Published at Wednesday, September 26th 2018. by Christina Finke in Stair.
The stair is now laid on its back and (starting from the bottom step) the treads are laid in position, fitting perfectly without gaps. As each tread is positioned it is attached to the rear riser. Once all treads are positioned, the stair is laid on its side again and the end screws through the brackets are inserted. The fasteners attaching the tread to the top of the rise may be inserted as blind screws (using pocket holes in the risers) or blocks from the underside or simply using finished nails from the top.
In fact, the best time to add a stair lift system may be before it is actually a requirement. There are plenty of seniors who may not be disabled, but who experience intermittent conditions, such as an arthritic knee or hip, that make climbing stairs a challenge some of the time. Stair lifts can be installed in straight or curved staircases. Most models today run on rechargeable DC battery packs that hold a charge for around 8 to 10 trips up and down, depending on the length of the track and the weight of the person it is transporting. Some of these battery packs have chargers mounted next to the top or bottom of the lift track, while others are able to recharge from anywhere along the track. DC powered stair lifts are the preferred style today because they still work (for a while anyway) if the AC power to the household is cut. Many seniors, through no fault of their own, lose the ability to go up and down staircases with agility. And many of them have strong emotional ties to the house in which they live. A stair lift can make the difference between allowing a senior to have significant independence of daily living and having to making the difficult choice of selling a beloved home.
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.
Proper stair design has a maximum rise of eight inches, a minimum run of nine inches and a minimum tread width of 9.25 inches. A safe and properly configured stairway should be at 34 inches wide. As a rule the wider steps are safer then narrow stairs. There needs to be adequate headroom above the set of stairs. The required headroom is at least 6 foot 6 inches. When there is a door at the top of a set of steps, it should open away from the stairs for safety reasons. If a door opens toward the stairs a landing is needed so a person opening the door will not be able to push someone on the stairs.
Finished interior stairs are perhaps the toughest challenge that a wood worker will face and are often the exclusive domain of the "stair specialist". This is particularly true with the more complicated systems such as circular stairs. However, when it comes to straight runs, adjustable bracket systems greatly simplify the process. Using adjustable bracket systems allow a person with only basic skills to build a well finished interior stair with a high degree of accuracy and elegance.
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