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Thread: Steel staircase question

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    Steel staircase question

    Wondering if anyone has experience with building steel staircases. I understand there are code issues which I want to do my best to meet, so I'm looking for recommendations on the size of stringer and how to calculate the step run and height between each.

    Here is some info that may be helpful. I want to do a single stringer centered under each step, so the steps will cantilever out about a 1' 6" on each side. The deck of the top landing is 6' above the lower deck. The lateral distance between the edge of the top deck to the lower deck is about 5'. So for the stringer, what type of steel and size would meet code for this? Also, what would be the proper run of each step and height between each?

    I was thinking either Ibeam or rectangular tubing for the stringer, any thoughts appreciated.

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    Re: Steel staircase question

    welcome back billy boy. for outdoor apts/condos/offices etc in my area, they gone too double stringers, can give step better support. single is older buildings, and also seen two channel irons, welded face to face make single stringer. id check ur local codes and observe whats currently being installed in ur area.
    Last edited by 123weld; 2 Weeks Ago at 03:00 PM.

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    Re: Steel staircase question

    There is a step calculator for the rise and run. Several folk have posted them on this forum. First, make sure the building will accommodate the steps, you intend to fabricate. Call your local building authorities for code requirements.

    Seems like you are using codes with design constraints interchangeably? When I hear codes I think building codes. You are asking about design. Submit your plans to an engineer.

    Good luck

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    Re: Steel staircase question

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Brewer View Post
    Wondering if anyone has experience with building steel staircases. I understand there are code issues which I want to do my best to meet, so I'm looking for recommendations on the size of stringer and how to calculate the step run and height between each.
    ...
    Besides structural codes, might the situation require adhering to ADA requirements? Some states like californiA have more rigorous requirements than the Federal law.

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    Re: Steel staircase question

    See your local building department for staircases.
    In some cases it call a latter for maintenance then a different code.

    My drawings are to old to help as change the codes.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Brewer View Post
    Wondering if anyone has experience with building steel staircases. I understand there are code issues which I want to do my best to meet, so I'm looking for recommendations on the size of stringer and how to calculate the step run and height between each.

    Here is some info that may be helpful. I want to do a single stringer centered under each step, so the steps will cantilever out about a 1' 6" on each side. The deck of the top landing is 6' above the lower deck. The lateral distance between the edge of the top deck to the lower deck is about 5'. So for the stringer, what type of steel and size would meet code for this? Also, what would be the proper run of each step and height between each?

    I was thinking either Ibeam or rectangular tubing for the stringer, any thoughts appreciated.

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    Re: Steel staircase question

    Quote Originally Posted by 123weld View Post
    single is older buildings, and also seen two channel irons, welded face to face make single stringer. id check ur local codes and observe whats currently being installed in ur area.
    Thanks. So basically making a tube out of two channels ( is there a reason to not choose tube steel?). What size channel did you usually use? The stringer shouldn't be more than 7' long and steel plates will be mounted for steps- which is another question, how thick should the plates be?

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    Re: Steel staircase question

    Quote Originally Posted by tapwelder View Post
    There is a step calculator for the rise and run. Several folk have posted them on this forum. First, make sure the building will accommodate the steps, you intend to fabricate. Call your local building authorities for code requirements.

    Seems like you are using codes with design constraints interchangeably? When I hear codes I think building codes. You are asking about design. Submit your plans to an engineer.

    Good luck
    Thanks. I did find a step calculator online. I was hoping to use steel plate as steps, so I'll check on that.

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    Re: Steel staircase question

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldiron2 View Post
    Besides structural codes, might the situation require adhering to ADA requirements? Some states like californiA have more rigorous requirements than the Federal law.
    Will check on that, thanks. The staircase is interior to a residential home so I'm hoping there is no such requirement.

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    Re: Steel staircase question

    Again. Make sure the house will accommodate steps per local building code.

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    Re: Steel staircase question

    It's junior channel that comes in 8 inch or 10 inch that is used for building stair stringers
    🤪

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    Re: Steel staircase question

    Get a Swanson speed square with the book.
    That book will tell you everything you need to know about/how to, building stairs. All you have to do is factor in the thickness of your step material. It will also tell you how to do rafters. That book and square is really beginning carpentry 101.
    I've never had a code problem with it in 28 states. But double check where you are to see if you need an engineer stamp with them being made of steel.
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    Re: Steel staircase question

    NOMMA has a video on stair making. I bought one 20 yrs ago. I still use that technique for double stringers. For monostringer you will need to make some good fixtures. Easy work after that.

    I would assume an I-beam would need to be pretty substantial to resist twisting compared to like size tubing.

    I have always used tubing.

    Good luck

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    Re: Steel staircase question

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Brewer View Post
    Thanks. So basically making a tube out of two channels ( is there a reason to not choose tube steel?). What size channel did you usually use? The stringer shouldn't be more than 7' long and steel plates will be mounted for steps- which is another question, how thick should the plates be?
    i dont build stair cases, i only fix/replace steps every blue moon. yes, they made tube of the channel, not sure there reasoning (maybe something to do w thicker inner radius/flanges), i usually see rect tube. not sure were thinking of same type of steps, the ones i order undersde is wide v shaped cement w/a anchored plate maybe 8x4x.312 or something. there for apt's etc, , much longer than 7' run to upper level. anyway, people ususally dont walk up/down the center of step, they go along the rail, , so i try to add gussets underneath too that little plate, which might help more than uir thickness of plate concern

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    Re: Steel staircase question

    Never built steel staircases. I've made lots of wood ones. 7/11 is a pretty standard rise and run.

    For wood, I cut my stringers out of 2X12s. Get a framing square (a 24" framing square) and use that for layout. Find your measurements on the square. 7" on one leg and 11" on the other (or whatever rise and run you want). Just scribe that triangle, then move the square so the rise of the next step starts where the run of the last one ends.

    For making steel stairs cases that aren't going to have that style of stringer, it's going to be a big different.

    Just off the top of my head, the way I'd do it is as follows (might not be the best way): if you want stairs of a specific rise and run (as you should ), and you just have a straight beam as a stringer that the treads get welded to, you can use the hypotenuse of the right triangle formed by the desired rise and run as the start of your layout. So, looking at your framing square, find your rise and run and the distance between those two points.

    So, for 7 inch rise and 11 inch run, it's about 13 1/32".

    When you do your layout, hook your tape on the end of the beam and mark 13 1/32, 26 1/16, 39 3/32, etc. Don't measure from one of your marks (except to double check your layout).

    Not sure what the term is for that... additive vs incremental layout?

    If you lay out the first step, then measure from that step to the next, then from that one to the one after that, etc. You're going to be stacking up any errors you had with your layout. So, even if your measurements are dead nuts on MOST of them, any error you have will be added to the rest of them. Your last step could end up way off.


    Edit: this may have made sense... I dunno. Sun hasn't even come up yet.
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    Re: Steel staircase question

    Quote Originally Posted by Freebirdwelds View Post
    Get a Swanson speed square with the book.
    That book will tell you everything you need to know about/how to, building stairs. All you have to do is factor in the thickness of your step material. It will also tell you how to do rafters. That book and square is really beginning carpentry 101.
    I've never had a code problem with it in 28 states. But double check where you are to see if you need an engineer stamp with them being made of steel.
    Thank you. Will look into that square/book.

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    Re: Steel staircase question

    Quote Originally Posted by tapwelder View Post
    NOMMA has a video on stair making. I bought one 20 yrs ago. I still use that technique for double stringers. For monostringer you will need to make some good fixtures. Easy work after that.

    I would assume an I-beam would need to be pretty substantial to resist twisting compared to like size tubing.

    I have always used tubing.

    Good luck
    We're now looking in the direction of double stringers. I like the Ibeam look. Will have to see what the code requires in terms of size.
    Thanks!

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    Re: Steel staircase question

    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    Never built steel staircases. I've made lots of wood ones. 7/11 is a pretty standard rise and run.

    For wood, I cut my stringers out of 2X12s. Get a framing square (a 24" framing square) and use that for layout. Find your measurements on the square. 7" on one leg and 11" on the other (or whatever rise and run you want). Just scribe that triangle, then move the square so the rise of the next step starts where the run of the last one ends.

    For making steel stairs cases that aren't going to have that style of stringer, it's going to be a big different.

    Just off the top of my head, the way I'd do it is as follows (might not be the best way): if you want stairs of a specific rise and run (as you should ), and you just have a straight beam as a stringer that the treads get welded to, you can use the hypotenuse of the right triangle formed by the desired rise and run as the start of your layout. So, looking at your framing square, find your rise and run and the distance between those two points.

    So, for 7 inch rise and 11 inch run, it's about 13 1/32".

    When you do your layout, hook your tape on the end of the beam and mark 13 1/32, 26 1/16, 39 3/32, etc. Don't measure from one of your marks (except to double check your layout).

    Not sure what the term is for that... additive vs incremental layout?

    If you lay out the first step, then measure from that step to the next, then from that one to the one after that, etc. You're going to be stacking up any errors you had with your layout. So, even if your measurements are dead nuts on MOST of them, any error you have will be added to the rest of them. Your last step could end up way off.


    Edit: this may have made sense... I dunno. Sun hasn't even come up yet.
    Sent from my Lincoln Buzzbox using Tapatalk
    Appreciate this info. And yes this does make sense. I like the technique of scribing the square for rise/run.
    Last edited by Billy Brewer; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:25 PM.

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    Re: Steel staircase question

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Brewer View Post
    Appreciate this info. And yes this does make sense. I like the technique of scribing the square for rise/run.
    I hope it helps. That's how we always did it when I was working residential construction. On the 2X12s, you can cut all of the lines with a circular saw, then go back and finish the cuts with a jig saw or Sawzall. If you use only a circular saw, you have to over cut your line and you end up with a weaker stringer (if it doesn't make sense reading it now, it will If you go to cut wood stringer...)

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