Virginia Railing and Gates: How to calculate step or stair degree - angle for handrails, step rails, fences, and railing  
   
 

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Calculating the Degree for Stairs and Staircases

 
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To find the degree for a set of steps you will need the following two measurements before you use the degree finder below:

  • the distance from the top step, or landing, to the top surface of the bottom step (see Distance A in figure 1). The method for obtaining this measurement is described below
  • the distance from the tip of the top step to the tip of the bottom step (see Distance B in Figure 1)

To find the length of Distance A, place a long level on the stoop and hold it out over the steps. Once you have evened the level, take a tape measure and measure the distance from the under side of the level to the surface of the bottom step. If your steps are longer than the length of your level, you can take multiple readings down the step and then add the results together to find the total drop of Distance A. If you are only looking for general degree, and accuracy is not important, you can find the drop of a few steps then measure the distance of the tip of the top step you placed the level on to the tip of the step to which you measured.

 

FIGURE 1

 


Distance A

 

Distance B

 

 

 
Round to decimal place(s)



cos θ = adj       θ = cos-1(adj ÷ hyp)
              hyp

How to calculate step or stair degree - angle for handrails, step rails, fences, and railing

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