A staircase is an indispensable element of any private house that has several floors. But besides the utilitarian function, this element has an important aesthetic value. And if the wooden staircase is made by hand, this is another argument in favor of talents and excellent taste of house owners. The same can be said of a beautiful porch, the work on which will be even faster and easier.
In this article, we will briefly explain to you how to pass through all phases of building a staircase on your own (from drawings and calculations) and get an original staircase or porch in your house (and at the same time save money).
Why should you choose wood?
If you compare wood to the other building materials, its advantages are obvious. This material is relatively cheap, quite easy to process (even for the newcomer), and allows you to vary both design characteristics of the porch or inter-story stairs and their color scheme. This can easily be seen by looking at the photos of finished products in our collection or training video about their calculations and manufacture in thematic articles on the website.
Pine is the economy version usually used in household construction. It belongs to the sorts of cheap softwood. If you decided to build wooden stairs with your own hands, consider that it has it also has some disadvantages:
- it rapidly loses the texture stability, which is why the steps will constantly creak in operation;
- it darkens and partially loses its aesthetics.
Pine is usually used for the manufacture of a hand-made wooden porch. In the picture below, you can see that such a porch is pretty common in country houses with a high foundation or in countryside houses building.
For the front entrance, you should use more expensive wood sorts– oak/beech and larch.
The first will give the structure strength and solidity, while the second is characterized by high moisture resistance. The price of such wood is offset by its durability.
What will you need for the staircase?
First, you need to create a concept of future construction. Any construction of hand-made wooden stairs is limited to 2 technological options:
- Winding staircases. This option is the most ergonomic, as their location requires only 1.5 square meters of floor. They also gain in terms of stylish design, whose option you can choose out of many photos available on our website and made by hand. The only problem is that the newcomers will find it very difficult to make the right calculations of such structure and make the blanks according to the drawings.
- Flight stairs. This is a classic option with flights and handrails. Anyone who has watched our thematic videos about the hand-made wooden stairs can build the flight stairs. This structure, indispensable for the porch or summerhouse, can be fastened on open or closed strings (the first option is the simplest).
Having chosen the model, the only thing you have to do is to stock up on materials and necessary joiner’s tools, which includes screwdriver.
Main stages of construction
For illustrative purposes, we have compiled a list of basic steps for the successful creation of stair flight.
The precise calculation, allowing to determine the size of the staircase or porch, their location, the quantity of building material, and correct drawings represent 80% of the successful result! There are some common truths that you should always follow:
- for the comfortable lifting, the inclination angle must not exceed 45 degrees;
- the landing should be arranged only if the number of steps exceeds 10;
- standard tread (width of step) ranges from 25 to 35 cm;
- height of riser must not exceed 16-18 cm;
- comfortable width of the stairwell is 1.2 m;
- the safe height of handrails is approximately 1 m.
In manufacturing the wooden stairs, it is much easier to perform calculations if you use special computer programs from the category of “construction calculators” that ensure the accuracy of calculations.
Having calculated the parameters, you can start to make drawings for the wooden staircase. If you don’t have enough experience in this area, you can take photos of similar drawings as an example.
Marking and manufacture of structural elements
The work with blanks for the inter-floor staircase or porch should begin with marking. For this, you need to use a ruler and a special angle. You should approach this procedure very seriously, as even a small distortion in the calculations can spoil the steps, handrails, or balusters.
Later you can proceed to cut out the steps and risers. Special electric saw with angle adjustment, and depth of notch allows you to make it quickly and qualitatively. A special step which will replace the template can help you to simplify the procedure. Board thickness for the tread and risers must be no less than 40 mm. And don’t forget about the adequate width and the right safety margin of the porch steps. If the steps are ready, you can take up open and closed strings, for which you should use a 50 mm thick beam.
Assembly and installation of the staircase
After all, elements are prepared, stringers should be fastened to the floor and ceilings, and for strength (depending on the location of staircase), it can be additionally fixed to the wall or be strengthened with a board in the area of every third step. Then you should fix the steps and risers to the bars according to the marking. Here you need to level all horizontal and vertical angles at 90 degrees. You should fix the details with the joiner’s glue and tapping screws from stainless steel; at that, the quality gluing of all joints will prevent the stairs from creaking.
The final part of mounting is an installation of handrails and balusters. Here, you can cheat a little and buy the finished products in the shop simply because it is impossible to make these elements symmetrically and qualitatively without the special machine. In order to ensure security, you should pay special attention to the strength and reliability of the attachment of these supporting components.
To get an idea about the sequence of work, you can watch the detailed installation process on the video or use the photos from the stepwise instructions.
The final stage of manufacturing the staircase is its protection from rotting. After polishing, you can make the boards using the paint, varnish, or stain, which will protect the staircase from the environment and prevent the annoying creaking. Varnish coating will help the internal structure to fit into the interior. In the photo, you can see that the beautiful winding staircase is always varnished.
For the porch steps, you should use the treatment with varnish and paint (in several layers). To prevent their wear and extend the service life, wood should be protected with special moisture- and abrasion-resistant (and also non-slip) coating. Arrangement of the visor for the porch to protect it from snow and rain will not be excessive as well. Such visors give the construction greater completeness and unity of style (both in the photos and in life).
We hope that the presented material convinced you that the manufacture of wooden stairs is not a complicated process. If you found this article interesting, we ask you to access it or leave your comments in the fields below.