How To Measure Up For Your Own Stairs


A staircase can be the fundamental construction in your home or commercial premises. They allow you to reach higher ground and essentially more space to go about your daily business.

Though constructing your own stairs sounds like a long and complicated process there are actually only three components you need in order to fulfill the task. Stringers, treads and risers.

Stringers are diagonal boards which support the weight pushed onto the step, treads are the actual boards that you step on to climb the stairs and risers are placed at a right angle underneath the tread.

To start measuring up for your own stairs follow these simple steps.

Start Taking Your Measurements

Before starting to build your stairs you need to take measurements of where you will be constructing your staircase. Known as the total rise, your first measurement should be the intended height of your staircase. If you choose to stop the stairs before reaching the upper level, take the difference into account when noting down your total rise.

Once you have your total rise measurement you’ll need to divide this total to work out the number of stairs you will need. The average rise for a step is 5 to 8 inches. Use your preferred rise to calculate the number of stairs needed.

Now you have your total of stairs required to complete the staircase you’ll need to divide your total rise by the number of stairs to get the actual rise per stair. This final measurement will make each stair equal no matter what size the total rise is.

Run For It

After calculating the rise per stair your next measurements will look at how deep the treads will be, also known as the run. The general rule for treads is that they should be 9 inches as a minimum, but ideally 10 inches or more. This preference is in place so that stairs can safely be used by all users.

Multiplying the run by the total number of stairs to be built will give you a total run, or in otherwords how much space your staircase will take projecting forward. However, if you are planning on installing a landing for a particularly long set of stairs this would effectively break up your staircase. This means you will need to look at each set of stairs individually.

Prepare The Stringers

Stringers run horizantally underneath your stairs to hold them up. Eventually your treads and risers will attach to the stringers but first you need to calculate the length needed. To do this you’ll need to multiply your total run by itself and then do the same with the total rise. Add these figures together and find the square root to get your correct stringer length. Three stringers are required to make a standard staircase safe.

If you need help on constructing your own stairs, you can use the Mr Stairs software app to help eliminate all the hard work.