T. Aubrey Construction     
                                                                                      Building dreams in the Ottawa Valley since 1989

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 Adding Space


Custom Designs
Safe Stair Systems
Rail Systems

Custom Designs

Whether it is the romance of a Scarlet O'Hara or the functionality of traditional stairs, we have your stairing needs covered.  Stairs are custom designed to suit your home.  They are built to specifications in our wood shop and transported to your site.  We provide installation and finishing.

cedar stairs

This massive set of cedar stairs is handcrafted from 6" western red cedar and provides a breath taking focal point in the owner's log home. 

The treads are mortised into the stringer.  Fabricated in our shop, and assembled on site, these stairs required a winch to set them in place. 

rails and newels
Custom made solid pine newels and rounded two by two spindles grace this home and complement the maple flooring.

stairs with landing


two toned treads
This picture was taken while these stairs were still a work in progress.  Two toned treads are made from light maple and red oak.  The pine stringers and trim lead to a solid raised panel railing that provides privacy to the loft and dampens sound from below.  The landing is finished in maple hardwood flooring.  Gracefully curved pine spindles were added later to ensure security.

Gated Stairs

Since stairs are a major cause of accidents in the home, we developed a gate system that can be closed and locked to prevent accidental falls.  The gating also provides additional support when transitioning to a handrail.

Safe Stair Systems

When designing your home and positioning the stairs, bear in mind that the stair opening for an 8' ceiling must be a minimum of 10' long .   This not only provides adequate headroom but allows builders to make stairs that rise on a 38 - 40 degree angle.  Longer runs also allow for wider treads to make stair climbing safe and comfortable. 

The width of the stairs leading to a second storey is normally 36" to 48".  While wider widths are best for moving furniture from one floor to another, the second consideration is that stairs act as a conduit for the exchange of warm or cold air.  Since closed stairwells draw air more rapidly than open stair designs, it may be advisable to consider placing a door at the bottom.

Rail Systems

Rail systems are composed of several parts that fit together to ensure solid support. Though the make up of a stair system varies depending on the type of stairs, the parts are essentially: the newel post, handrail, fillers (spindles or solid panels), shoe rail, and fillet.

Newel Postsoak newel
The main anchor of any rail system is the newel post.  These posts are placed at any point where the stairs start, stop, or change direction.  The newel must also be solidly anchored, not just to the stairs, but where possible to the floor joists beneath and, in some systems, above the stairs. 

Half newels are used at walls both for esthetic reasons and to provide a solid anchor for handrails.
colonial rail
Available in many different profiles, handrails complete the framework of the rail system.  Like the masts of ships, handrails are most commonly made from hemlock.  This strong and relatively lightweight wood is easier to shape than the hardwoods that often comprise the rest of the components and is more resistant to splintering.

Metal can also be used for handrails.  Generally topped with wood or vinyl, metal handrails provide a modern and distinctive look to the home.

Fillersiron and wood
The filler portion of the stairs serves several purposes:
  • the prevention of falls
  • esthetic appeal
  • sound dampening or privacy
Though traditional residential stairs feature wood spindles or panels, cedar rails, turned metal, plexiglass, and chain or rope are also used.  For safety reasons, upright spindles should be installed more further apart than 4".

Solid panels made from tongue and groove lumber, plywood, or raised panels (like cabinet doors)  can act as a sound barrier and privacy screen to lofts.

Shoe Rails and Filletsshoe and fillet
The shoe rail acts as a finish moulding on both inside and outside of the fillers.  When using  spindle, fillets fill in the gap between the spindles to provide a finished look.  Fillets are also used to fill the gaps on the underside of the handrail.

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