90 degree stairs from a deck

Old 02-24-04, 09:01 AM
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90 degree stairs from a deck

I am facing the same problem...no stairs from my deck. The deck is attatched to the back of a doulblewide on a full basement, but no stairs were ever built. In order to get to the back yard, you have to go out the front door and around the house. I have been looking for some kind of plans that would show me how to build the stairs and railings with the landing...which I had already planned on needing. Asthectically, I don't like the idea of the stairs just coming directly out from the deck to the ground although there is plenty of room for it in the back yard. Any idea where I can find some plans and how to do all the measuring? Also need ideas of how to make steps from a concrete walk to my driveway. Right now it is just grass (and mud when it's wet). Saw a show on how to measure from the height of the walk to the height of the driveway, but for the life of me can't remember where I saw it. Was thinking of using 6x6's for base and 2x6's for steps. Am I on the right track?
Old 02-24-04, 05:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
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Steps involve 3 measurements -- rise, run and width.

"Width" is easy -- 3' minimum.

"Rise" has to be consistent (within 1/8" per step) for the entire set of steps, with the minumum being 7", and the maximum being 8". I use a rise of 7-1/2" or slightly less whenever possible.

The "Run" is whatever you need to get the steps to the ground, using treads that are 11" wide and a 7-1/2" rise.

If you build the steps to go straight off of the deck, you can attach the stair stringers directly to the facia of the dek. But if you turn the steps 90 degrees, so that they are parallel to the facia, you'll need a landing for the top of the steps -- 3' feet wide (out from the deck) by whatever the width of the steps are.

You can get 2X12's and lay out your steps, or you can buy pre-cut stair stringers. (You'll need at least 3 for each set of steps.)

The handrails have to be parallel to the steps, with the top of the hand rail being 36" above the nose of each tread. The handrails have to be "grippable" -- a 2X4 or 2X6 flat works and long as it clears the post. or a 2X6 vertical works, as long as you cut a "V" slot 1-1/4" down from the top along the length of the handrail, and have no obstructions that prevent the handrail from being gripped.

Check with your local building dept. -- they probably have a pre-printed handout that will show EXACTLY what you need to make the steps and the handrail legal.
Old 02-25-04, 03:37 AM
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Thank you! I went to the local lumber company with a picture of the deck, but forgot to bring exact measurements ie. height of deck from ground. They gave me a computer printout of materials and costs and a picture of the stairs I have in mind. This was based on 6 steps down from a landing at the deck and a landing halfway down. I don't believe I would need more that 3-4 steps from each landing. They also explained how to measure for the steps and they did tell me about the 7 1/2" to 8" for the risers and that they all have to be equal. I'm thinking this may be a bigger project han an amateur like me should try to handle...at least without professional consultation. I'm no "Tim Taylor".

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