Building stairs is one of the most challenging, time consuming building projects for most builders. Not all stair construction methods are equal. Some are much more user friendly and cost effective than others. Of course, in this economy, you need to save every penny on your deck stairs, basement stairs, or interior stairs. It’s interesting that many people with minimal experience are willing to tackle a simple deck project for the first time, but hit a brick wall when it comes to building stairs. It just seems complicated and out of reach for people with little or no experience. The good news is “you can build that stair”.
Why are stairs considered to be so difficult? Stairs must be built according to specific building codes and they require a high degree of accuracy to work correctly. With traditional stair construction, every cut is final and you better know what you’re doing or you get to start over again. Multiple stringers are required with literally dozens of precise, free hand cuts required to form the stair. Each stringer must then be attached in perfect alignment for the rise and treads to be secured accurately. This is a very cumbersome process, requiring a great degree of skill and patience.
Is there is a better way? Advances over the past several years has seen the introduction of many new stair technologies. One system that stands out is engineered, self-adjusting, stair brackets. This system makes stair construction easier, stronger and faster. Basic skill level requirements are all that is needed to build a perfect stair the first time. However, should you make a mistake, the brackets can be readjusted to reform the stair, eliminating the normal loss of stringers that is all too common in traditional stair construction.
How does it work? The adjustable stair brackets are positioned on two 2×6’s -using a reusable spacing tool. The spacer is set using a chart which will give the exact setting for the rise and tread required for your project. Two screws are set in each bracket, attaching to the two 2×6’s. This forms a fully adjustable stringer which is then adjusted exactly to your stair requirements. Fixing screws are then inserted to lock the brackets in position. Two to three cuts total, top and bottom completes the stringer. Compared this to the dozens of cuts required for traditional construction. With this system, stairs can be built up to nine feet wide, using only the two outside stringers….no interior stringers required.
How is this possible with only two stringers? The adjustable brackets are ICC/ES tested and approved as joist hangers. The risers are made structural (2×8’s), attaching to the brackets and spanning across the stair like load bearing joists. This structurally superior system has been tested with breaking strains in excess of 1,200 lbs. per sq. ft. Once the risers and treads are attached, your stair is complete. The result will be a stair that is accurate, extremely strong and “you built that stair”.