Strings are the support beams, mounted obliquely, to which the wooden steps are fastened. This is the most popular type of stairs. It can compete in popularity only with the closed string stairs (however, saddled stairs are more common). Besides, the manufacture of stringers is technologically easier, and the weight of this staircase is less than that of the closed string one.
Materials for the manufacture
Stringer is usually made of wooden or metal beams or tubes. The price of wooden stairs is much less than that of the steel profile. Moreover, their manufacture and installation is easier. Such stringers and bowstrings can be made even with your own hands.
Oak or pine boards are used as a material for wooden stringers or bowstrings. You can also use other wood species, except for coniferous tree species (especially fir, as these sorts of wood are softer and less reliable). Metal stringers and bowstrings can be made of beams or tube. It is almost impossible to build the metal stringers with your own hands, and their installation may cause great difficulties.
50-70 mm thick and 250-300 mm wide boards are used for the production. It is very difficult to find the beams from single massive with such parameters that wouldn’t have knots, cracks and twists. Therefore, glued boards are usually used as a profile beam. Besides, they will not crack, change geometry and creak during operation. To build and install the stairs from bonded material is much easier than to work with a board made of single massive.
The length of board used for building steps determines the width of staircase. If its width is 800-1200 mm, you should use the boards, which are 40-60 mm wide. The same applies if you build the bowstring ladder with your own hands. The ratio of the height of tread to the width of stairwell is about 1:20.
Manufacture of saddled stairs
Steps can be fastened in two ways:
- Make the triangular cutouts on the profile beam, where you should mount and fasten the steps.
- You should fasten the special additional elements (so-called “stumps”) to the profile beam and install the step on them.
If the beam is wooden, you can use any of these options and make the cuts with your own hands. Metal tubes accept only the second option of mounting the steps, which is very problematic to make with your own hands.
Unlike the closed string stairs, stringers leave the ends of steps open. The ladder is often sheathed with an additional decorative panel from the side to hide the ends. Such staircase doesn’t look different from the strings.
Types of saddled stairs
By the way of fastening, saddled stairs can be divided into two types. Both are widely different from each other and can be recognized from the photos. However, the type of staircase will not have a significant effect on the final price difference.
- Closed type. The ends of step boards are fastened on two stringers. Such type is acceptable both for wood and for the metal strings. If the width of stairs is higher than standard, it is often equipped with additional central stringer. Usually, central stringer can’t be seen in the photo (especially if the staircase is equipped with risers). However, it can have a significant impact on the price. Such structure is the most solid, sustainable and reliable.
- Open type. It is installed only on one central stringer. Such type looks aesthetically attractive, but its price can be higher than that of the ladder on two stringers. For this type, you will need the stringer with increased strength, safety and resistance. Therefore, thick enhanced wooden beam is sometimes used for the closed type; however, most people use metal stringer, as it is more stable, durable and resistant to corrosion.
Whatever type of stairs you choose, the final price will depend on the quality of materials used and the complexity of structure.
Installation of saddled stairs
Staircase with two stringers is the most common model. If the width of steps is more than standard, the fastening on central stringer serves as an additional base. But if the stringer is durable and safe, metal can be fixed only on one central base. Such type of staircase is called open; it looks especially aesthetic in the photo, but it will not affect the final price.
The stair installation is made by fixing the stringer (a wooden beam or a steel pipe) between the floor of the ground floor and the base of the upper floor or inter-floor platform.
Of course, you can try to make it with your own hands, but the price issue is not always the most important. It is better to entrust the calculation, manufacture of stringers and the final installation of the staircase to the professionals. All you need is to look at the photos and choose the best structure of the wooden staircase, and the specialists will build and install the rise you like.
What are your favorite stair constructions? Tell us about it in the comments!