# Built To Withstand

Measure twice for your total rise and run and your individual rise and run. We explain how total elevation change between two levels or floors (rise) and stair length (run) are used to calculate the right measurements when building indoor or exterior stairs to fit the building or the terrain. I’ve been using MS Excel every day for the last couple of decades, and so for my last set of stringers I decided it was time to get the computer to do all the work. As mentioned earlier, cutout stringers for main stairways are usually made from 2 by 12 stock Before cutting the stringer, you will first need to solve for the length of stock you need.

When I was working for Coeur d’Alene Truss in the 1970’s, I would physically go measure buildings (when requested) to make sure the building being framed, matched the plans which had been provided for the truss takeoff. Instead, create a return by drawing a straight line along the mark you made from the corner of the board (Image 3). For the last stair, create another return (Image 4). This section will be the part of the stringer that sits on the ground. For example if we are making three flights of stairs the same then we would mark out the six strings together.

You could literally watch the video in segments and fabricate a steel stair as you go. Slide the square down, align it with the previously drawn notch, and add the next one. Multiply the tread depth by the total treads to achieve the lumber length required. I mount stair stringers directly to 2×12 rim joists or to a header set directly beneath 2×8 or 2×10 rim joists. While using the pre-cut stringers is easier than figuring and making the cuts yourself, there is one trick. The default stair riser factor is 7 1/2 inches, but that’s easily adjusted to the IRC limit of 7 3/4 inches or whatever your code permits.

Riser lengths and angle cuts are also obtained from the layout; their heights are the same as the risers of the main stair. My stairs were built on identical stringers but used a lot of cantilever on the active side of the tread. Measure overall rise or height of steps which will be the vertical distance from the top platform (e.g. decking surface) to the existing patio or pathway or to the proposed new level base. I mark out the layout at the top, It could be double timber joists, it could be concrete or I might have to fit inside the flanges of a steel beam. All that’s left for our simple staircase was to install the stringers and put the treads in place.

Oh..the speed square was used just to hold the tape measure during the demonstration-so the audience can see the tape and the face of the template/stringer. What many stair builders do is simply lay a (hopefully straight) stair stringer between the two elevations, measure the actual rise and run distances, and lay-out the stair dimensions on the fly by measuring and marking along the side surface of the stringer. I often swap out a regular framing blade for a 24-tooth thin-kerf crosscut blade before I cut stringers. Wall rail: The grab bar along the pitch of the stair; usually mounted 34 inches off the leading edge of the tread.

When using synthetic decking for treads, consult the decking manufacturer’s instructions – many require stringers be spaced no farther apart than 12 inches or 10 inches, and some even require spacing as close as 8 inches. It automatically calculates the values that you need in order to layout and cut your first stair stringer. Always shoot for 7.5 inch risers and then go whatever direction you have to go to make them work out equal keeping in mind your local code’s MAXIMUM riser height. Deductions must be made at the top and at the bottom of the stringer so that the bottom rise and the top rise of the finished stair may be equal.

For the treads: If wide enough for design, the step tread could be of 250 x 50 mm or 300 x 50 mm DAR or made up of two (spaced) pieces each 50 mm (DAR) thick, provided length does not exceed 900 mm. This is the position you will be working with, while laying out the stair stringer. A couple of people, Carl Hagstrom in particular, suggested a similar ‘brace,’ which is especially important if the stair and bottom newel posts aren’t secured to concrete or the ground.

The easiest way to ‘see’ the finish and measure from the finish to the rough, especially on a complicated stair, is with a story pole For this article, we’re ‘condensing’ Jed’s JLC Live presentation. For instance, if you are building stairs inside of a building, where the slab is level and the location of the bottom step in the room is not critical, the automatic calculator is the easiest to use, since you only have to input one value (the Total Rise A) to calculate everything you need to cut your stringers. First Maitner goes over the different blueprint drawings associated with this stair.

Before laying out the steps on a 2 x 12, decide how the stringers will join the deck. Some of the carpenters we interviewed prefer to hang their stringers right off the rim joists, cutting the first tread flush with the rough deck. Many homeowners are intimidated at the prospect of building their own stair stringers during deck building projects, but building stair stringers is.. How to Lay Out & Cut Basement Stair Stringers.