the steps to hold them up. It is what holds the rise and treads. The length is determined  the same way you determine the hypotenuse of a right triangle. You find the square of the rise and run and add them up, then you find the root.


Count The Number Of Stringers You Will Need

To keep your stairs firm and evenly supported, you would need a kir of stringers. It is advisable to start with three then add as you continue. For safety reasons put the stringers 16 inches apart. The wider your stairs, the easier it this to navigate.


Cut The Stringer

Place a very long piece on a 5.1 cm × 30.5 cm wood. Do not cut down yet. Let it sit at an angle depending on the width and height of the steps. Mark a carpenter’s square to the height and depth of your steps. In our example, you would need to mark it at 7.3125 inches on one side by 10 inches  on the other. Make sure you know which side corresponds with the height (riser) and with the thread.

Place the carpenter’s square over one corner of the wood. Lay the side with the marking for the height along the end of the wood and the side with the marking of the step depth along the length of the wood.
Draw a line between the step-height and step-depth marks. This line makes the horizontal top of your stringer. Mark the line so that its length is equal to the depth of one stair. Make sure you cut along these lines. Make duplicates according to the cut boards.


Assemble The Staircase

Install the already cut stringers. Put the bottom of the stringer on a firm ground. Secure and stabilize the stringers by fixing the risers. Install the threads and secure them to the steps of the stringers. Attach trim boards to the outer stringers. Trim boards make your stairs classier by covering the ends of the risers and threads. Cut them as the same angles on your stringers. Do not cut step notches into them. Fix them into place with screws. Treat the wood against external elements especially if it would be outdoors. You can use varnish, stain or paint to finish it.  You can also use non-slip paint or put non-slip adhesive pads on the stairs. When you add finishes to the stairs, it prevents it from everyday wear and tear.