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# Calculating Step Landing Height

#1
10-21-05, 08:36 AM
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Calculating Step Landing Height

I am building a deck on a house which is built on a hillside. The deck is wrap-around (2 sides of the house). The lowest point of the deck is 56" off the ground. The ground begins sloping there, so the highest point of it ends up 8 1/2 feet above ground (on the 2nd side, you walk under the deck to get to the bottom room of the house). My question has to do with the height of the concrete stair landing (I've almost finished digging the footers for the support posts, but have not started on the landing yet).

In the plans submitted to the building department, I'm showing 7 steps with risers of 7 1/4" and tread is 10 7/8" (the plans were approved, and we have a permit). The reason for the odd tread size is that we are using plastic decking (I don't remember the name, but hopefully you'll know what I mean...maybe it's "Trex"?...it is 5 1/4" wide and 1" thick, with 3/8" spaces between). Anyway, it's not supposed to overhand like wood treads can, so they will be flush with the stair riser. The run is not critical...right now it's set at 76 1/8", but I have leeway to increase or decrease that figure.

In rechecking my measurements, I've realized I need to raise the deck level by 1 1/2", and I was apparently off the first time I measured everything and drew the plans. I had the stair landing set at 2" above grade. Now I'm realizing that I need to make it higher to raise the deck, plus my mis-measurements before are now telling me the landing needs to be 5" above grade. I'm just wondering if this is going to be a problem (5" seems like kind of an odd height for a landing). I'm also planning on the landing extending 12" in front of the first step.

Based on what I've said, does anyone have any thoughts on whether I should:

1. Do it this way

2. Make the stair landing flush with the first step (I'd have to decrease the first riser to make it 7 1/4" total height) so there is no concrete in front of the steps

3. Increase the width of the landing so there is more than 12" in front of the first step

-OR- 4. Recalculate the risers/run to end up with more steps and a lower landing

**I'm not sure the best way to word this, so hopefully you'll still understand what I'm asking**

I'm what might be called "semi-qualified" for this project, but am not a journey-level carpenter. If I can get the stair landing set right, I'll be okay with the rest of it. Thanks for any suggestions!

#2
10-21-05, 08:59 AM
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8 steps?

What if you went to 8 steps, where the additional step would compensate for the 5" for the landing height, and the rise would have to be changed for all the steps. The rise would be less than 7 1/4", but not much.

Of course, you would nee the run adjusted accordingly.

Then you can have your landing at ground level, right?

Maybe I'm missing something...

#3
10-21-05, 11:19 PM
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Thanks for the thought, rdhamm....I spent the day digging footers (HARD, rock-infested ground, so I'm not done yet). Still, I looked a little at the landing thing. I'm kind of thinking you're right. Maybe 8 steps instead of 7, with a lower rise, might be an answer. Anyway, I'll check it out before I call for inspection of the footers. I do appreciate the answer, by the way....nice to have someone to "bounce it off of."

#4
10-23-05, 08:15 PM
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mystified,

What is the total rise?