Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Making Stringers

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To measure the stringers properly, you’ll have to figure out the number of steps, the rise and run dimensions of each step, and the total rise and run of the stairs. Start by measuring the total rise (i.e. the height) of the staircase, from the top surface to the bottom. Next, establish the approximate height of each riser. A standard height is 7½ inches, but double-check with your building code to ensure that your selected height is code-compliant. Now, you can safely quantify the number of steps by dividing the total rise by the rough riser height. Then, decide whether you want the stringer to serve as the last tread before the top landing, or if you want to align the stringer with the landing. If you go with the former, you’ll need to leave the stringer one rise short. Finally, determine the exact riser height to a fraction of an inch by dividing the total rise by the number of steps.

Now, it’s time to figure out the steps’ runs. The International Residential Code requires a minimum step run of 10 inches for residential occupancies, so be sure not to make it any shorter. The last step in the stringer calculation is to multiply the step run by the number of steps. This gives you the total run of the staircase and will help you choose the right length for your stringer board.

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