Build a winding staircase by starting off on level ground, positioning one edge of stair stringers and nailing the chalk line to it. Then, using a level as a guide, mark the width of the stringer on the chalk line and cut the stairway to this width. Connect each stringer to its neighboring stringer by building a horizontal platform with nails. Set up plywood subflooring stairs and nail them in place. Secure your staircase supports after installing the risers. Add treads to your winding staircase, continuing around as necessary until completed; then stain or paint as appropriate or leave unfinished for an antique look.
Building a winding staircase is an excellent way to create a spectacular focal point in your home, but it can be an intimidating project for even the most experienced woodworker. The first step is going to be selecting the material for your winding staircase design. For example, red oak has greater longevity than pine and cherry wood has more flexibility than white oak. Choosing the proper material for your staircase will make all of the difference when you’re trying to build a winding staircase as beautiful as one that you would find at an architectural museum.
Winding staircases are a great way to add style and elegance to any room. The good news is that building your own is totally possible, even for the average DIYer. This article will walk you through the basics of installing a wooden staircase, from start to finish. We’ll show you how to determine the space of your staircase, calculate the rise and run, decide on a landing point, determine how many treads are needed, draw out the design, add a skirt board to each end of the stringers and attach them (attaching them last is important), and finally attach a header. After reading this article you’ll be an expert in winding staircases.
Determine the space of your staircase
Your staircase size and design depend on the following:
- The width of your stairs, which will dictate how wide they can be.
- The height of your stairs, which will dictate how high you can go with a winding staircase.
- The depth of your stairs, which will dictate how deep they can be without taking up too much space in the room or hallway where it is placed.
- And finally, the number of flights that are required for any given job—a single flight means just one set of steps; double means two flights; triple would mean three flights; etcetera.
Calculate the rise and run
In order to build your winding staircase, you’ll need to determine the rise and run. Rise is the vertical distance between the floor and the top of a stair, while run is the horizontal distance between two steps. When figuring out this information, keep in mind that most people are comfortable walking up stairs with risers that measure 6-10 inches tall, so your rise should be around this amount (though it could be slightly higher). As for your run, 8-12 inches is ideal for most people again, it’s best if you choose something right in that range rather than going above or below it too much.
Decide on a landing point
The landing point is the area where the stairs end, and it needs to be at least three inches wider than the stair tread. You’ll also want to make sure that you make your landing a minimum of twelve inches from the bottom of your stairs, so that you have enough space for people’s feet as they come down. Finally, if possible, try to include some kind of window or other element in your staircase so that it doesn’t look too bland—this will make things more interesting for everyone who uses them.
Determine how many treads are needed
First, you’ll need to figure out how many treads your staircase will have. For example, a standard 8-foot-wide staircase has seven treads.
You can use this formula to find out how many treads you need: (stairs’ width in feet) x 12 ÷ 2 = total number of stairs needed
Once you’ve calculated the length of your staircase, it’s time to start figuring out the measurements for each part that makes up your new winding stairway.
Draw out the design
- Start by drawing out the dimensions of your staircase.
- Make sure it is balanced by drawing two lines down the center of your staircase and dividing them in half. The top rail should be the same width as these two lines, while the bottom rail should be half that size.
- Make sure it is safe by keeping in mind that a person’s arm span should be at least double their height plus 10 inches (if you’re 5’5″ tall, then your arm span should measure about 7′). This means that if you’re building for someone who stands 6 feet tall, then their arms will have to bend back uncomfortably as they reach up over their head or down at their waist. To ensure safety and comfort in this case, make sure there are no obstructions blocking access to areas where people need to stand on stairs no posts or walls directly behind stairs for example and make sure there are enough steps between landings so that knees don’t bump into anything when going up or down stairs; also consider how much weight each step can support before deciding which materials are right for each part of construction (i.e., wood treads vs concrete risers).
Add a skirt board to each end of the stringers and attach them
- Attach the skirt boards to the stringer
- Attach the skirt boards to the wall
- Attach the skirt boards to the ceiling
- Attach the skirt boards to the floor
- Attach the skirt boards to the railing
- Attach them all together into one big structure that looks like a staircase
Attach a header
Once you’ve laid out the stringers, it’s time to build the header. The header is a wood beam that spans between two stringers and supports the weight of the stairs. It should be cut to match the width, depth and height of your stringer boards. To attach this piece, use a framing square to mark where each end will rest on top of your strings (in other words: place it against one side edge and measure over towards another). Then use some nails or screws at these points (making sure to drill pilot holes first) so that when you flip over one end after you finish building all four sides of your frame assembly, there will be no gaps between them.
The finished staircase should be a design that is tailored to your own room. Be sure to do it in a way that will bring you the most satisfaction.