Most homes can’t do without stairs. Sometimes people have to assemble the most primitive stairs with their hands. Since wood is a good material in processing and affordable in price, the manufacture of wooden stairs is common in private constructions. It is not easy to make even the simplest design safe and comfortable. This article is devoted to the basics of how to make wooden stairs correctly and quickly at home.
Get acquainted with the stairs
Before you make a ladder, you need to be able to navigate in all the functional and design features of this element of accessibility. All the stairs are conventionally divided into 4 types:
- interstory stairs;
- basement stairs (stairs for cellars);
- fire escape or technical stairs;
- access ladders and portable ladders.
The structure of the staircase
Despite this, most of them have the same mandatory elements:
- A stringer is located at the bottom of the main supporting beam/beams that support treads, risers and receives most of the load.
- A stringer – supporting bearing structure in the form of a board with special notches to fix the stairs. According to the degree of maximum permissible loads, the string is inferior to the bowstring.
- Steps – beams, consisting of horizontal treads and vertical risers. You can make a design without risers, but it will lose in strength and aesthetic appearance.
- Handrail – a protective and supporting structure for support of the hands, including balusters with handrails. They come in different shapes and sizes.
Materials for manufacture
If you decided to manufacture a wooden staircase with your own hands only in order to save money and you plan to construct it from improvised materials, then it is better to reject this idea. Materials of strong and durable construction must meet certain requirements:
- Wooden beams 50/250 mm are used for stringers and bowstrings. The width can be reduced to 150 mm in lightweight structures with low load.
- Wooden beams with a thickness of not less than 25 mm are suitable for risers, and it is better even to use beams with more thickness.
- You should use a wooden work piece with a thickness of 30-40 mm to make a tread. You can purchase a board of the same size for risers and treads.
- If the manufacture of stairs made of wood is new for you, then it is better to buy a ready-made product in the case of handrails and balusters. You won’t be able to make these design elements with your own hands without special skills.
Types of stairs
Before you make a staircase made of wood in your home, you should choose a type of design that will be optimal in the room according to the size and aesthetics of the interior.
Internal ladders can be presented by marching or screw designs.
Marching design is a classic version of the stairs consisting of flights of stairs, i.e., stairs and intermediate platforms (marches). Screw design – a compact design, which, despite the limited functionality, differs in its fashionable style and aesthetics. This staircase is a very complex structure, which can be made only by professionals. The price of manufacturing such a wooden staircase is also quite high, because it uses more expensive types of wood. Minimum prices even for ready-made spiral stairs can exceed 100 thousand rubles.
What do you need to build a staircase?
Except for a desire to make a staircase with your own hands, you need a minimum set of professional tools for work with wood. This minimum list consists of the jigsaw, screwdriver, electric drill, hand circular saws, sanders, hammer, axe, hacksaw, chisels, and water level.
You should also add the ability to calculate dimensions and build drawings. Now it is easy thanks to Internet resources, where you can find drawings, step by step photo or video instructions that will prompt how to build a wooden staircase correctly. The calculations will be made by program-calculators posted on the websites of construction subjects. Having adopted all this knowledge even a novice can make a worthy piece of furniture with their own hands.
Those who doubt their skills should order a ready-made design. Naturally, the prices for production of such ladders are not small due to use of natural materials. For example, if the average price of a spiral staircase made of metal structures and combined materials is 40-55 thousand rubles, then a good option of oak will cost 110-140 thousands and above. It all depends on the complexity of the design, quantity and quality of materials. Apart from these structures, there are budget models of pine, which can be purchased at a price of only 24-26 thousand rubles.
A good option would be to buy work pieces for wooden stairs with ready markings and make a finished product.
However, if you are not experienced enough, but creative, you can make a ladder by investing all the warmth of your hands. If you want do this, we will touch upon the main points of how to build a good ladder for home or domestic use.
Access ladder? It is very simple!
How can you do small facade repairs or fruit harvesting in the garden without an access ladder? Of course, it’s hard! One ladder is often not enough for domestic needs due to its low height, so a good host should always have an access ladder. It is very easy to make such an assistant with your own hands. You will need two bars of wood of coniferous breeds with sections 40×50 or 50×50 mm for stringers and 35х40 mm for treads (rungs). The standard height of these stairs is usually 3 meters, and the width-40-60 cm. The standard step between the steps is 30 cm, it is convenient to capture them with your hands.
Please note that the height always has an allowance of 20 cm, i.e. the total height of the product will be 3.2 meters. If the height is greater (for example, 5 m), it is necessary to increase the cross-section of the bowstrings to 80×80 mm for rigidity and margin of safety.
After measurement and cutting of the work piece, you should properly make the layout of stringers and prepare their nests for the beams. The slots at the ends of the rails should have spikes of rectangular shape for secure mounting. Before install them in the string, they should be lubricated with carpenter’s glue, but you can use screws for a more secure fit. After assembly, the lower edges of the bowstring should be cut at an angle for stability. The ladder itself should be painted with moisture-resistant paint, and the product is ready.
If you have lack of time it is possible to use simpler way of fastening of crossbeams without grooves directly to a face part of bars by means of nails or screws. You should note that this design quickly loosens up and becomes dangerous to use.
Let’s make a marching staircase
Marching stairs are the simplest staircase designs, which can be done even by a novice. Depending on the number of marches, there can be 1 and 2-marches staircases. The shape of a march can be straight and with turns (L-shaped and U-shaped). To begin with, it is better to make a straight staircase with your own hands.
You need planks for steps, a beam with cross-section of 40 mm and screws. During the manufacture of staircases, it is important to make drawings and sketches on the basis of accurate measurements. The key parameters of measurements are height, elevation angle (no more than 45°), number of steps and width.
When determining the size of stairways, you should be aware that their width should not be less than the width of the exit into the stairwell and varies depending on the type of housing from 0.8 to 1.5 meters.
Only have auxiliary stairs attic or basement can have the width less than 80 cm.
A simple marching lifting is done on the basis of stringers or bowstrings. If you are a beginner, it will be easier to perform the second option or purchase these items in the finished form. The technology of installation of such stairs is simple and described on many websites. Taking advantage of this information, you can quickly equip such a structure in your home.
Spiral staircase is extremely difficult to make
Fans of spiral staircases, which save space in the house, should start with the simplest installation options. During its construction, it is essential if a staircase is not very steep. If you live with elderly family members or kids, it is better to abandon this dangerous design.
It is possible to make a screw wooden ladder as easily and quickly as possible, having bought a ready factory set and making its installation with your own hands. This will already bring tangible benefits.
What should you start with?
The screw structure is based on 3 main elements: struts, railings and steps. You should better choose oak steps from stained wood or ThermoTube as the most durable materials which have aesthetic appearance.
Before buying, you should choose the optimal model according the size of the room in the house. It is possible to call an expert or use the way of independent measurements described above. If you have experience in carpentry, you can make the steps with your own hands and limit the order with racks and railings. These elements of serial production are often metal, but there are also wooden varieties at a higher price.
Installation of spiral staircase structures is tied on the central rack, which is installed between the floors and attached to the floor with anchor bolts. After its installation, the steps are mounted, one side of which has special places for fastening to the rack, and the other – the holes for the railing. Safe distance between the steps is about 20 cm. It is important that the top step should be level with the upper floor. There are some nuances, because a marching staircase has a rectangular geometry of an aperture, a screw staircase – a radial geometry. This significantly affects the principles of their calculations.
As the first self-test is recommended to use a spiral staircase with a design called “duck step”, which can be found in our other articles. In conclusion we will note that it is possible to construct wooden products independently only strictly adhering to technology of carrying out works. The quality of the used materials should also be treated very carefully. Boards and bars should not contain excessive moisture and defects of structure.
We hope that this material was useful to you, and we ask you to evaluate and comment on it in the special fields below.