Basic Stairbuilding
For Pros / By Pros

by Scott Schuttner

205 x 255mm

Published by Taunton Press (US)


ISBN 978-1-56158-322-7

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As reviewed in House & HOME Issue 3

Stairbuilding is the sort of job that you can get half way through before you realise you should have done something different right at the start. Avoiding such sudden and disagreeable revelations is clearly the purpose of Scott Shutner's book on Basic Stairbuiiding.

This is a well laid out and easy to read text with plenty of photographs and well presented drawings. It begins with a discussion on basic stair design, then continues with details of the construction of three common kinds of stairway - a simple, straight-run stair, L-shaped stairs and on open-riser ladder stair.

The book shows its US origins when mention is made of matters such as Stair Code Requirements which have little relevance here. For the most part, however, it is devoted to the practicalities of construction and these are universal (although of course all dimensions are given in Imperial not Metric measure).

One of the most impressive features of the book (and the one that amateur stairbuilders will probably appreciate most) is the inclusion of well illustrated instructions for working out the necessary layout for a particular set of stairs.

Amongst these specific calculations and descriptions dealt with in this way are: 'Stairwell Length/Headroom Formula'; 'Calculating Stairwell Size'; 'Allowing for Finished Flooring'; 'Calculating Carriage Length' and 'Measuring and Laying out the Landing'.

This is a well thought out and instructive book. It's author is not only expert in stairbuilding (he is a home builder and carpenter in Fairbanks, Alaska) but also a competent writer who often contributes to the (US) 'Fine Homebuilding Magazine'.

Photos: Black & White

Units of Measurement: Imperial



Basic stair design

The Stairwell

A Simple, Straight-Run Stair

An L-Shaped Stair: Skirts, Treads and Risers

An L-Shaped stair: Newels, Rails and Balusters

An Open-riser Ladder Stair

Further Reading