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Stair Stringers

Posted 31 August 2019 8:43 PM by Jase DeBoer
Edited 08/31/2019

Building stairs can seem like a daunting task, and the stair stringer is often the most complicated part. While purchasing precut stringers is an option, you can also cut your own stair stringers. Here are some pro tips to ensure success during your project.

 Cut Your Own Stringers 

 stair stringers_preview-lightbox-Holland_2ndFloorDeck_

Start by using either a 2"x12" or 2"x14" piece of lumber. You should cut the first stringer to your specifications, and then use that stringer as a guide for the rest. Be sure to treat the ends with a wood preservative after cutting. 

Pros: 

  • More cost-effective 
  • Can adjust the rise and run slightly to fit your project needs 

Cons: 

  • More time consuming 
  • Can be difficult to measure and cut accurately, especially across multiple stringers 

Precut Stringers 

If one notch is just slightly off, it can cause your steps to creak and be unstable. To prevent this issue, use a precut stringer. This will eliminate most of the difficulty in building your stairs. Once the stringers are in place and secured, everything else should fall into place.

Pros: 

  • Simplifies the stair-building process 
  • Saves time 
  • More precise measurements and cuts 

Cons: 

  • More expensive 

Pressure Treated 

Pressure-treated stringers are the primary choice for decks and other outdoor structures with stairs. The pressure-treating process will aid to resist damage from termites and fungal decay for decades. ProWood's pressure-treated wood and stringers offer a lifetime limited warranty that extends for the life of the purchase. Be sure to look for the ProWood® end tag! 

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