How to Build Stairs


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Step 1: Supplies and Tools

Supplies and Tools

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

Draw a plan of your steps so you know what your measurments are.

Step 2: The Risers

The Risers
The most complicated part of building a staircase is making the risers. If you are building an outdoor staircase with no overhead obstructions its gonna be a lot easier, you need only decide on the angle of your stairs, measure and cut away. if you are building a staircase indoors you need to take into account the headroom.

Due to the complication in these indoor staircase calculations I’m going to refer to a free online stair calculator. as well I’ll post this detailed diagram.

for uncomplicated staircases and once you have your lenghth and angle calculations this is how you measure and cut a riser.

1. take the board you are using for the riser and measure the angle to the bottom left corner and draw a line.

2. measure your rise height from the line in step 1 to the edge of the board and draw a line.

3. measure from the run length from the rise point 90 degrees and draw a line

See Diagram #2

cut out all the lines drawn and then make a duplicate, and triplicate depending on step width.

Step 3: Notch the Bottom of Riser, Attach the Risers

Notch the Bottom of Riser, Attach the Risers
once you’ve got your risers you’ll want to notch the bottom for a 2×4 if your building indoors to code. This is most easily explained by a diagram. see below.

Now you want to attach the top of the riser to the structure you want to access. place the final rise against the front surface and screw in with hangars. place the second riser the step distance apart and screw in with hangars. place any additional risers in between appropriatly.

Step 4: Make Steps!!!

Make Steps!!!
now that your risers are cut and hung all you gotta do now is put in the step boards. this is nice and easy… cut to the right width, place and screw in moving up the steps to put in the next.

Done and Done

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