Building Easy to Install Basement Stairs on a Budget.

Basement stairs come in all shapes and sizes from the very simple utility/access stair to the more elaborate decorative stairs where the basement is expanded to be a major part of the living area. One of the major issues facing the stair builder is the unpredictable overall stair height that often occurs with basement stairs. Whether new or existing construction, the basement slab height nearly always seems to vary up or down making pre-built stairs problematic. For this reason basement stairs are usually built to customized heights.

The normal procedure in the industry is to call out a stair specialist to custom build the stair using 2×12 cut stringers as framing for constructing the stair. This can be a difficult and costly process, requiring a high degree of skill. However, there is an easier solution available that will save you time as well as money. The system consists of self adjusting stair brackets, used to form an ”engineered stair”. Adjustable stair brackets are a custom tailored approach to stair building that are much faster, easier and stronger than conventional construction. They’re a handy, low cost solution for the unpredictable slab height problem.

This bracket system can quickly form a basic utility stair or an elaborate, fully finished hardwood stair. The adjustable brackets basically do the work for you, making the whole stair building process simple and streamlined. The brackets are approved as adjustable joist hangers which allow the risers to be structurally attached to the stringers, carrying the load across the stair like stepping floor joists. This greatly enhances the strength of the stair and permits the stair to be built using only two stringers. The stringers themselves are full depth unlike cut stringers and are again engineered to carry much greater loads than conventional cut stringers. Only three to four end cuts are required per stringer which eliminates approximately seventy saw cuts when compared to conventional cut stringers for basement stairs.

A wide range of materials such as pine, MDF treads, hardwoods etc. can be used. Adjustable brackets allow for customized rise and tread configurations which can be adjusted to meet all building codes for any interior or exterior application.

This is how it works: Set the brackets on the two 2×6 stringer members using the spacers and pivot screws. Remove spacers and rotate brackets to adjust stair height. Fix brackets in position, attach risers and treads. See 3D demos and photos online and view the simplicity for yourself.

Before you begin, determine the material you are going to use, the exact number of steps you need and the stair width.

You will need (2) 2×6’s per stringer for each side. Make sure when you purchase your 2×6’s make sure that they are straight without any twist. The 2×6’s will need to be at least 12″ longer than the total length of your stairs. Two stringers are sufficient to span up to 9’ in stair width due to the extraordinary strength developed by this engineered system.

For risers you will use 2×8’s for riser heights up to 7-1/4” and 2×10’s for higher risers. For treads you can use 2×12’s, 5/4 pine or MDF, 5/4 hardwood, sturdy floor ripped to size etc.. Time saving tip: when you determine how many steps you will need and your stair width….get all your risers and treads pre-cut to exact lengths when you purchase the materials.

Tools/Materials needed will be: a power drill, saw (skill saw is preferable, but not required, #8 1 1/4″ Phillips flat head or star/square drive screws for the stair brackets, #8 2 1/2″ deck screws for every 9″ of tread and riser connection and EZ Stair Spacers for customized riser and tread measurements.

Being ICC approved, the “Engineered Stair System” eliminates the need to cut stringers and is tested to be much stronger and faster than conventional construction. In fact, you can save at least $500 per flight of stairs with adjustable brackets over traditional construction methods. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a do-it-yourselfer, you will build fast, strong and accurate stairs, on a budget with this method.

EZ Stairs® introduced the new patented adjustable dual-purpose exterior/interior brackets in 2003. In 2004, it won Pro Sales Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award for new product innovation in the construction industry. In 2005, the company introduced its composite deck compatibility solution for and was chosen for LBM Journal’s ‘Hot Products’ Award at the 2005 International Builders Show, and again voted one of the fifty ‘Hot Products’ at the 2008 International Builders Show. Big builders, as well as the DIY market are using EZ Stairs for interior stairs such as

Being an adjustable bracket building system allows for easy to install, customized rise and treads configurations, which can be adjusted to meet all building codes for any interior or exterior application- ICC approved. EZ Stairs is the only adjustable stair bracket system available anywhere. To help you figure out how many stairs you will need, the website provides a free stair calculator.

Deck Stairs Made Easy.

Deck Stairs are often the last part of the deck to be tackled because they are often the most difficult part of the deck to build. I’ve found a solution for building deck stairs that’s stronger, faster and easier than any system of stair building I’ve ever seen. I’ve built many decks in my early days as a professional. Building stairs was always something I had to tackle myself because I couldn’t trust anyone else to build the stairs correctly… the first time.

I’m referring to an adjustable, heavy duty steel stair bracket system, which allows you to make automatic adjustments to form any rise or run you require. You only need two stringers for deck stairs up to 7’ in width. No center stringers are needed at all because riser acts as a load-bearing joist, giving you strong stairs. Most of the saw cuts are eliminated and require only three to four cuts per stringer.

These EZ Stairs® brackets not only adjust, but are also approved as ‘joist hangers’. This allows you to attach 2” thick risers that span across the stair like floor joists, every 10” or 11” between the two stringers. This eliminates the need for several center stringers running down the stair as in conventional construction. Since there are only two stringers, you also eliminate the need to align and attach several cut stringers in order to build your stair.

The brackets also provide ‘code compliant’ rail post support. According to their accredited testing, the brackets are used to provide rail post support for any type of wood stair which meets the code requirement for 200lb. Lateral load at 42”. This has never been achieved on any wood stairs system.

This stair building system is much simpler and faster than conventional stair building, without sacrificing structural integrity or strength. The stairs turn out so well made that you won’t even hear a squeak. In addition to deck stairs, they can be used for interior stairs: basement stairs, tongue and groove stairs, and even concrete formwork. Check out http://www.ez-stairs.com

Instructions from the website:
Set the brackets on the two 2×6 stringer members using the spacers and pivot screws. Remove spacers and rotate brackets to adjust stair height. Fix brackets in position, attach risers and treads.

Before you begin, determine the exact number of steps you need and exactly how wide you would like your steps to span. If you need additional assistance in obtaining the appropriate measurements-you can quickly link on our brochure ‘Let’s Get Started’ section (available in English and Spanish)* and the free stair calculator at http://www.ez-stairs.com/widgets/stair_calculator/index.html

You will only need (2) 2×6’s per stringer/side*. Make sure when you purchase your 2×6’s that you get them as straight as possible. The 2×6’s will need to be at least 12″ longer than the total length of your stairs. Two stringers are sufficient to span up to 7′ wide. You will only need to make a maximum of 3 to 4 cuts per stringer no matter how many steps you will be building.

For risers you will use 2×8’s — for treads you can use 2×12’s. Utilizing additional EZ Stairs mini-composite cleat brackets you may use any 2×6 tread material wood/and or composite. Time saving tip: when you determine how many steps you will need and how wide you want to span…get all your risers and treads pre-cut to exact lengths before you begin.

For interior jobs you can use same as above or the following can be used for spans up to 42″ to 48″ wide. Stringers still need to be 2×6’s. Interior risers can be 2×8’s or 3/4″ to
1 1/8” plywood. Interior treads can be 2×12’s or 1 1/8″ to 3/4″ plywood with EZ Stairs, stairs can be ‘pre-built’ or built ‘in-place’.

Tools/Materials needed will be: a power drill, saw (skill saw is preferable, but not required, #8 1 1/4″ Phillips flat head or star/square drive screws for the stair brackets, #8 2 1/2″ deck screws for every 9″ of tread and riser connection and EZ Stair Spacers for customized riser and tread measurements.

Watch 3D animation first at www.ez-stairs.com

Set-up (1) stringer at a time by placing 2×6’s parallel on a flat surface…start 6″ from end by placing EZ Stairs spacer, then bracket and spacer…..down the line. When you have all your spacers and brackets lined up and tight insert 2 pivot screws in each bracket… without tightening the pivot screws. Remove spacers and pivot your brackets to your exact riser and tread combination. Insert remaining screws in all the brackets except the first and last step… these brackets will need to be quickly pivoted out of the way to make the required minimal end cuts. Repeat the process on stringer #2 and install all risers and treads.

* Interior or exterior stairs can be framed out and installed in most cases 2-3 hours or less.
* Minimal skill is required and due to the fact that with EZ Stairs saw-cuts are drastically reduced…..material is seldom wasted.
* Spacers are adjustable to allow for customized rise and tread configurations. Spacers are factory set at ‘G’… accomplishes most tread and rise requirements.