How to Build Stairs

When building additions to your home or tree fort, something you may want to create are stairs. They can be various sizes and types, made from concrete, iron wrought and wood. The stairs I will describe for you will be made of wood and very simple to make.

Required Materials/Tools

  • 2×6″ lumber
  • 2×12″ lumber
  • Framing square
  • Carpentry level
  • Masking tape
  • Circular saw
  • Hand saw


There three basic parts to stairs: the riser, the stringer and the tread. The stringer supports the stairs. The tread is where you put your feet this will determine how wide the steps are. The risers are places against the tread and determine the distance between each step. For basic stairs of even steps, the risers and the tread can be uniform. You can make the risers smaller than the tread, this will give you more steps to go up. This is helpful for people who have trouble with stairs.

  1. We need to determine the height. Measure from the landing point to the end of the stairs.
  2. Set the 2×4″s down and use a level to make sure they are aligned.
  3. Figure out the number of stairs required. Divide the total height by 7.25 (typical estimate).
  4. When you get the number of stairs required, subtract 1 from that number to determine how many “treads” you will need. We do not need a tread at the top of the stairs. You will need the same number of risers. To calculate the height of them, divide the total rise (the distance from the top step to the bottom step) by the number of steps you wish to make. If you have 25′ from the bottom to the top of your stairs, and u put 25 steps, your risers will be 1ft wide.
  5. Find the exact level for the stairs.
  6. Lay out the 2×12″s and get ready to mark your stairs.
  7. Using the frame square level, mark the outline of the steps. Use the measurements we took for the number of steps and the riser height. Mark these off for the entire stairs. Be sure to do this on 2 2×12″s. we need both sides for the stairs.
  8. When done marking the stairs, use a circular saw and cut along the outline. Make sure to check the work as you go to determine the correct measurements held true.
  9. When installing the stairs, Affix the risers in place first with hammer and nails.
  10. Add the first tread on the bottom of the stairs, then place the riser in front of it.
  11. Continue going UP the stairs. It is dangerous to work from the top down.


  • Check to makes sure the stringer is strong enough to support a person, if not multiple people. Ask the lumber store what wood is good when making these.
  • It’s best to add a hand rail onto the steps as a safety precaution.

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