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Building stairs - THIS IS URGENT - HELP!!!

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  • Building stairs - THIS IS URGENT - HELP!!!


    I am planning on redoing my stairs to the basement. Currently they are straight boring steps. I want to have them curve for the last 4 steps (15 degrees each) to come out at a 90 degree to the top stairs. Does anyone know how to do this (from a to z) or do you know of a link that shows how to do it???

    please e-mail me at

  • #2
    Don't have the instructions for you. You might want to consider a landing and another set of stringers at 90 degrees (which accomplish the same thing). The thing is, when you do a curve, part of the tred is going to be very narrow. Treds are usually 9 to 11" width, and for a basement, where you might be carrying a lot of "stuff" up and down, it would be safer with treds the same width across.


    • #3
      Thanks for the info Dave but I will not be bringing lots of stuff downstairs (living room is going there). Besides, aren't all the stuff suppose to be put in your way in your work shop like most wives do up here in Canada??!!

      I did think of the landing put if you move large objects, it becomes a bit of a problem whereas a more circular stair is easier!



      • #4
        First of all, 90 / 4 = 22.5 each. You would need 6 treads tapered 15 degrees to make a 90 degree bend.
        Second, how is your rough opening framed? If you turn the stairs, you will need the opening to be extended in that direction. Most codes require at least 6' 8" headroom clearance from the nose of the tread. With an 8' basement height that's only one full tread under the ceiling (nose of second tread is at edge of opening). In other words, with a standard opening (rectangular opening the size of the stairs) the best you can usually do is one tread to a landing (or 45 degree split landing) turning 90 degrees to the main stairs.
        Codes vary on construction of winding stairs, but generally the require at least the center of the tread to comply with the minimum run. You would want to do that anyway for smooth flow from straight to curved treads. A 36" long 15 degree tapered tread with a 10" run in the center and 1" nosing would be ABOUT 6" at the small end and 16" at the large end.
        I recommend laying it out carefully on paper or a computer drawing program first to be sure you have room. A quick refresher in trigonometry could be helpful if you learned it once but forgot. A winding stairs is not a trivial framing task. It may be actually be easier to do in cement than wood. Good luck.