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Timber Staircases

We have been building custom staircases at Trillium Dell since we began our business in the mid-1990’s. Our staircases are typically built using local hardwoods, cut and milled here at our shop. During a visit to a Swiss building museum in 2003, I discovered a staircase I really appreciated; most of our staircases today have evolved from that 17th century beech staircase I saw in that building museum.

We take stair building as seriously we do our homes and other timber frames. Part of our floor plan design and initial estimate will include one of our custom staircases at your request. These staircases can be straight run, kite, multiple level or landings, include mechanical fasteners and hand forged iron, carvings, curved, simple or ornate.
Part of the tradition of timber frame buildings is that they last generations, many generations. The staircase in your home should have a service life as long as the frame itself. Stairs are complex and require years of training to master.

The carpenters and joiners at Trillium Dell Timberworks have mastered the art of stair building. Part of our core curriculum with the Timber Framers Guild apprenticeship program is stair building and the corresponding math and geometry that accompany it. By the 7th or 8th year as a journey worker our carpenters are beginning to master this type of work.

Typically all of our standard stairs have a solid stringer approximately two and one half inches thick, and our trades vary in thickness form one and three eighth inches to one and five eight inches. We follow the International Building Code (IBC) for stair building so you can be assured that whatever you buy from us will meet you local building code.
We have three types of staircases that fit well with a timber frame home. Our most popular staircase is an open back staircase with risers; this stair is typically joined with wedged thru tenons on the treads or a mechanical connector such as a hand forged iron bolt with decorative ends. In some cases local code will allow an open riser staircase, this is essentially the same as an open back stair, except without risers, it appears more “airy”. In some cases we can utilize a stair like this and substitute aircraft wire, or tempered glass for the risers. Finally, we also build closed in staircases. These might be in a built up wall, over a another stairway or cased with paneling for example. All of our timber staircases are handmade with treads dadoed in to the stringers, and risers dadoed into the treads. These stairs are a solid piece of workmanship that you can count on lasting indefinitely, or until the treads are worn paper thin 500 years from now.


Stairs are critical pieces of the fabric of a home as they usually mark the transition from public to private space: it is entirely fitting therefore that they receive the same attention to design and construction that characterize the rest of the house. Our craftsmen have the experience and skills to ensure your stairs harmonize with your timber frame both in materials and joinery, creating a work of art that will give pleasure for years to come. 

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