Building a staircase in your home is a big undertaking. Because of strict building codes, you have to make sure everything is perfect to avoid any kind of hazard.

However, as far as the technical details go, constructing stairs is easier than building other things in your home. All you need are some basic carpentry skills and the patience to work through the small details.

We all expect stairs to be a uniform height, and even the smallest discrepancy between steps can create a tripping hazard. The steps themselves need to be just the right height to make climbing as easy as possible. The layout and calculations of your home stairs can sometimes be tricky if you aren’t super careful every step of the way.

Here are the 5 most important things to know when building a staircase.

1. Know the components and measurements

Stairs are made up of three main components. These are the stringers, treads, and risers. The stringers are the sloped boards that support everything else, including the weight of the people stepping on the stairs. Treads are the tops of every step, and risers are installed under the lip of each tread, which protects the stringers.

Before you begin, you’ll want to really study these components and the common measurements. They seem deceptively simple upon first glance, but they can quickly become complicated.

One powerful tool for assisting with measuring the components is PhotoModeler. This can help with more advanced projects like stair lifts or complex banister installation. Using PhotoModeler, you take images of the existing area from all angles. These images are then downloaded into the program to create a 3D model that can be measured and tested.

You don’t want to take any guesses when it comes to your measurements.

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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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