The Modern Wood Staircase and What You Need to Build One

The Modern Wood Staircase and What You Need to Build One

For many Suffolk homeowners, the picture of a dream house includes things like a beautiful garden, a spacious kitchen, and an exquisite, hand crafted staircase. All come at a price, but the good news is that the cost of carpentry services is much smaller now than it was a decade ago. There is also a broader variety of providers and independent contractors.

If you want to build a wooden staircase from scratch, you need to find an excellent carpentry provider in the Suffolk area. While it is not impossible to DIY the job and go it alone, it actually happens to be one of the toughest projects that you can undertake. Therefore, the help of a specialist company is highly recommended. Not only do registered carpenters have the right skills, they can also make sure that your staircase adheres to local building codes.

This guide to the basics of a custom wooden stair design will give you some insight into the construction process.


The tread is the part of the staircase that we refer to when we talk about ‘stairs.’ It is the horizontal board or plank which supports the feet. Normally, the tread of a staircase is about the same thickness as a regular floorboard. The depth is measured by calculating the distance between each vertical surface (riser).


As mentioned, the riser is the vertical plane on top of which the tread sits or balances. In some cases, there is actually no risers at all. This is known as an ‘open’ staircase and it is really popular in minimalist and modern homes throughout Suffolk. With the right carpentry provider, it is possible to create almost any aesthetic that you like.


The stringers is a foundational piece of wood which holds the treads, risers, balustrades, and other components firmly in place. It is common for family homes to have staircases with just one stringer (or side), because the other is formed by the actual wall of the house. Freestanding staircases, however, need to have two or (sometimes) three stringers.


The balustrades are the spindly, long components which attach the stringer to the handrail. Carpentry services come in all shapes and sizes, so you might hear them referred to as ‘spindles,’ ‘guards,’ or ‘balusters.’ They are one of the more decorative pieces, so you can really be creative and add some signature designs if you work closely with your carpenter.

Bullnose Step

The bullnose step is what they call the very bottom stair, because it usually has a slightly bigger width than the others. Often, it is rounded or has a different edge to it as well. You can choose to have all of your stairs crafted in a rounded bullnose style if you prefer this aesthetic. The reason why the bottom step is a little different is purely for ease of use and safe climbing.


Over the last twenty years, winder steps have become extremely popular. They have a marked twist or turn built into the wood. So, in other words, they change direction before reaching the landing. They can look very elegant and sophisticated if crafted with skill. For example, spiral staircases are thought to be very upmarket, but they can be tough to build.

For more information on how to build a wooden staircase or what kind of carpentry services are available in Suffolk, visit Ligna Carpentry. Or, call 01449 770 005 to request a cost estimate for your project.

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