How To Winder Stairs
How To Winder Stairs - They Save Space
"Winder stairs were very common in houses built in the early 1900s. It's a shame they're not used in more homes today."
Tim Carter - Founder www.AsktheBuilder.com
Winder stairs allow you to turn a corner and change the direction of a staircase.
The most common turn is 90 degrees. Circular stairs are a continuous flight of winder stairs as the treads create a corkscrew sometimes turning a full 360 degrees or more.
Do Winder Stairs Comply with the Building Code?
Winder stairs are permitted in the building code as of 2019. The code says the minimum tread width on the inside radius needs to be 6 inches. It also says that the tread depth at walk line of the stairs measured 12 inches in from the inside tread edge must be no less than 10 inches.
The Winders in the Video Do NOT Meet the Above Code Requirement - Why?
I'm not the builder of the house and steps you see in the above video. The builder and his carpenters built the steps. Local building inspectors have the right to wave code requirements. They can also make parts of the code more stringent.
At the time this video was recorded, the builder had not yet met with the local inspector. If he's required to rebuild the stairs, you'll see new photographs and a new video.
What's the Best Winder Stairs Size?
Building codes mandate stairs should be at least 36 inches wide. This width is great for three winders to make a turn of 90 degrees.
This means each winder stair creates a 30-degree angle. The center of the winder tread is always going to be greater than 10 inches if the stairs are 36 inches wide. This is plenty safe.
Is it Hard to Make Winder Stairs?
It's easy to make winder stairs. The simplest way to do it is to make two or three platforms.
Note the drawings of mine below. Read the captions for a full understanding of how to build the winder stairs.
The bottom platform is a square usually 36 inches. The second platform might be an odd polygon and the third winder would be a simple triangle. It's best to just make a full-size template using cardboard if you're not a seasoned carpenter.
A link to this article was featured in Tim's February 12, 2019 AsktheBuilder Newsletter.