For me, framing a curved staircase has always been something that separates those who can frame from those who are simply framers. Ever since I saw a diagram in Will Holladay's book A Roof Cutter's Secrets to Framing the Custom Home showing how to frame a circular stair, I'd been itching to frame one. It turns out that it isn't particularly difficult. With guidance from Holladay's book and a framer named John Kirkpatrick online who routinely does this, I was able to frame a free-standing curved stair in less than eight hours.

When building a curved stair, the first step is to know the codes. The free online code explanations from the Stairway Manufacturers Association are handy for this.

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