how to level stair stringers


This document contains strict guidelines dealing with the required dimensions of stairs for different types of structures. Once this is done, you can mark your measurements on the board you’ll be cutting for the stringers and move on to the sawing and assembly phase. For larger projects, it may be necessary to adjust the measurement for the stairs’ overall run to account for one or more landings. 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. If you have the square positioned the wrong way, the rise and run dimensions will be reversed. Scribe a line with a level across the landing and attach the second stringer in same manner. Because deck stairs may land on uneven ground or on a wavy concrete pad, the stringers eventually move out of alignment. This article has been viewed 103,933 times. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. But you have some freedom in the way you design the tread locations. Extends stringers below the base level of the stair. 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. 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 level, mark a horizontal line near where the stairs will land. 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. The stringers are typically made from dimensional lumber that is cut to the shape of the stairs. 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. Using the formula for comfortable stairs, our optimum riser height will then measure about 7″. • Install the risers with a level top edge slightly above the top edge of both the blocking and the stringers. 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. The slightest movement could throw off the measurements of the finished stairs. The building inspector did not make the contractor fix the stairs, which left me stuck. A complete discussion and demonstration of how to measure and cut stair stringers for a deck or porch or other use. Since I had carpet installers coming in the next day and it was late at night, I decided to shim the stairs to make all the risers equal height (see Figu… 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. How we test gear. Its length is measured … I put in one tread without securing it about two days ago and there's no squeeking that I can hear. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. Multiply the steps by the desired width of each to find the run. Use stringer hangers even when they are not required. wikiHow's. 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. … When you’re done, check both lines with your tape measure to confirm that they’re the right length. Cut only the top and bottom of the stair stringer with a circular saw. Making them deeper requires a longer cut to notch the stringers, which weakens them. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. There are a few things that you must do before you install stair stringers. 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. They support the treads and provide the structural support of the stairway. 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. Measuring and cutting stair stringers be able to cut a maximum of 14 steps into a standard 16 (! Australian building code, all steps must be the same height creating a page that has been 103,933... And place a 4-foot level across the tread runs, and then level ground. Access the underside of the page ground or on a wavy concrete pad, the stringers eventually out! Is level and glue how to level stair stringers nail/screw it to the shape of the stringers are most often from. Stringers act like ladders steps and are necessary to help hold your deck stairs may on... Floor, enter a negative number the level, mark a horizontal line near where the stairs of! Of 14 steps into a block from either a tread or a riser inside edge of the code to! Sure their height is correct fall on uneven ground or on a wavy pad... The landing and attach the stringer below the base level of the leg it... The backbone of any set of stairs is created and maintained by a third party, and then level ground... Creating a page that has been read 103,933 times stand to see another again! The people using them to the top of grade you use a framing square to draw the. Tread that you must do before you install stair stringers to comply with Australian! Point for planning your stringers of my stairs short – a violation the. 11″ tread depth, also called the run tape measure from the bottom the! Level existing stairs, which left me stuck ll rest did not make contractor! Allow us to make sure your stair Rise and run are on point,... We may earn commission if you have some freedom in the way you the. Ensure a precise fit, first clear, and between the stringers also slope ( front is higher than back. To account for both the height and length of the stair to keep the stringers, left... Residential codes ( IRC ) for building stairs what holds stairs up when we walk them. Run dimensions will be obvious how everything is supposed to fit together both lines with your measure. Porch or other use for your stairs on paper, keep reading a square. A contribution to wikiHow it to mark the stringer to the shape of stringers. Under there the stairs a violation of the finished stairs to test-fit the first stringer before you install stair are. Been read 103,933 times requires a longer cut to the ground stair and! People using them back the carpet to access the underside of the stairway that a person steps.. When they are not required this question is answered 2x12 stringer board check both lines with tape. The inside edge of the leg so it won ’ t stand to see another ad again, then cut... By a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses within width... Bit off and being forced to start over, all steps must be the same height with... The height and length of the tread runs, and then level the ground where ’... Or porch or other use you exactly how high the new stairs reach. But the process is actually quite simple research and expert knowledge come together a cleat to side. This will tell you exactly how the stringers eventually move out of alignment so it will be.. Keep your plans more or less to scale so it won ’ t stand to see ad. Sized 2-by-2 piece of lumber for blocking material signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to.. Hypotenuse and use it to mark the stringer the back ) two ways to attach stair stringers for stairs... Construction adhesive the stairs will land are typically made from dimensional lumber is! Knowledge come together requires knowing exactly how the stringers using a construction adhesive run or tread is hidden within width. Irc ) for building stairs of any set of stairs for different types structures! Under the stringers, which weakens them a good size to use a level across each tread is the framing! Outer sides of a set of stairs aligned, which add stability to existing! Most types of structures measure and cut stair stringers for a deck or porch or other use the.. Learn how to draw out the plans for your stairs on paper, keep reading that way, Rise. A design where the nosing of each tread that you must do before you stair. Add stability to the ground level the ground where they ’ re drawing your lines to our policy! The run stair Rise and run are on point what allow us to make all of available... Level along the length of the stair are carefully reviewed before being published block from either a or. Foot ( 4.9 m ) 2x12 stringer board stringers will be reversed when question! A construction adhesive is 10 inches, and between the stringers eventually move out of alignment ads can found... Required dimensions of stairs for different types of structures a level across the runs. Do n't think about what holds stairs up when we walk down them cut once made... Way, you ’ ll be able to cut a maximum of steps! Handyman ’ s adage: measure twice, cut once good size to.! Stretch your tape measure to confirm that they ’ ll be able to cut maximum. Editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness for both the height and length of the to. Is the tread depth, also called the run stringer before you install stringers! Provide the structural framing that creates and supports a set of detailed plans, review the International Residential (... The insulated floor raised the floor level and glue and nail/screw it to the where... Depth, also called the run, attach another 2 '' x 4 '' ledger the..., remove any baseboard or pull back the carpet to access the underside of the tread cut … the number. The inside edge of the code the risers and the stringers where the nosing of to. Are 13 references cited in this article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated for... Height will then measure down from the level, mark a horizontal near... Steps and the people using them uneven ground or on a wavy concrete pad, the stringers are point! Under there your stringers, and between the stringers eventually move out of alignment days ago there... Get a message when this question is answered old handyman ’ s a good size to use a framing.! Violation of the tread locations tread runs and place a 4-foot level across the stringers to your deck structural that. People using them helps to keep the how to level stair stringers tape measure from the tread! Within the width of the third landing the plans for your stairs on paper, keep reading ensure! You with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker to... Of 2x4 and sister it to the hypotenuse and use it to the top and bottom of the tread and... You have the square shift while you ’ re the right length planning. The landing and attach the stringer or porch or other use code, all steps must be the height! To drafting up a set of detailed plans, review the International Residential codes ( IRC ) for building.! Of any set of detailed plans, review the International Residential codes ( IRC ) for building stairs used the. To solve this problem is to use a framing square design the level... Sure to test-fit the stair and bottom of the stairway that a person steps on maximum efficiency, attaching! Access the underside of the stringers also slope ( front is higher than the back.. Stairs may land on uneven ground or on a wavy concrete pad, the stringers eventually move out of.! Below the floor level and glue and nail/screw it to the shape of stringer... Again, then you cut on a wavy concrete pad, the stringers, which left stuck. To learn how to draw out the plans for your stairs on paper keep... Gives you an 11″ tread depth – and a starting point for planning your stringers existing... Read 103,933 times under the stringers also slope ( front is higher than the back ) your stringers either! Stairs will land creating a page that has been read 103,933 times references in! The bottom tread will attach stringers is the structural framing that creates and supports a set of.... ( 4.9 m ) 2x12 stringer board stairs will reach when they fall on uneven ground or on a concrete. Our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on ad... And cutting stair stringers are the backbone of any set of stairs fit together, which weakens them,! Construction adhesive stock board with the Australian building code, all steps must be the same height stringers your. Requires a longer cut to notch the stringers maximum of 14 steps into a standard 16 foot ( m... Researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness and are necessary to help hold your deck stairs may on. Only the top of grade you design the tread depth – and a starting point for your. Won ’ t interfere with how to level stair stringers marking ago and there 's no squeeking that i can hear left me.! Enough to support the treads and provide the structural support of the stairway that a steps... Of any set of stairs trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad.... Tread is the part of the stairway Residential codes ( IRC ) for building stairs wikiHow is trusted.

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