Published at Friday, 14 September 2018. Stair. By Maya Ehrenstein.
Adjustable brackets are designed to be user friendly, fast, accurate and above all, strong. In fact, the brackets do most of the work. They automatically adjust to the exact rise and run and are approved as "adjustable joist hangers". This allows the risers to act like floor joists, carrying the load across the stair between the stringers which means only two stringers are required for stairs up to nine feet in width. Additionally, each stringer requires only three to four end cuts (only six to eight cuts per stair!)....significantly eliminating dozens of saw tooth cuts which are often required for conventional stringers.
Curved stairs are not as safe as a strait set of stairs. Curved stairs get very narrow on one side. A curved set of steps may be difficult to negotiate in an emergency or fire situation. Handrails should be installed on at least one side of the stairs that has two or more risers. Properly configured stair handrails should 34 inches high and they should be designed to comfortably accommodate a person wrapping their hand around the rail. Guardrails also should accompany a handrail system on a properly configured set of steps. The gaps should be only 4 inches wide so that the body of a child can not fit though the openings.
Starting with two parallel 2x6 stringer members, the adjustable brackets are first positioned using a spacing tool and then attached to each member with a single "pivot screw". For finished interior stairs, the stringers may be "paint" grade or "stain" grade but will have a tongue and grove or spline milled into the parallel mating surfaces so that once the brackets are adjusted, the mating surfaces will be pushed together to form a continuous, decorative, one piece knee wall stringer. The remaining screws are inserted and the end cuts are made. All the risers and treads are now square cut to the exact length using a chop saw. It is recommended that a stop is used for accuracy and efficiency. The treads are usually cut slightly shorter than the risers (1/64") for fit. For fast assembly it’s best to first pre- assemble the stair and then lift into position whenever circumstances permit.
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