How to Make Your Own Stair Stringers

How to Make Your Own Stair Stringers

Discover how to make your own stair stringers and treads. Learn the key steps and calculations needed to create a sturdy and stylish staircase for your home.
Make Your Own Stair Treads Covers Reading How to Make Your Own Stair Stringers 6 minutes Next Can You Make Your Own Stair Treads?

Creating a staircase that is both functional and stylish is a cornerstone of home design, particularly for a homeowner dedicated to a blend of luxury, comfort, and personal style. Learning how to make your own stair stringers is the foundational step in this process. This DIY project not only enhances the structural integrity of your staircase but also allows for custom dimensions that fit your home's unique layout. If you're looking to install carpet stair treads, having sturdy, well-made stringers is essential to ensure everything stays securely in place.

How to make your own stair stringers:

  1. calculate dimentions

  2. layout the stringers

  3. cut the stringers

  4. test and fit

  5. cut additional stringers

  6. install the stringers

  7. attach the treads and risers 

Step-By-Step Guide 

Creating stair stringers from scratch is a precise task that requires careful planning and execution. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make stair stringers for your home project:

Step 1: Calculate the Dimensions   

Before you begin cutting wood, you need to determine the rise (vertical height) and run (horizontal depth) of your stairs. Use this simple formula to calculate the total number of risers and treads:

  1. Measure the Total Rise: Measure the vertical distance from the lower floor to the upper floor.

  2. Determine the Number of Risers: Divide the total rise by the height of each riser (typically 7-7.5 inches).

  3. Determine the Number of Treads: The number of treads is usually one less than the number of risers.

  4. Calculate the Total Run: Multiply the number of treads by the desired tread depth (typically 10-11 inches). 

Step 2: Layout the Stringers   

Using a framing square and stair gauges, you can layout the steps on your stringer board:

  1. Mark the Rise and Run: Set your framing square to the rise and run dimensions and place it on the stringer material. Use the stair gauges to hold those measurements steady.

  2. Trace the Square: Move the square along the board to mark out each step. The outer corner of the square will trace the profile of each step.

  3. Repeat: Continue marking until you have the required number of steps. 

Step 3: Cut the Stringers   

Now it's time to cut out the stringers:

  1. Use a Circular Saw: Carefully cut along the lines you’ve marked. Start with the vertical cuts (risers) and then the horizontal cuts (treads).

  2. Finish with a Handsaw: The circular saw will leave rounded corners that you need to finish with a handsaw for a precise fit. 

Step 4: Test the Fit   

Before installing, it’s important to ensure your stringers fit properly:

  1. Place the Stringer: Position one stringer temporarily where it will be installed to check its fit against the floor and the landing.

  2. Adjust as Necessary: If there are any discrepancies in the fit, now is the time to trim or adjust your stringer. 

Step 5: Cut Additional Stringers   

Once the first stringer is perfectly cut and fits well, use it as a template to trace and cut additional stringers. This ensures all your stringers are identical, which is crucial for the stairs to be level and safe.

Step 6: Install the Stringers   

With all stringers cut, you can install them:

  1. Position the Stringers: Place them at the desired locations along the edge of the staircase.

  2. Secure the Stringers: Use framing anchors or heavy-duty screws to secure each stringer to the deck at the top and the floor at the bottom. 

Step 7: Attach the Treads and Risers   

Finally, attach the stair treads and risers to the stringers:

  1. Cut Treads and Risers: Cut these to the correct width and depth to fit snugly between the stringers.

  2. Attach with Screws: Fasten each tread and riser with wood screws to secure them in place. 

Can You Make Your Own Stair Treads?   

Absolutely! To make your own stair treads can be a rewarding project that complements your stringers and adds a personalized touch to your home. You'll need to select high-quality wood or another preferred material, measure and cut it to size based on the width of your stringers. This is a fantastic way to ensure that the style and material perfectly match your interior design vision.

How to Cut Stair Treads   

To cut stair treads requires precision and the right tools. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Measure Accurately: Measure the width and depth of each stair to ensure that the treads will fit perfectly.

  2. Choose the Right Saw: Use a circular saw or a miter saw for straight cuts. Ensure your blades are sharp to avoid splintering the material.

  3. Finish Edges: Sand down the edges for a smooth finish that enhances safety and adds to the visual appeal of the treads.

Can You Build Stairs Without a Stringer?   

While traditional staircases require stringers to support the treads, modern design sometimes allows for floating stairs or other innovative constructions that do not use conventional stringers. However, these designs typically require specialized engineering and materials to ensure safety and stability.

What is the Formula for Stair Stringers?   

Calculating stair stringers involves a precise formula: the sum of the tread depth and the riser height should fit the human step length, typically between 24 and 25 inches. To determine the number of risers, divide the total rise (the vertical height between floors) by the height of each riser. For standard design, risers are usually about 7 inches high, and treads are about 11 inches deep.

Crafting a Comfortable, Luxurious Staircase   

With your stringers and treads ready, consider the finishing touches that reflect your home’s elegance. For those looking to enhance comfort and minimize noise, installing carpet stair treads is an excellent choice. Choose a carpet that complements your décor and provides a soft, quiet surface for daily use. Not only do these enhance safety by reducing the likelihood of slips, but they also add a warm, inviting feel to your staircases.


Building your own stair stringers and treads allows you to customize every aspect of your staircase, from the size and shape to the materials and finishes. This project not only adds value to your home but also ensures that your staircase meets your family’s needs for safety, comfort, and style. By embracing the challenge of DIY stair construction, you create more than just a pathway between floors; you craft a central design feature that is both beautiful and functional.