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Measuring for Handrails / Staircases

Measuring for Handrails /Staircases

Prior to measuring for your staircase, you need to think ahead to your finished flooring material. You must make these selections for both the top and bottom of the stairs. The reason for this is simple: the stair builder needs to know the height dimension between the two floors from finish floor to finish floor.

When measuring between floors, you cannot simply drop a tape measure from the balcony above in a straight line to the floor below. Why? Well, the first floor subfloor may be out of level. It wouldn't be the first time this sort of thing happened.

The stair builder will tell you that you need to know where the stairs will start and where exactly they will end. It is this vertical distance that is crucial. So how in the world do you do this? There are several ways, but I prefer to make a level line along the wall which the stairwell will climb. If the staircase makes a turn, no problem. Start the line at the subfloor at the upper landing. Continue the line until you are directly above the spot where the stairs will end. Measure between the two points and you will have the magic number!

If you are getting ready to build a new home, talk with the rough carpenter. Make sure that they use the straightest floor joist materials around the staircase. Also, stress how important it is for these floors to be level.

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