Estimation of Staircase


For becoming an outstanding estimator, there must have appropriate knowledge of structural components, basics knowledge of geometry, and Civil Engineering calculations. This article comprises the complete estimation of a concrete staircase and comprehensive terminologies related to the staircase system which is necessary to understand for the calculation of the volume of the staircase. In multistory buildings, a large volume of concrete is utilized in the construction of a staircase system. By using the plan and cross-sectional details of the staircase we will be estimating the volume of concrete.

Brief History of Stairs

In Civil Engineering construction, stairs are considered one of the oldest structural systems. It is not easy to figure out the exact date when it was constructed first time because the shapes of stairs are being changed in every architectural era depending upon the trend and designers. But it came to know that as long as (about 6000 years before of Christ) the first man-made staircase was constructed.

In history, the first stair was constructed by fitting the thick wood battens together. In mountains and valleys, there had a problem in accessing a higher point. due to steep slopes and unsmooth terrain, it was difficult for people to move from a lower point to higher points. At that time the problem was resolved by making the slopes smooth and it seemed like stairs.

Estimation of Staircase

Naturally occurring stairs caused the inspiration for designers, after looking at that, an idea about the construction of the staircase system was introduced. And it was not a big gap between natural stairs and man-made stairs. the natural stairs in ITALY and first man-made twisting stairs in Spain (241 steps) are shown in the figure.

Natural Staircase

Man-Made Staircase


Nature has always inspired architects and designers about the development of astonishing structures. It seems that it is impossible to build such a complex structure but its man’s mind power who always found the solution for complex problems. In 1953 M.C. Escher introduced a very complex staircase system in the construction industry

Estimation of Staircase


Before starting the estimation of the staircase let’s discuss the terminologies associate with the staircase system.

Stair or Staircase:

            the stair is a structural component that provides accessibility from one floor to another floor of the building. The total space covered by stairs while during the construction is called a staircase


A series of steps in stair before any platform is called flight.

Tread or Riser:

The vertical and horizontal top surfaces of steps are called tread or riser.

Going or run:

It is the horizontal distance between two adjacent steps of a stair.


Both the combination of a riser and a tread is called a step.


The platform provided between two flights of stairs just for stay purposes is called landing.

Balusters and Balustrade:

The posts provided in the steps including handrail is called balusters. The overall framework and balusters are called balustrades

Newel post:

The thicker post provided in the handrail at the start and the ending of baluster is called a newel post.


The lower surface of the staircase system is called the soffit.

Pitch or slope:

The inclination from the starting point of one flight to the ending of flight is called pitch or slope of a flight.

Winder and fliers

The steps who have uniform width are called fliers and the steps which do not have uniform width are called winders.

Waist slab:

The concrete slab provided to support the steps of stairs is called the waist slab.

Estimation of Staircase

Qualities of good stairs

  • 1- The stairs should be well designed and its proportionating (number of riser and treads) should be appropriate in number.
  • 2- For residential buildings, it should be located in the center and for a commercial building, it should be located at a corner.
  • 3- Fliers should be preferred as compared to winders
  • 4- The slope of stairs should lie between 25 degrees to 40 degrees.
  • 5- The minimum steps should be 3 and the maximum should be 12 in number. It does not fix it can be changed depending upon the situation.
  • 6- The minimum width of the stair is generally used 1 meter
  • A good material should be used for the construction stairs

Types of Stairs Concerning the Material

Wooden Stairs

Concrete Stairs

Estimation of Staircase

Steel Stairs

RC SLAB & Beam-type Stair


Estimation of material for the staircase

Let’s take a drawing plan of stairs and calculate the volume of concrete for the staircase.

Estimation of Staircase

Estimation of Staircase


As there are two flights and one landing in the given staircase and we know that dimensions are same for both the flights so we will be calculating the volume of one flight and after calculating we will multiply it with “2”

Estimation of Staircase

Estimation of Staircase


For the calculation of the volume of steps

Length of one tread= 325mm

Height of a riser= 203mm

Width of one step = 975mm

Estimation of Staircase


From the estimation of stairs, it can be concluded that to find out the given data for the specific staircase is very important. There must have a well understanding of the proportionating of stairs (calculation of the number of risers, number of treads, inclined length of a flight, total area covered by a staircase, area of landing) for correct estimation. Apart from proportionating, the estimator must calculate the concrete volume for the staircase step by step like the volume of waist slab,  volume of one step, volume of total number steps, volume of a single flight, and then volume of landing. If the staircase consists of two flights having  different numbers of steps then we would have to calculate the volume of concrete for both flights separately.

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