How to measure stairs

Project by Dennis posted 02-13-2010 10:39 PM 4903 views 3 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

Hello everyone my is Dennis form Des Moines,IA.
I have been a custom deck builder for 15 + years and this year I am trying something new!!

Many carpenters would agree that building a staircase can be a very frustrating project.
Correct rise & run measurements, as well as, stringer layout can cause many to feel defeated.
I believe the intimidation occurs while trying to figure out the measurement portion of the project.

Well I have the solution…....
I would like to introduce you to “The StairGuide”.

The first tape measure for stairs.
“The StairGuide” answers most of your mathmatical question.
Some of the information included is:
Minimum & maximum # of riser options (up to 19) at any given height (up to 12’ 8’‘).
It also gives the exact measurements of each rise in easy to read written fraction format, total run options & stair angles.

“The StairGuide” works for commercial & residential buildings.
Wether you are a professional or a do-it-yourselfer, or even a homeowner.
I believe anyone building stairs could benefit by using “The StairGuide”.

I am trying to get my name out. So, Please visit my website @ www.TheStairGuide.com for more details… I also have a 4 part video series on how to build a Cedar 17 riser, closed riser and closed stringer staircase. I would have put the videos up on this site but I didnt see that option. The video quality isn’t the greatest, sorry I am just not that good at windows movie maker. maybe I will make a different video this year.
Patent Pending 2010
or if you have any questions I will try to answer them.
Thanks for looking at my blog. I threw on a few examples of my work as well.
I tried to put on more pictures but the program wouldn’t allow it.

Step 1: Figuring total rise: first you need to ESTIMATE the height of your deck.
for example lets say it is 84-3/4” now you take “the StairGuide” and set it at 84-3/4”. It shows multiple options. 11-19 risers. If you are trying to save money then you go with 11 risers (steps), If you have children or you are a little older and want a more comfortable step then maybe option 13 works better for you. so 11 risers would be 7-11/16” rise per step and 13 risers would be 6-1/2” rise per step and 19 risers would be 4-7/16” rise per step.
Lets choose 12 risers for example: that is 7-1/16” per rise.
Now we must determine the total run. With an outdoor staircase I go with the common 10” run. 2 deck boards set on each step leaving a 1” overhang. There are typically 1 less treads then there are rise since the deck counts as a rise. So with 12 risers I cut the stringer (2×12) with 11 rise (steps).

Step 2: Now that we have decided to go with 12 risers which is 11 steps we take the run of each step which is 10” and we multiply it by the number of steps. 11×10 = 110” that is how far away from the deck the stairs will end up. Now that we know that point, measure 110” away from the deck and measure up to the height of the deck. This is simple, take a 2×4 or something long and straight. Place the 2×4 on the deck and hold it out level over the spot at 110” out. Level the 2×4 and measure down to the ground at the 110” spot. This will give you the actual Total rise height. Now if your ground goes up or down, then re-figure the total height with “The StairGuide” and you may need to ad a rise or take a rise away. also changing your rise height. (This is the very first step required in building an outdoor staircase.)

Step 3: Now after repeating the estimate step to the actual rise height you are ready to layout a stringer.

-- Dennis,Iowa,www.thestairguide.com

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posted 02-18-2010 08:29 AM

You have some really nice work in the photo’s. I particularly like the border detail in the last pic. Welcome to refurbers. BTKS

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