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Is It Difficult to Build Stairs?

Building stairs requires precision and understanding of key design principles. It's a task that blends craftsmanship with safety considerations, ensuring each step is uniform and secure. While challenging, it's achievable with the right tools and guidance. Ready to ascend the steps of stair-building knowledge? Join us as we climb through the essentials, step by step. How will your project rise above?
John Sunshine
John Sunshine

Is it difficult to build stairs? Some people have a hard time putting anything together, while others can easily build just about anything without instructions. The latter group will find it easy to build stairs, while the former group will most likely find it difficult.

For the rest of us, the answer will depend on the type of stairs we wish to build. Most people will choose to investigate the use of a stair kit. There are stair kits available for almost every type of stair. Spiral staircases, fold-away attic staircases, patio and deck staircases, and numerous others are available. Most of these kits come complete, and it is simply a matter of assembling the kit to build stairs. If there is a stair kit for your project, then it will be much easier for you to build stairs.

A spiral staircase.
A spiral staircase.

If you decide to build stairs from scratch, there are at least two very critical dimensions: the height of each step, and the landing size of the step. Typical step height is 6.75 inches (17.15 cm). If you plan to build stairs that will be covered by a building code, it is critical to adhere to this dimension within the tolerances allowed by the building code in your jurisdiction. Even if the stairs you are building are not covered by a building code, it is best to follow this dimension, as people are conditioned to this step size and less likely to trip on conventionally sized stairs.

Building a staircase requires knowing the run and rise of the staircase.
Building a staircase requires knowing the run and rise of the staircase.

The landing area is the place where you put your feet as you go up the stairs. The typical length for this dimension is 11 inches (about 28 cm). The width of your stair is typically dependent upon the application, and there is no set or standard dimension.

To build stairs without the use of a pre-made kit requires more detailed planning and much more careful detailed work. It is more difficult to build stairs this way, but you get the advantage of building them in exactly the manner you want.

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Discussion Comments

Stepper

I've built some stairs using adjustable stair brackets. The project turned out well especially since I'd never done it before. All my friends think I hired a contractor. The only brackets I could find were from a company called EZ Stairs.

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    • A spiral staircase.
      A spiral staircase.
    • Building a staircase requires knowing the run and rise of the staircase.
      By: wittybear
      Building a staircase requires knowing the run and rise of the staircase.
    • If you plan to build stairs that will be covered by a building code, it is critical to adhere to this dimension within the tolerances allowed by the building code in your jurisdiction.
      By: Lsantilli
      If you plan to build stairs that will be covered by a building code, it is critical to adhere to this dimension within the tolerances allowed by the building code in your jurisdiction.
    • Kits for building stairs are available in a variety of styles.
      By: johnbraid
      Kits for building stairs are available in a variety of styles.