A stair is an integral part of the architecture in any home that has more than one level, even if there are just a few feet between levels.
In a sense a stair is one of the most important pieces of architecture in a home. More often than not, a home’s stair becomes a backdrop for many of life’s significant events, including those high-school-prom and wedding-day photos. And as a day-to-day utilitarian item, a stair is a wonderful way to choreograph movement through a home. It’s no wonder that architects and designers spend so much time designing stairs, and that true craftspeople build stairs that are absolute joys.
In all of a stair’s beauty, choreography and craft are elements that combine structure and material — all set to a required geometry to ensure that a stair is both a joy to traverse and safe. Some things are no longer allowed, such as risers that are too steep, treads that are too narrow, uneven riser heights and tread depths, and more.
Let’s look at some of the considerations that go into the design and construction of a simple, straight-run stair.