# Building Stairs

Ideally a stairway should be enough to allow two persons to pass each other, a minimum of 36″ wide, 34″ high.

The newel is the main post where the stairs begin and end also where the landing junctions occur.

The   balusters , also called spindles, connect the tread to the handrail. Make sure that the distance between each  baluster  is no more than 4″ maximum. More than 4″ is against code and could allow a child’s head to get caught.

The handrail is the rail that is paralleled to the slope of the stringer from newel post to newel post.

The landing is the platform between straight runs of steps in an L-shaped or U-shaped stairway.

The riser is the distance from the top of the step to the next step, usually anywhere from 6″ to 8″ high.( 8 1/4″ maximum).

The tread is the step itself that you step on, usually 9″ to 12″ wide.

When you add the riser and the tread together it should be between 17″ to 21″ with 18″ to 19″ being your average.

The stringer is the carriage that supports the treads and the risers, usually a 2″ x 12″ or 2″ x 10″ cut to fit the steps.

How to figure the steps: Measure the distance from the floor or ground to the top of your landing, top of deck or the next floor.

Example: If the distance from the ground to the top of the deck is 45″ high, you divide by 7″ or 8″ to find how high each step will be.

In this case we find that 71/2″ will be the height of each step, which mean that you will have 6 risers and 5 treads.