Building your own steps, or adding to an existing set of steps, is a relatively simple process, especially if you're used to working with wood and power tools. A very important part of a staircase's anatomy is the presence of "risers"--the vertical elements, or backs of stairs. These are the parts you kick if you step too far into the stair. Sometimes the riser is left open. If you're building step risers to close off this space, you can do so in a few easy steps.
Things You'll Need
- 2 1/2-inch-long trim-head decking screws
- Staircase stock lumber (measurements to your steps)
- Circular saw
If your steps are already built, a lot of the work, such as the measurements, is already done. Measure the riser areas--the spaces that have been left empty behind each step. This space, and the number of risers you're installing, will dictate how much lumber you need. Most building codes require that risers be between 5 inches and 7.5 inches in height, so expect a measurement in that range. Lumber yards generally carry specific lumber stock to be used in steps and staircases.
Risers are installed directly under the lip of the stair above. They should be as long and as high as the space allows, plus some--they should overlap and reinforce the stringers (framework) of the staircase, but should not reach beyond them. Cut your lumber to the length and height you need. You can also cut the risers a little long and trim the excess from the side of the staircase after you've installed the riser.
After cutting the risers, slide them into place in the staircase. Secure them using trim-head decking screws, with several screws installed from the front of the riser and from the side (if the side is accessible). Also place screws from the top, drilled through the stair above the riser. Paint or stain your risers as desired.
Tips & Warnings
- Check with local organizations about riser requirements to ensure that your staircase meets all the guidelines. Risers protect the interior parts of your steps. Without risers, water may get inside the staircase and cause rot or damage.
- Building risers requires precise measurements. Incorrect measurements may result in uneven risers, or gaps in the riser coverage.
How to Measure And Build Stairs
Let's learn how to make a precise and beautiful stairway. Building stairs seems challenging, but it's really quite simple if you use...
How to Make Concrete Steps
In order to make the access from the back door to the backyard or the front door to the walkway it is...
How to Make Stair Risers
Stair risers are boards that form the vertical element of a stair step. Although not actually required in a set of stairs,...
How to Paint Risers and Stain Stairs
Do you crave the elegance of a traditional staircase, with painted white risers and stained treads that match a hardwood floor below?...
How to Build Stair Stringers
When all the stair materials are ready/store bought or cut and ready to install, there is a few simple steps to take...
How to Build Stairs
Calculate the number of steps. Divide the total rise by 7.25. (7 1/4 inches is generally considered a good riser height). Round...
Using Risers for Step Aerobics
Equipment for step workout. Learn about the use of risers for step aerobics in this free fitness workout from a professional instructor.
How to Make Dentures Step By Step
The dental industry is big business healthcare at its finest. Not to mention the fact that making fake teeth in the movie...