Building Deck Stairs is one of the most intricate tasks of carpentry. A well built staircase with a good design adds to the beauty of the house. Here are some stair design ideas and the process for Building Deck Stairs.
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Deck is generally an outdoor structure connected to a building. It is often raised from the ground. It can support weight like a floor. The access to a deck may be from the house or from the ground, through a stairway. Different deck design ideas can be used to build a deck. Depending upon the availability of space and the position of the deck, different shapes, sizes and designs can be chosen to add to the home decor.
Deck stairs are an important part of the deck. The stairs are the access way to the deck and hence should be well built, keeping in mind the safety as well as the decor. The deck stair should be such that it complements the deck design and enhances its look. While building deck stairs, keep in mind your requirements. The stairs can be made from solid wood, steel, virgin vinyl, recycled plastic, plastic resin mixed with wood fibers and aluminum or forged iron, depending upon the design. The easiest one to build is the solid wood stair.
While planning the deck stair, check the municipal zoning requirements about setbacks and no-build zones. Do not build your deck or stairs such that they exceed the setback limit or is in a no-build zone. Here are the steps to build the simple wooden deck stairs.
Determine the Rise and Run of the Steps
Measure the height of the deck from the ground in inches. Divide it with7.5 which is the approximate rise of each step. This will give the number of steps to be built. The run of each step should at least be 12″ or more. The slope of the staircase should be around 40 degrees from the ground.
Prepare a Concrete Footer
After all these calculations, mark the area where the staircase will touch the ground. Dig a 6″ deep square area and remove all the grass and dirt from it. Fill 2″ of it with pea gravel and level with a tamper. Fill the rest of it with fast-drying cement and level it using a trowel.
Prepare the Stringer
Stringers are made from a 2×12 board. Use a framing square to mark the portions that have to be cut off from the stringer. Place the stringer so as to mark the rise of 7.5″ and the run of 12″ per step. Start marking the next step immediately after the previous one to get a zig-zag pattern. Mark return lines for top step which will be attached to the deck and bottom step further attached to the concrete base. Use a circular saw to cut and a hand saw for the finishing. Make another stringer using the first as a template.
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Attach the Stringer
Place the stringer such that it touches the deck as well as the concrete footer. Check its placement using a level and a plumb. Attach it to the deck using angle brackets and 3″ galvanized deck screws. Attach the two parallel stringers at the base by placing a 2×6 board between them and fixing it with 3″ galvanized deck screws. Attach the board with concrete using masonry anchors.
Cut and Attach the Treads
Each tread is generally made up of two lengths of 2×6 boards. Cut the treads keeping 1″ extra length on each side of the stringer. Tread on the stringer and push it to touch the back end. Fix it there using two 3″ deck screws per side maintaining the 1″ margin on each side. Place the second trod board on the same step and fix it keeping ¼” gap between the two tread boards. Continue till all the steps are attached.
Prepare the Railings
Cut two pieces out of 4×4 posts of 30″ each. A little portion of the bottom-most tread notch has to be cut out from front sides to allow the post to be attached to the stringer closely. Fix the post with 4″ deck screws to the stringer. Make sure that the posts are exactly vertical. Cut 2×4 railings of the length same as the distance between the lower post and the deck railing. Attach the railing to the post and the deck with 3″ deck screws, keeping it parallel to the slope of the stairs. Attach a baluster at each step keeping not more than 6″ distance between each.
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This is the simplest tips for building deck stairs. You can modify it in many ways according to your preferences. You can increase the run or decrease the rise of the steps. You can add a lower railing as a base for the baluster and add to the design for stair rails. Keep the lower railing at a height of 3-4″ from the steps. You can select from various shapes of balusters to give your railing a unique look. If you have a small child at home then choose a design that protects the child’s head or body from getting stuck. You can add lamps at the lower post to illuminate the deck stairs. You can also opt for spiral stairs, if you have less space or if you want your house to look stylish but by Building Deck Stairs yourself, you can give a personal touch to your deck.