Building Portable Steps
There are many reasons to consider creating your own portable steps. You may want them for a recreational vehicle, or an above ground pool or spa. Many people will use them while a deck or patio is being built. Whatever the reason, there are many applications for these types of stairs. Here’s what you need to know to build your own set.
The most important part of your project is proper planning. The amount of lumber you will need will depend on the size of the portable staircase. Taking accurate measurements will help to create a safe set of stairs. Use your yardstick to measure where the top stair needs to be versus the ground it will sit on. You want to remember that an average stair width is 36 inches. Depending on your needs you may need to go slightly wider, but never narrower than this for safety reasons. Write all your measurements down and take them with you to the lumber yard to purchase what you need.
Purchase treated stringers for your steps. The reason for making sure all of your wood is treated is for durability. Treated lumber is going to last a lot longer. Untreated the stairs may start to weaken in as little as a few months, and this can pose serious dangers with your stairs. Generally, a 4 or 5 step stringer is large enough for most portable stairs. If you need then to be larger, you can find 7 step stringers.
You will need 1X6 boards for the steps. You will need two of these for each step you are building. So if you have 4 steps you will need to purchase at least 8 boards. You can have these cut to the width of the step at most lumberyards. If they won’t cut them for you, you can cut them yourself at home with a saw. You will also need 2X4’s for support, usually, 4 of these will be enough. Purchase 4X4’s for the uprights. Make sure all the wood is treated for durability.
Place the new stringers at least 36 inches apart. (If you’ve chosen wider stairs, then use this measurement instead.) Attach the 2X4’s to the stringers with a crisscross pattern.
Now, attach the uprights to the stringer.
Place two boards down for each step. Don’t secure them yet, make sure they are fit and even along the edges. Once they are even you can use the drill and deck screws to attach the stairs to the form. Leave the top stair unattached for now.
Measure and cut the section from the top step that will go around the upright. Once this is done, secure the top stair.
Stabilize the stairs by attaching 2X4’s to the back of the uprights. Consider attaching them to the front for added support. While the more wood will make the stairs sturdier, it can also make the portable stairs heavier. Very heavy stairs won’t be as portable, so remember this.
And that’s it! You now have your own set of portable stairs