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Stair Runs and Risers

Question

Why does your Stair Case Calculator always give one less run than the number of risers?

Answer

A carpenter usually never builds his first step even with the top floor, he drops the first step down one riser. This riser is the one that puts the number of runs one less than the risers, but it still has to be in the calculation of the total rise.

The only time I ever build the top step level with the floor is when I build a set of stairs outside of a patio door, when an older couple may trip over the sill on their way down to the first step. In this case the number of risers equals the runs.

Dave

(Ask Dave) (About Dave)

Your source for building tips, woodworking & furniture plans, house plans and building advice directly from Dave...

Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.

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