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Building a Deck

How to Build a Deck Staircase (page 1 of 2)

With the flooring in place, you can build the staircase for your deck.

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    $100 - $250

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Here's How To Do It:

Step 1: Attach the Staircase Landing Beam

Measure the outer beam of the staircase landing and nail it to the sill board attached to the house foundation. Then nail the crossbeam to the outer beam and the support post. Note: The outer beams on the staircase landing are put together the same way as the beams on the main deck.

Nailing crossbeam to outer beam and support post

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

Step 2: Support and Level

Temporarily support the structure with a board until everything is level. Once everything is level, take a measurement from the top of the post anchor to the bottom of the outer beam. Using a reciprocating saw, notch out support post the width of the outer beam and saw the excess off the end of the post (Image 1). Tip: To make sure your anchor hole is deep enough for the anchor bolt, simply take a look at the drill bit to see how far up the concrete powder appears That should be the proper length (Image 2).

Step 3: Calculate the Staircase Stringers

The two most important terms when designing a staircase are "rise" and "run." Rise is the height of the step, and run is the depth of the step. The numbers used here are the numbers from our example.

  • Measure from the top of the decking to the foundation (84")
  • A good rule of thumb for the ideal rise is 7-5/8". (1/2" plus or minus is okay.)
  • Take the height of the stairs (84") and divide by the ideal rise (7.625) The answer is 11.016.
  • Round to an even 11. There will be 11 steps with each one being 7-5/8" tall.
  • Next, multiply the rise x 2 (7.625 x 2 = 15.25). Subtract 15.25 from 25. The run is 9.75 or 9-3/4".

Step 4: Use a Stringer Template

Using a framing square, lay the square down on a 2x12 board (used for more support) with the 7.625" mark and the 9-3/4" mark along the same edge of the board. Draw the right angle onto the board formed by the angle of the framing square. Continue down the board 11 times. Take 1-1/2" off of the bottom rise to allow for all of the stair tread boards.

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