Chapter 7
Stairs: A Few Steps to a Happy Landing
In This Chapter
• The anatomy of a staircase
• Silencing annoying, squeaky stairs
• Fixing a loose tread
• Securing handrails and balusters
• Making your stairways safe for elders and children
Fixing a staircase is usually a matter of tightening up its parts. Most stairs are constructed of wood, and wood is a responsive material: it expands when the surrounding humidity increases and shrinks when its environment is dry. Even though we can’t see it happening, these tiny movements in the wood, coupled with human contact—you, your family, and your pets, walking, stomping, and bounding up and down, every day—loosen the parts of a staircase. Eventually, the stairs begin to talk, as only stairs can: they ...

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