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Module 13: Stair Construction

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Built as temporary treads initially, stairways are finished only after all the major construction work inside a structure is completed. This ensures that there is no damage to the finished staircase.

As stairways result in many deaths and injuries, their construction and design is strictly controlled by building codes and regulation. It is imperative to refer to the local codes and regulations before starting with the construction of a stairway.

Stairways can usually be classified as open, closed, or a combination of both. Besides this, they can be straight-run, platform, or winding. Each type of staircase has its own set of advantages and limitations, making it essential for a carpenter to know all about its construction.

Treads, risers, and stringers are the main components of a stairway. Some of its other components include handrails, nosing, newel posts, balusters, etc.

Adhering to the stair framing requirements for each of its components ensures that the finished staircase is of proper dimensions.

The unit rise, unit run, and the number of risers and treads for each stairway along with the stairwell opening are determined in the building's architectural plans.

A carpenter should know how to determine:

• riser to tread ratio
• riser height and tread run
• stairwell openings

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