Monday, 28 May 2012

building new stairs

It seems that the elements are really hard on a house in the country. There are always driving winds, raging rain, hot sun beating down and then violent swings between all those conditions. So there always seem to be maintenance projects waiting to be undertaken.

 By the time Avo and Christopher had finished building the deck and pergola almost twenty years ago they had kind of run out of steam for the stairs. Those steps were made using 2 x 10 treads and probably a 7 or 8" rise.  There were three risers. Apparently interior stairs generally have a 7 x 11 ratio (rise to tread) but 6 x 12 is recommended for deck stairs. So this time we decided to design a gentler rise with a more generous tread. We used two 2 x 6 pieces of BC red cedar for each tread. There are also four treads instead of three with a shorter riser.

The first step was to remove the old stairs.
One riser gone,  two to go

We decided, once again, rather than using joist hangers we would reuse the "header" we had used previously.
The ground is levelled, the flagstone laid

We had to measure the span so that we could carve out some grass, do some levelling and lay some flagstone to avoid wood/soil contact.
The outside stringers propped in place

Then it was time to attach the stringers to the "header" and attach the ensemble to the deck.
The electric drill makes screwing so much easier

We decided to use galvanized screws rather than nails to attach the risers to the stringers.
Starting to take shape

And now we're thrilled. They look much more elegant,  smell great and feel nice and solid. The perfect weekend project!
Scylla appreciates easy access from the deck once again

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