Build wooden stairs yourself – simple instructions and tips

Wooden stairs-build-yourself-handrail-instructions-easy

You can save a lot of money if you have your Build wooden stairs yourself. Regardless of whether you want to build an internal or external staircase, the construction requires careful planning, the right tools and a certain amount of technical know-how. Certain conditions have to be observed. According to regulations, the steps must be at least 80 centimeters wide and the tread must be no less than 26 centimeters deep. However, a step width of 100 centimeters and a step height of 18 centimeters are the ideal dimensions. What else has to be considered and how this exciting DIY project can be mastered, you will find out below.

Build wooden stairs yourself – calculate the dimensions of the stairs

Build wooden stairs yourself - calculate dimensions

First you need to calculate the exact number of steps on your wooden staircase. The total height of the stairs is divided by 18 (the step height). A round result is only obtained in exceptional cases, which is why the remaining centimeters are evenly distributed over all steps. If the remaining amount is more than 9 centimeters, another step should be added.

For a comfortable ascent and descent, you can use the convenience formula: 2 x incline height + step depth. If the result is between 60 and 66 centimeters, the stairs are comfortable. Also note that the stairs should have an incline of 25 to 40 degrees. These measurements can of course be adapted to the existing conditions such as the beginning of the stairs. Here you can conveniently online the dimensions of your new staircase to calculate.

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Further regulations regarding the railing:

– from 125 centimeters stair width – handrails on both sides

– Do not sit the handrail lower than 75 centimeters

– Railing height – at least 90 centimeters high

In this example, the stairs have the following dimensions: height of the steps – 19 centimeters, step depth – 26 centimeters, 35 degrees angle.

Build wooden stairs yourself – mark the wooden boards

Build wooden stairs yourself mark-pencil-carpenter's square

After the tread depth and the height of the steps have been calculated, use a carpenter’s square and pencil to mark the cuts for the individual steps on the wooden boards. Repeat the process until all stages are highlighted.


Always stick to the adage when working with wood: “Measure twice, saw once!” This will ensure that the markings are correct and that nothing can go wrong. If the markings are made incorrectly, you cannot build a true-to-size wooden staircase yourself.

Build wooden stairs yourself. Mark the carpenters' angles

Cut wooden boards

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A circular saw is the ideal tool for cutting most of the boards for stair stringers, but not to the end. Instead, use a handsaw to finish the cuts. Cut carefully. Make sure you keep the saw blade on the same side of the line every time you cut. Make sure that the incisions on both cheeks are at the same height.

Build your own wooden staircase stringer hand saw

A sharp hand saw ensures the accuracy of the sawing and ensures the stability of the stair stringers. Clamp the finished part onto the second wooden board and trace the lines. This way you save time and guarantee the same dimensions for both pieces.

wooden-stairs-build-yourself-millimeter-accurate-circular saw

Build wooden stairs


At the point where the stairs connect to the stair landing, mount plywood to create a connection point for the stair stringer. Mark the drill holes in the plywood and line up the cheeks exactly. Tighten from behind. Use an electric screwdriver as a tool to work faster and safer.



Assemble the risers. Then the stairs. Make sure that the steps are cut to fit perfectly so that they fit perfectly in their places. For a really good and permanent connection, you can glue and screw this at the same time. This also prevents squeaks.


Apply some wood glue along the edges and place the stairs on top. Press firmly so that the glue adheres well. Repeat the process step-by-step for each level.

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For more stability, it is advisable not only to glue the steps, but also to screw them together. Use screws, rather than nails, to attach the steps to the cheeks. Screws are easier to fix with the adhesive and ensure a firm connection that does not begin to wobble over time.

Fasten the railing 

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A sturdy railing is a must for a safe staircase. It is important that it is built properly and according to the regulations in order to prevent accidents. The guardrail posts should be fixed vertically and with screws, while the handrail and guardrail boards should follow the exact angle of the stairs.

Wooden stairs-build-yourself-handrail-assemble-mark-the distance

After the first handrail board has been attached from bottom to top, use a piece of wood to determine the exact distance and angle to the next board. Once you have marked its location, secure it to the stair post with screws. Then cut the board precisely.


When you cut the wooden boards, use the handsaw again. This way you don’t have to calculate the exact distances and angles for each wooden board. Repeat the process for each wooden board until you assemble the entire railing.

Mount the handrail

Build wooden stairs yourself. Handrail-hardware-screw

Finally, assemble a handrail. Install the handrail hardware equidistant from the last railing board to keep the correct angle.


The whole process is made easier if you assemble the miter of the handrail in advance. In this case, you can use nails and a hammer for assembly. Pre-drill the sides of the miter to prepare the holes for the nails.


Assemble the handrail with the appropriate accessories and fasten the screws on the underside. It is a good idea to drill the holes for the screws in advance to prevent the wood from splitting.


If you measure all parts well, screw them on and combine them with a stable handrail, only then can you build a safe and stable wooden staircase yourself. Stick to the specific requirements and be extremely precise with the woodwork. However, the project is therefore rather unsuitable for beginners, as some experience and manual skills are required.

If you build such a wooden staircase yourself, you can save a lot of money and still make the staircase stable. Since it just doesn’t look very nice in such a relaxed manner, it is best suited for the basement. If, on the other hand, you want to build this wooden staircase yourself in the area between the floors, then you can paint it and design it in accordance with the interior design. The steps can be disguised as desired or covered with a carpet. The railing can be painted any color to match the rest of the interior.

Build wooden stairs yourself for the garden: video instructions

A wooden staircase is not only suitable for the home, but can also be used in the garden. This allows different levels in the outdoor area to be connected with one another, for example in a garden on a slope. For this purpose, you don’t need a staircase as large as in the assembly instructions shown, but a smaller design. You can see an example of this in the video. Here you can watch a short video tutorial on how to build a small wooden staircase yourself. It has nine levels and can be used for different purposes. The finished staircase must be attached to a stable structure in order to avoid accidents.