It is important to realise that a staircase must be strong and stable to allow it to be used comfortably and safely. It is advisable to consult the Building Regulations department of the local authority before commencing work.
Generally the run of the stairs should be between 12 and 14 treads in a straight flight, but if necessary they can be constructed with a landing part way by using a 90 or 180 degree angle between the two sections.
The recommended maximum rise of each step is 220 mm or 8.75 inches provided that the pitch of the staircase does not exceed 42 degrees. Care must be taken to ensure that the treads are evenly spaced and rise at an equal height. The depth of the tread must also be uniform as any differences can easily lead to an accident happening.
A staircase consists of two stringers, the inner being fixed to the wall and the outer being supported by newel posts at each turn. The treads are then rebated into these stringers so that they stand slightly proud of the riser. This is known as the nosing.
Many staircases have a handrail fitted securely to the wall but it is much safer to construct one rising above the outer stringer. This is supported off the outer stringer by baluster posts, cut into the stringer at the base and the handrail at the top.
Stairs can also be of the open plan variety, where the riser is not enclosed.