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Introduzione a Stair Construction

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Stairs
This module deals with the construction for stairwells -- stair framing, riser, and treads.

A brief introduction to the construction of stairs as well as the terminology associated with it is discussed.

Various types of stairs and procedures for designing, laying out, cutting, and installing the stair framing are also detailed.

Stairways result in roughly 4,000 deaths and a million injuries requiring hospital treatment each year. It is for this reason that stairways design and construction is strictly controlled by building codes and regulation.

Normally as the construction of a structure proceeds, a stair with temporary stair treads are put in as soon as possible to make it easier for workers to move themselves and the material from one level to the next, with minimum delay and maximum safety.

Stairways are not finished until all danger of damage from worker and materials is eliminated.

Terms Associated with Stairs and Their Layout
Click on each term to find out more:
Baluster
A supporting column or member; a support or a railing, particularly one of the upright columns of a balustrade.

Balustrade
A stair rail assembly consisting of a handrail, balusters, and posts.

Closed stairway
A stairway that has solid walls on each side.

Geometrical stair
A winding stairway built around a well. Examples include circular, elliptical, and spiral stairs.

Guardrail
A rail secured to uprights and erected along the exposed sides and ends of platform stairs, etc.

Handrail
A member supported on brackets from a wall or a partition to furnish a handhold.

Headroom
The vertical and clear space in height between a stair tread and the ceiling or the stairs above.

Housed stringer
A stair stringer with horizontal and vertical grooves cut (mortised) on the inside to receive the ends of the risers and treads.
(Wedges covered with glue are often used to hold the risers and treads in place, in the grooves.)

Landing
A horizontal area at the end of a flight of stairs or between two flights of stairs.

Newel post
An upright post supporting the handrail at the top and the bottom of a stairway, or at the turn of a landing. Also, the main post about which a circular staircase winds or a stone column carrying the inner ends of the treads of a spiral stone staircase.

Nosing
The portion of the stair tread that extends beyond the face of the riser.

Open stairway
A stairway that is open on at least one side.

Pitch board
A board that serves as a pattern for making cuts for stairs. The shortest side is the height of the riser cut, and the next longer side is the width of the tread. This is used mainly when there is a great repetition such as in production housing.

Rise
The vertical dimension of a set of stairs. Also called the total rise.

Rise and run
A term used to indicate the degree of incline.

Riser
A vertical board under the tread of a stair step; in other words, a board set on edge for connecting the treads of a stairway.

Run
The horizontal distance from the face of the first or upper riser to the face of the last or lower riser. Also called the total run.

Skirtboard
A baseboard or finishing board at the junction of the interior wall and the floor. Also called a finished stringer.

Stairwell
A compartment extending vertically through a building into which stairs are placed.

Stringer
The inclined member that supports the treads and the risers of a stairway.

Tread
The horizontal member of a step.

Unit rise
The vertical distance from the top of one stair tread to the top of the next one above it. Also called the stair rise.

Unit run
The horizontal distance from the face of one riser to the face of the next riser.

Winding stairway
A type of geometrical staircase that changes direction by means of winders, or a landing and winders. The stair opening is relatively wide, and the balustrade follows the curve with only a newel post at the bottom.