I have built stairs before and when I saw these demonstrated (by Bill Shatner, no less), I was hooked. They are really simple to use if you follow the instructions carefully and there are videos on line to show you how. The only thing I did wrong initially was to put the spacers in upside down which makes them impossible to remove so make sure you place the tabs down between the stringers. Fortunately, it only required removing one pivot screw on each bracket to correct the oversight.
Although it would seem that you can assemble the whole staircase before putting it in place, a full 13 or 14 steps would have been extremely heavy to lift so we attached risers and treads in place once the brackets and stringers were set (similar to a conventional stair build).
The end cuts on the stringers are no more difficult than normal but, just like a standard stringer, care must be taken to account for finished floor heights. Not having to do the 56 other cuts for standard stringers - priceless!
Finally note that you must buy the spacers separately if you buy the contractor pack but they are re-useable so you can use the same spacers on both stringers and, if you build more stairs, you can use them again as they are fully adjustable for your run and rise.
I will do all my future stairs with these brackets.
Pros: Easy to Use, Performs Well, Great Value, High Quality, Economical
Converted our 2 family into a single family home by building stairs between the two levels. Took a bit of figuring, but I can't imagine how lost we would have been without these. The hardest part of the whole project was doing the calculations. Especially because due to space considerations we had to build with two 90 degree turns/landings. Best advice for building with any angles was to actually draw out exactly where you want things to end up - we "drew" our planned steps on the floor with masking tape. Our stairs are VERY solid.
Getting the brackets to produce the right combination of rise and tread depth was confusing. The written instructions with the product left out important information. After I viewed the videos on the company's web site, my dilemma was resolved. The written instructions with the product need to be more complete. The product is a simple, strong construction. I will have steps that will support more weight than I could ever imagine in use. I'd buy the product again because now I know how to get results. All the lumber is two by xx. This creates very heavy construction. I'd also be interested in a product which uses lighter materials, perhaps 5/4ths.
Cons: Difficult to Use, Difficult to Install, unclear incomplete instructions
Product is strong. They are a real neat idea and I bet they work in 70% of stair installations.
I live in a 100 year old home and needed new basement steps, I thought EZ stairs would work for me. I even spent time researching on the website and using the stair calculator they have posted. I bought online and went to my local store to pick up lumber.
After trying to set the spacers, I noticed in the directions the spacers would not allow for the specific rise/run that I needed. Even though the calc on the website specified how to set the spacers, it was futile. They would not adjust to the correct rise/run.
I really need William Shatner to come out and build the stairs for me.
All that being said, I used the brackets but had to place them all at the correct space by measuring carefully. I did end up with a solid staircase, but it wasn't was EZ as advertised.
THIS WAS BY FAR THE EASIEST WAY TO ASSYMBLE AND CALCULATE YOUR FORMULA FOR DESIGNING YOUR STAIRS. THEIR WEBSITE IS INCREDIBLE WITH A HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR STAIR RISER HEIGHT AND STRETCHER FORMULA. A SUPER PRODUCT FOR THE DO IT YOURSELF PEOPLE! GREAT JOB EZ STAIRS!
I have 150+ decks in the field using the EZ stair system and now do not build stairs any other way. What started as me offering a better alternative as an upgrade, quickly turned into incorporating it into a standard feature of my deck package. The first set you finish, get in the middle of it and give it a little bounce, you will feel why it is the best stair system on the market. They're easy to install and the directions are very helpful. They also have technical support if you need it.
I put together an outside stairwell to an upstairs playhouse. It is extremely durable and was a pleasure to put it together. I used stair risers and they fell apart within the first summer so I was introduced to these stair brackets and they are amazing. I'll never use wooden riser again.
KIT - implies all parts are in the KIT - you also have to order the spacers if you think you need them - if you already have spacers - your ok - but don't delay your project because of HOME DEPOTS poor description
Have not used product yet - cause i'm waiting on spacers so my review is on home depot.com and YEAH I"M BITTER - i'm 4 -7 days delayed on my project
I used EZ Stairs to build deck stairs with 112 inch total rise. The only negative issues was that I focused on getting the cleats square without recognizing that they could be square at more than one position. The result was that I had to redo my work. Once I paid careful attention to the instructions, every thing came together great. Especially for someone who only occasionally builds stairs, this is the way to go.
Pros: Easy to Use, Easy to Install, Easy to Work With, Great Value, High Quality, Economical
The instructions were good and included a DVD as well as written instructions. I found it difficult to find the type of screws that they recommend (#8 flathead wood screws, coated or stainless steel for use with pressure treated lumber). I suggest that Home Depot sell them with the bracket set or have a link to that product so that it is easier to find the correct screws.
Pros: Performs Well, Easy to Install, Easy to Work With, High Quality
First the good; the brackets are "solid"; they do form a nice 90^ angle which does help keep things square. The "not so good"...The directions are poor. There's a nifty DVD in the package, however, it's not much better than a info-mercial; nearly all background music and no verbal instruction. I would think the brackets are fine for building a open deck stair or an interior stair with walls on both sides. In my case, building an interior stair with an open side (spindle rail), it's not so good. For some strange reason, the screw holes, on the top edge of the bracket (tread to riser), are raised up about 1/8". Given the density of stair tread wood, it does not seat down on these knubs. The directions seemed to imply that you should pre-drill each tread (x4) to allow for this. WHY put the knubs in the first place!!!? This product is advertised as a "time saver"; it most assuredly is not. It sounds like a great idea to use (2) 6" boards to construct the stringers and "slide" them, but there are two problems: Typical stair lumber is sold as 12" wide (like the pre-primed white stuff or 2x stock). Additionally, unless you biscut and glue 2 boards, I think you're bound to get some squeek over time. ...In the end, I bought typical 12" lumber and marked / cut the stringers in standard fashion ...I used the brackets as additional support and tight allignment of tread/riser/stringer. I'm not at the point of starting on my railing ....since the brackets are against the stringer, I'm really wondering if the spindle screws will hit the metal ...it's going to be a bad day if I have to remove the brackets on that side and replace with wood blocks to have something I can screw into!
Think it all the way through before you decide to use this product for your stairway application.