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How to Build Pie-Shaped Stairs

The shape in which stairs are built depends mostly on the space that is available to build them. When the architecture of a building provides adequate space, the result is usually wide, straight stairs. In crowded areas, stair builders often resort to spiral or winding staircases, resulting in pie-shaped stairs. The pie-shaped steps may be continuous, as in a spiral staircase, or they may be used in conjunction with straight stairs as on a steep staircase with a landing.

Pie shaped stairs save space.

Step 1

Lay out your stair design on a piece of graph paper with a pencil.  Measure the area that you have to work with and the height that the stairs have to cover. Assuming that stairs need a maximum nine-inch rise for each step and a minimum ten-inch width for a tread, measuring the widest point on a pie-shaped stair, figure out the most sensible configuration for the space. 

Step 2

Make templates for the pie-shaped stairs when you are building the staircase.  You can make these out of stiff cardboard using a utility knife and fit them into place to be sure they fit. This is much easier than guessing with a piece of hardwood.  Once you have the right shape and size, trace the template onto the material you are using for the stair and cut it out with a bandsaw or jigsaw.

Step 3

Attach the stairs to the risers either by nailing down through the face of the stair and into the riser or by attaching a cleat to the back of the riser and then screwing up through the cleat into the bottom of the pie-shaped step. 

About the Author

Jagg Xaxx has been writing since 1983. His primary areas of writing include surrealism, Buddhist iconography and environmental issues. Xaxx worked as a cabinetmaker for 12 years, as well as building and renovating several houses. Xaxx holds a Doctor of Philosophy in art history from the University of Manchester in the U.K.