Deck stairs question: Bottom riser.

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Old 10-28-13, 10:28 AM
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Deck stairs question: Bottom riser.

So I'm gonna be putting some stairs on to my deck.

I've been reading this article which is pretty decent:
How to Build Deck Stairs: The Family Handyman

What's confusing to me is this....

In this picture:
http://hostedmedia.reimanpub.com/TFH..._BLDSTR_04.pdf

.....the bottom riser is 1.5 inches shorter than the others?
WHY IS THAT?

Shouldn't all stairs be the same height?

Is it because the "extra" 1.5 inches is buried below grade?

If so, does the bottom riser need to be shorter if the stairs will be meeting up with a hard, flat surface?

To be honest, this is the most mind-bending part of the whole deck-building experience.

No me gusta.

Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks!
 
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Old 10-28-13, 10:42 AM
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Good picture of how not to build the risers.
If you built it like that the bottom of the riser and the stringer would rot off.
The best way is to pore a pad for the risers to set on.
It cut the stringers then clamp them together and on the bottom I mark then so I can attach a pressure treated 2 X 4 that's recessed into the stringers. The reason being it give 100% and it keeps the stringers from twisting. Another option is to set them on patio blocks.
And your right all the risers should be within 3/8" of each other.

Stair step height: Guide to Stair or step Riser Dimensions in Stair Codes, Construction & Stair Inspections
See if this helps to figure out the stringers.

Stair Calculator - Layout Stair Stringer, Headroom Rise Run - Imperial & Metric
 
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Old 10-28-13, 10:56 AM
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http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6-09.pdf

Gary
PS. the diagram shows the risers same height, just the stringer longer into the ground.
 
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Old 10-28-13, 11:06 AM
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Thanks, guys.

So, yeah, I think I get it.

Basically, the risers all need to be the same height. His drawing was partly buried below grade allowing for the proper rotting of wood ensuring that someone would be required to re-do said project at some point. (ha.)

So, next question.........in that article I posted (here again, for clarity:
How to Build Deck Stairs: The Family Handyman )

......the guy uses cut, 2x10 stringers "sistered" to 2x12 skirts (which, I'm assuming, to be the same as what Gary's posted pdf file is calling "solid stringers"). Would that be ok code-wise? I'll be having an inspection. I'm in WA state.

Thanks.
 
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Old 10-28-13, 11:08 AM
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No way would I use 2 X 10's for stringers!
Use 2 X 12's/
 
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Old 10-28-13, 01:17 PM
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Any advice on how to connect these stairs to pavers?

Wife doesn't want a concrete slab. Imagine that.

Thanks!
 
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Old 10-28-13, 02:21 PM
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It does not get connected, it just sits on top of them.
You only needed about a 24" by slightly wider then the stringers stoop.
 
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Old 10-28-13, 03:01 PM
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I would try to pitch it to her that it's the real bottom step and you want concrete so it's nice and stable when people step down, which should reduce your need to keep your insurance agent on speed dial.

I don't think of this as a concrete slab but as a concrete pad like you may have under the air conditioner.
 
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Old 10-28-13, 06:02 PM
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Hey JoeCaption.

Thanks for that stair calculator link!

Just curious.....

When I put in my riser width and tread height, etc., do I actually cut the stringer to fit the lengths I entered?

See here (I hope): Stair Calculator - Layout Stair Stringer, Headroom Rise Run - Imperial & Metric

EDIT: Crap. That didn't keep the dimensions I entered. Leaving it for the sake of clarity.

I can't tell what size to actually cut for the stringer.

The image doesn't have individual measurements for each rise and run.
 

Last edited by AaronL; 10-28-13 at 06:03 PM. Reason: realized the stair calculator didn't keep my dimensions in the link I posted
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