Q:

What are some tips for building basement stairs?

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Quick Answer

Some tips for building basement stairs include getting to know the building codes of the locality; measuring the rise and run; calculating the riser height, number of steps needed and the tread width; using a circular saw and hand saw for cutting wood; and using screws for all fastenings. In addition, attach a rail and a handrail.

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Full Answer

Begin building basement stairs by learning about the guidelines and any restrictions regarding the same. Also, obtain any necessary permits, and determine if the stairs are to be straight or L-shaped, depending on the space available.

To measure the rise, determine the straight distance between the floor of the basement and the floor above it. To measure the run, determine the distance between the point at which the steps stop in the basement and the floor above. Convert all measurements to inches.

Divide the rise by seven to calculate the riser height, and the dividend is the number of risers required. Subtract one from the number of risers to know the number of steps required. To calculate the tread width, divide the run by the number of steps. Ensure that all steps are of the same width and height.

Use a circular saw to cut plywood and the hand saw to finish the cuts. Use screws for securing the cut wood as it can create a stronger bond with the wood glue.

Build the rail and hand rail according to the building codes of the locality, and fasten the same to the posts using screws.

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