Wood Deck Designs – Adding Steps

Wood Deck Designs – Adding Steps

Without doubt almost every deck will need some form of step or stairway. These are easy to build and install, but a few basic rules will make the task simpler. Being outdoors, the steps can be larger and wider, creating a sense of space, and whatever you design they should be inviting to use. Free-flowing steps can lead you around the deck to the garden.

Wood Deck Designs - Adding Steps There are three basic methods for building steps. The first is the box method (detailed below). It produces a very simple and strong structure but is best suited for just two or three treads. As the timbers used are normally 100mm or 150mm joists, which are commonly used riser heights for stairs, this makes the box steps easy to work out as the standard timbers do not need to be cut down.

The second method is ideal for a greater amount of steps such as in a stairway between decks and is another simple technique. Two large timbers — known as stringers — 50mm by 250mm or 300mm, can be set between the decks and with stair hangers treads can be screwed between the stringers to produce a stairway. Treads need to be the right width for the riser height.

The last method, cut out stringers, produces the best quality and neatest looking stairs, but requires more working out before you start the job. Cut out stringers are available ‘ready to use’ but normally cover only three or four steps. You can always purchase a pre-made one and copy the pattern onto a larger piece of timber to increase the length of the stairs. If you have more than three steps a handrail with be required for safety.


Box Method

1. When measuring up for the steps, do not have the steps tight between the wall and fence shown here – the steps will expand, moving the fence as well.

2. With a tape, measure out the timber, allowing for some movement. Paint all exposed ends with preservative and screw together with framing screws.

3. With the base box completed build a second box but reduce the depth by twice the width of the deck board that is to be used as the tread of the step.

4. Secure the two boxes together by using offcuts screwed to the inside of the boxes at the back and sides. As before, use framing screws for the fixings.

5. Paint any newly cut surfaces with preservative and allow them to dry. This is the last chance to get to this timber before final construction of the steps, so check that all surfaces have been painted. Measure and cut two treads for the lower step. There is no need to leave a space between the boards as on the deck itself.

6. With the two treads cut from the decking board, secure in place with two screws at each end to fasten down each one. Cut two more for the top step.

7. Level off the base where the steps are to go; you can even use a concrete paving slab if required. Place the steps on the level surface and be sure to check for level again – there is nothing worse than walking up tilting steps. Attach to the main deck with screws.

8. The finishing touch for the steps is the top treads. As before, screw down with two screws each end.


07. February 2011 by admin
Categories: Decking, Gardening | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Wood Deck Designs – Adding Steps

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