I’ll begin by defining some of the parts used in stairways.


  • Newels – The main supporting columns that support the handrail.
  • Balusters – The vertical pieces (smaller than newels) that support the hand rail. They usually attach to the treads in twos and threes though occasionally they attach to a small knee wall that rises above the treads.
  • Treads – or steps are what is walked on.
  • Risers – The vertical pieces below the treads
  • Handrails – see drawing.

These are the basic of basic parts. There are lots more but we’ll deal with those in a later resource.

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