Maybe you want to build a raised deck out your back door, add a hot tub, or maybe you are new to a home that has quite a step down into the yard. You may be wondering how to build outdoor stairs to make the transition from one location to the other a little easier. Thankfully, it's easier than you might think.
Here's what you need:
2x4s that have been treated to hold up to the weather are wisest
1x6s that have been treated to hold up to the weather are wisest
A box of 2-inch galvanized screws
The first thing to consider is how high and long your stairs should be. This is done by measuring the height from the ground where you will start the stairs and then consider how much of a slope you want the steps to take, to make them easy to use.
Now you need to decide on the right size of stair stringers to use. Stair stringers are pieces of wood that are already cut in the shape of the sidewall of steps. All you have to do is build a frame for these pieces and attach the wood to complete them. For the most part stair stringers come in sizes from three steps to seven. You can choose which ones are right for the height you have to climb.
Measure the space where the stairs will go to be able to line up your two stringers. Most stairs are 30-36 inches wide.
Now you need to secure this in place. There are hardware brackets that can be used to attach the top of the stringers to the edge of your deck. At the bottom, you should use hardware brackets to attach the stair stringers to a piece of pressure treated wood or a wooden walkway if that is where the stairs will end.
For additionally support, you may also want to sink two 2x4s by the top of the stairs and attach the stringer to that as well as the deck. You can reinforce those 2x4 by using an extra piece of wood to create an H-bar, connecting them.
Next, it is time to install the blanks. Take your time and measure out the 1x6s to the right length to create each of the steps on your stairs. Mark and cut all of the pieces and then begin to screw them in place.
You may need to start this process by making a pilot hole with a smaller bit as treated woods can be a bit difficult to work with.
Once all of the step planks are in place you need to consider whether or not you want solid stairs, If you do, you will need to also create planks for the 'wall' of the step' Keep in mind, this means there is a little less stepping room, as feet will be forced to stop at the wall. If your steps are not especially deep, you may want to avoid this step.