July 22, 2021

Building a Staircase in the Shop?

I take you behind the scenes in the shop to check out something new we are trying: Building a staircase in the shop versus on-site. It’s a first for us, and it’s exciting to see how it all comes together.


If you’re a fan of these Site Visits, you no doubt remember the stunning elliptical staircase we built on-site at another project. This time, we decided to see how well (or not) it would work out building the stairs in our shop. Nick has spent weeks putting together the design, and now they are beginning to take shape. We even built a temporary wall in the corner of the shop to help us assemble these stairs.  

Our creative minds have joined forces in the designing, fabricating, and execution of this staircase. We are using white oak treads that are premanufactured from a local supplier. Patrick is installing the risers to all of the treads. We built a housed-stringer on the workbench—which entails routing out a groove for each tread and riser. We are using a piece of 1 ½ inch thick poplar for the outside stringer that will be supportive and the finished product. Once routed, the treads and risers will simply slip into place. The prefabrication time spent in the shop is really paying off; by next week we should have the staircase completely assembled.  

Building a staircase in the shop is just another way we like to challenge ourselves. And innovation and fresh ideas often result. What we learn not only benefits us but also our homeowners. It’s what we call “intentionally crafted”—designing, constructing, and finishing with a clear purpose.  


Sometimes it’s best just to cut your losses and start over. And that is what we decided to do with the cabinets for Project 142. We built these simple cabinets for additional storage in the alcoves of the roofline, but when we went to install them on-site, they didn’t fit. So, we stepped back, thought about what had gone wrong, and ultimately agreed that we needed to change our approach and completely rebuild them. Which we did, and now they are nearing completion and ready to be installed on-site. Thanks for the advice, Kenny!  

It’s time to discover what NS Builders can intentionally craft for you! Contact us today to get started on your custom dream home. Together, we can make it happen.

—Nick Schiffer


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