DIY Stairs/ Build Your Own Wooden Steps

Whether you need to build a set of temporary steps or just steps in general, this is a good beginner tutorial for anyone looking to ascend to new heights and master the basics of DIYing your own stairs. We built these in one hour and they were a quick solution for our ongoing sunroom project. You can build your own steps for a garage, steps for a kids’ playhouse, steps for a kids’ treehouse, this is overall a good skill to have. It will also help you to repair your own stairs in your home if the need ever arises (no pun intended).

Materials Needed:

  1. Pressure-treated lumber (stringers (ALWAYS 2x12s), treads, and risers)
  2. Wood screws
  3. Circular saw
  4. Carpenter’s square
  5. Level
  6. Measuring tape
  7. Drill

Step 1: Measure and Plan

  • Determine the total rise (vertical distance) and total run (horizontal distance) for your stairs.
  • Check local building codes for specific requirements.
Mock up where you will cut your risers on the 2x12

Step 2: Calculate Rise and Run

  • Divide the total rise by the desired riser height to determine the number of risers.
  • Divide the total run by the number of treads.
Use a carpenter's square for drawing your rise and run on the 2x12

Step 3: Cut Stringers

  • Use a carpenter’s square and measuring tape to mark the rise and run on the stringer board.
  • Cut the stringers using a circular saw.
Position stringers in place

Step 4: Attach Stringers

  • Position the stringers in place, ensuring they are level and properly aligned.
  • Attach the stringers to the deck or landing using screws and construction adhesive (if they will be permanently attached, for ours they were temporary)
Add the treads and risers. We made a temporary staircase so we don't need risers.

Step 5: Add Treads and Risers

  • Attach treads and risers to the stringers. Treads are the horizontal steps, and risers are the vertical components between steps. Check for level as you go so that your steps aren’t lopsided.
  • Secure them using screws and construction adhesive. (again, if they will become permanent steps)

    We hope this new acquired skill of DIY steps will be useful to you. It has many different applications. Get creative and happy remodeling!

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