How Do You Build Stair Stringers?

To build stair stringers, determine the layout needed, use a framing square to trace the angles on the first board, make the first cut with a circular saw, and finish the job with a handsaw. Use the first stringer as a template for the others needed for your stairs.

  1. Calculate the angles for the stair stringers

    Use a level and a tape measure to determine the rise for your stairs. Measure the distance from the top to the stair landing or floor. Input this information into a stair calculator for the number of stairs and angles for your stringers.

  2. Trace the outline

    Lay a 2-by-12 board on a pair of sawhorses. Place a framing square on the beginning of the board, aligning the riser height and tread depth. Clamp the framing square in place, and trace this angle. Repeat this process along the length of the board.

  3. Make the initial cut

    Use a circular saw to cut out the angles. However, do not cut all the way to the lines.

  4. Finish the cuts by hand

    Use a handsaw to cut to the lines. Make sure the cuts are clean and do not overlap the drawn lines.

  5. Use the first stringer as a template

    Lay another board on the sawhorses, and use the first stringer as a template. Trace the angles onto the new board, and cut in the same manner. Use this procedure for all the stingers needed for your stairs.