Part of our ‘Staircase Basics’ Guide

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StairDesigner stair software is great for inexperienced stair builders, because it takes the maths and complicated drafting out of stairs.

But the way you use StairDesigner to design your stairs should be thought out in the light of several things that will greatly effect your stair building experience.

Plan ahead!

I would say that these are:

  1. Your experience in woodworking
  2. The tools you have
  3. The raw materials you will be using: wood, panels or metal
  4. The time you have to spend on your project

In fact if you want to give your stair building a reasonable chance of success you will need a minimum level of all of these elements.

The amount that you have of each will determine the ease and the speed you’ll get to the end of your project.

Now stair building is the most advanced branch of woodworking, so you’ll have to have some knowledge in basic woodworking.

You will need a minimum number of tools. You can cut a stair with a hand saw and chisel, but it will take so long you’ll probably give up before it’s finished. Later on I’ll give the list of what I consider the minimum tool box for stair building.

The way you design your stairs will depend on the wood you buy to build them.

Our Wood and Materials guide looks in more detail at your options

The size of the boards, whether you can buy planed boards or raw boards from the saw mill, will determine the way you design your stairs and also the cost of the raw materials and the time involved in machining.

And of course you will need time.

Stairs can be complicated things to put together and a first stair for anyone, even an experienced carpenter, can be relatively slow to put together.

But when you see your first staircase built with your own hands, you will think that it’s been well worth the effort.

If you have any comments, please ask on our forum. Thanks!

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