Stair Stringers

Cutting Edge Decking

By: - Home Improvement - July 4, 2011
stair stringers cutting edge decking

Whatever type of stair stringers you want to make, even if they are the cut stair stringers, building your deck’s staircase may well be one of the hardest parts of building your own deck.  The maths that you have to do has to be one hundred percent accurate and it is something you cannot avoid.

Stair stringers involve calculating the runs and rise for the stairs that you want, even if you want cut stair stringers.  However, you have to follow the code that is set in your area, including tread and stair rise variances.  You cannot avoid this and if you fail to follow local building codes, you may be faced with pulling your prized deck down and redoing it.  However, what you need to figure out first is the type of stairs you will need because the best stringer is the solid one, or the cut stringer, which tends to have that more polished appearance.

Stair stringers, especially cut stair stringers involve certain standard guidelines or rules that you and everyone who builds staircases has to follow.  Generally for an outdoor deck, a rise that is ¾ inch by 7 inch by 7 inch is standard.  Treads generally fall to 12 inches by 8 inches.  You will have to calculate what the drop is vertically from the top of your finished deck surface to the final landing point of your stairs.  As the level of the landing point may vary from that of the bottom of your decking due to its distance from the main deck, you will have to account for this when doing your calculations.  You can work out the run by multiplying the tread size times the total amount of rises that you are going to have.  Then, once you have cut your wood properly, you will have to attach your decking stairs to your deck.  Usually you can use special brackets made of steel, usually as they are mandatory now in many locals, and these will hold your stairs in place and fast against your deck without the old hassles found with building staircases outside in the past.

Building a stringer is best if you use the cut or solid version.  Trying to build individual pieces as you would find in the construction of internal staircases usually will wear down faster because of repeated use and weather erosion.  These two factors alone mean that the cut/solid stringer has a much more durable construction and can easily be repaired by replacing one solid stringer versus fiddling with multiple pieces.

Photo: deck – copyright 2006 JDoorjam – reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License 2.5 Generic,

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