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First Time Building Stairs – Everything You Need To Know (Part 2)

Well today is part two of our two-part series on how to build a basic set of stairs if you missed the first video i'll leave a link up here and down in the notes below before the first test fit measure down from the top of the finished floor 7 and 5 16 or 185 mil which is our unit rise and then down further the thickness of the tread so in our case that's going to be an inch and a half or 38 mil then draw a level line all the way across the header as this will mark out the location of the stair stringers this is a 36 inch or 914 mil wide staircase so i'm going to plan on putting three stringers in to about an inch and a half in from the outside edges and the other one dead center with the first stringer held into position check that the treads are level in general if the tread is not level it's one of two things either it's too tall or too short for example if the unit rise was a little too tall the total height of the stringer would also be too tall and the treads would tilt back if the stringer's rise was a little too short the overall stringer then would be short and therefore each tread would tilt forward if your first stringer is out of level slightly you can always make some simple adjustments by either raising it above or below your reference line and that's because most if not all building codes allow for some discrepancy or difference between each rise so for example you can have one at seven and five sixteenths and another one it's seven and an eighth there are some codes that allow up to three eighths of an inch or nine and a half mil difference or discrepancy so you just want to double check your local building codes before you build your set of stairs in full disclosure i cut my tread a little bit too tall and i'm not sure what happened there but i could have made it work by adjusting it like i just mentioned but i decided to go ahead and cut a new stringer i tell you this to simply let you know that it's okay to have to re-cut a stair stringer practice makes progress even for me so once you've landed on the stringer that you like make it your pattern and trace it out on another piece of two by material being sure to line up the bottom of the stringer with the edge of the new material again our example stairs are 36 inches wide so for an outside project or a set of garage stairs with big thick treads like ours i personally would feel comfortable with three treads however if this was in a house as a finished staircase and we had the thinner treads i would go with four stringers just to make it extra firm again you just want to double check with your local building code because you've traced from a pattern be sure to what i call eat the line meaning when you cut don't leave the pencil line showing if you do you'll make the stringer slightly bigger than your pattern let's finish out this video by looking at three different methods to attach the stringers to the header how and when you use these three methods really depends on your local building codes but these three are the most common and do provide a very secure connection first is to use a nailer a nailer is a simple piece of lumber that gets nailed or screwed to the stringers and also gets attached to the studs or other framing members under the header this of course works if you have framing material under your header like this but if you don't that leads us to our next method which is to use a piece of plywood similar to the nailer the plywood gets attached to the stringers first but this time the plywood can get nailed right to the stairwell header as you can see this method doesn't require additional framing under the header but it does require that you have the additional room to add the plywood the last option and the one i really like the most is to use a standard joist hanger to hang the stringer on the header the best way to do this is to turn the hanger around and line it up so that it's about an inch to 25 mil down from the top of the stringer then make a pencil mark where the joist flange contacts the stringer and then use a square to lengthen that line transfer that measurement to the other stringers and it's okay if they're not exact the last step is to set a circular saw blade to the depth of the joist flange which is this measurement here then slowly and carefully follow your lines making the cut then all you have to do is insert the hanger into the kerf and fasten the stringer to the header using the nails through the joist hanger you want to make sure that whatever method that you're using to install the stringers nice and plumb you don't want them to be installed twisted as a quick side note this is the only hanger size that i had available but it really is ideal to use a slightly larger hanger so that it sits lower on the stringer leaving more material up above here in addition to fastening the stringers to the header a 2×4 cleat that gets notched into the lower end of the stringer works great for stopping the stringer from kicking out this is really important when attaching stringers to concrete because it's very difficult to toenail any fasteners through the stringer and into the concrete to finish out this basic set of stairs cut and install the inch and a half treads using some nails or screws overhanging the sides by around an inch and a half in the front about an inch again this is a basic set of stairs however if this was a finished staircase in a house you'd want to be sure to install your risers first and then your treads after that fully finishing off a set of stairs is a very deep topic and one that we're going to have to save for a future video but as far as this video goes i hope you feel confident enough now to build your very own basic set of stairs thank you for watching i'll see everybody in the next video you

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