Image: iStockphoto.com/Kimberly McBride

## About This Quiz

Stairs might be easy to climb, but they are very difficult to build. Do you want to save yourself some money by building your own set of porch stairs? First make sure you know what a project like that entails. Take our quiz, and learn more about the process of building yourself a great set of porch stairs.
Which of these is the most important part of building porch steps?

You must choose the correct materials.

You should make sure the design is accurate.

To avoid wasting both time and money, and to make sure no one gets hurt trying to climb your stairs, make sure your design is accurate.

You need to see to it that the steps are pretty.

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You should build your own stairs only under which of the following circumstances?

You should only build your own stairs if you can't afford to pay a carpenter.

You should only build your own stairs if you have plenty of free time on the weekends.

You should only build your own stairs if you have experience with difficult carpentry tasks.

Building stairs is not a simple carpentry task, and you should only attempt this project if you have some carpentry experience. Otherwise you should leave it to a professional.

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Before taking on this or any other building project, you should find out whether you need which of these?

a building permit

Many states have laws governing what you may build on your property. Find out whether you need a building permit before spending your time and hard-earned money on a project you might be asked to destroy.

a helping hand

special tools

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Some carpenters prefer to use which of these to design stairs?

drafting software

You might think that designing stairs is a simple task, but the measurements and calculations required are so difficult that many professional carpenters actually use drafting software to design stairs.

interior designers

pencil and paper

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Your calculations are intended first to provide which of these crucial pieces of information?

the number of stairs

You must determine how many stairs you will be building, because that will determine many of the other measurements for the project.

the height of each stair

the width of the handrail

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Which of these terms refers to the vertical section of a step?

the rise

The vertical section of a step is known as the rise. The total rise of a stair case is how much vertical climb the stairs allow.

the base

the run

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What is considered the ideal height for a single rise?

3 inches

7 inches

Research has shown that the ideal height for a step in 7 inches (18cm). You can only vary from that number by about an inch before the stairs are perceived as uncomfortable to climb.

12 inches

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To determine how many stairs you will need, you should use which of these calculations?

Divide the total rise of the staircase by 7, and round to the nearest integer.

You must measure the total rise of the stairs, and then divide that into 7-inch units. You can then round to the nearest whole number to determine how many stairs you must build.

Calculate the slope of the stairs, divide that angle into 7-inch units, and add one.

Determine the square of the hypotenuse of the triangle produced by the staircase, and cut that into 7-inch sections.

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Having determined the number of steps you need, how do you determine how high each rise will actually be?

Divide the total rise by the number of stairs you've calculated you need.

Even though the ideal height of a rise is 7 inches, you will not always have that option. You must account for the actual height of the total rise, and divide that by the number of stairs you need.

Multiply the number of stairs you need by 7 inches.

Add up the total number of stairs you need and divide that into 7-inch units.

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The term run refers to which of these sections of a stair's step?

the angle of the stair's climb

the depth of each stair

The depth of each stair, as determined from the edge of the stair to where it meets the rise, is known as the run. The total depth of the staircase is known as the total run.

the total amount of area covered by the staircase

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The ideal depth of a single run is how many inches?

7 inches

11 inches

The industry standard for a single run is 11 inches (28cm), but there must be a proper ratio between the rise and the run.

18 inches

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When calculating the rise of a step, you should round off to which of these?

the nearest quarter of an inch

Although accuracy is important, you can afford to round off to the nearest quarter of an inch (0.6cm).

the nearest half of an inch

the nearest inch

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A staircase that has a total rise of 3 feet (91cm) will need how many stairs?

3

5

There are 36 inches in 3 feet. Divide 36 inches by 7 to get 5.14. Round that to the nearest integer, and you've calculated the total number of stairs you need.

7

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The five steps of a 36-inch (91cm) staircase will each have a rise that is how high?

7 inches

7.25 inches

Divide 36 inches by 5 to get 7.2 inches. Round that to the nearest quarter of an inch, and the rise of each stair will be 7.25 inches.

7.5 inches

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One way to save time on your project is to buy which of these?

pre-cut stringers

A stringer is the staircase's frame, on which the individual stairs will rest. You can buy pre-cut stringers at many hardware stores.

pre-cut risers

pre-cut runs

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You Got:

/15

iStockphoto.com/Kimberly McBride

Image: iStockphoto.com/Kimberly McBride

## About This Quiz

Stairs might be easy to climb, but they are very difficult to build. Do you want to save yourself some money by building your own set of porch stairs? First make sure you know what a project like that entails. Take our quiz, and learn more about the process of building yourself a great set of porch stairs.