Design-build tip: the staircase

From Daizen News 1 March 2012

We have built many different styles of stairs in the past. Here’s one we recently installed.

The challenge in building a staircase is not the actual fabrication; rather, it’s getting it to fit well into the house. Over time, the walls, ceilings, and floors of existing houses tend to move out of plumb and square. Even on a new house, those planes usually have a period of settling that occurs even before the residents move in.

Two things to consider:

  • If the stair is “hung” from the wall, the wall surfaces must be square and plumb to very exact tolerances, a task that is not trivial even on a new house. Following the plan closely and measuring carefully, sometimes after the frame has settled a little, is key.
  • Another option is for the designer to be aware of potential settling and design the stair as free-standing. A free-standing staircase can add much interest to the design, as well as saving the client money, since less frequent measuring is needed. The greatest cost savings comes if we can eliminate the staircase-measuring visit entirely!

Other Daizen staircases

For a closer look at these staircases and the houses they fit into, you can download a full-color PDF by clicking the link in the right column on the Daizen website.

Interested in finding out more?

At Daizen, we ensure client expectations and understanding of processes are met through all phases of our work, from structural design and engineering to fabrication of timber frames and assembly and installation.