Asked on Dec 2, 2019

How can I build a new 5-step staircase?

Deb KLaura CooperSeth


The stairs leading to my basement has started to crack. at first it appeared that the planks needed to be replaced, but in fact, the entire stair case(planks and backing needs to be replaced). The stair case is comprised of 5 steps. The railing is not connected.

6 answers
  • You can pick up pre-made stringers (the sort of zig zag support pieces) and 2x12 from the lumber store then assemble that to replace.

  • Lifestyles Homes
    on Dec 2, 2019

    Is the carriage splitting? The carriage is the diagonal 2x12 that has the “zig zags”cut into it.

    In any case, look at “stair framing” on line and use your old one as a template.

    Now is the time to make it less steep or deeper treads. Draw it out on graph paper if you’re going to change the rise or run, instead of tracing the old one.

  • Kathy Gunter Law
    on Dec 2, 2019

    You can use the existing stringers as a pattern to cut new ones or pick up pre-cut at the hardware store. The same thing for treads. I prefer the pre-cut because the treads have grooves in them to make them more slip resistant. I would stain to seals the wood.

  • Seth
    on Dec 3, 2019


    If by "planks and backing" you mean the treads (part you walk on) and risers (part your toe would hit), the stringers (framing that hold the treads and risers) may be okay. You may have to do a little exploration by removing a few of the treads and risers to examine the stringers below. If they are not cracked or rotted, then you can just replace the treads and risers. This youtube might help:

  • Laura Cooper
    on Dec 8, 2019

    This gentleman is a master of construction. Here's his stair video.

  • Deb K
    on Dec 8, 2019

    Hi Kamika, hope this helps you, and you can also buy premade stringers at any hardware store, just need to attache the planks to them.

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