If you’re hoping to make your front porch or patio more attractive and usable, then adding steps is a great way of doing it. An outdoor step coming off the ground makes a safe place for furniture and flower pots whilst allowing people to more easily reach the ground level of the building. Building an outside step can be done in a variety of ways and material, but it is assumed that you have basic skills in carpentry.
It’s simple: building a step involves a few materials, some tools and a little time. Before You Start This is a guide to help you build your own outside step. If you’re unsure how to proceed, speak with a qualified contractor who can help you decide on the best way to approach the project.
- Building outside steps is a simple process.
- You can build outside steps for a deck, porch, landing, or even for a shed.
- The first step in building an outside step is to measure the height and length of your new staircase.
- Then you’ll need to decide if you want it to be straight or curved (like an S-shape).
Materials Needed for Outside Steps
Materials Needed for Outside Steps:
- Wood screws, nails and glue (if you’re not using treated lumber)
- Paint (if you’re not using treated lumber) or stain and wood preservative (for treated lumber)
- Caulk or sealant (such as Deck-Loc) to protect your steps from water damage.
Building Outside Steps
Building outside steps can be a daunting task, but it’s also very important in your home construction or renovation. There are many benefits of building outside steps, including:
- Making entrances and exits easier for those with mobility issues
- Adding curb appeal to your home
- Creating a space where you can sit while taking off or putting on shoes
There are several factors that must be considered when building outside steps. The first thing you will need is the right materials for your project. There are different kinds of staircases available for sale at local hardware stores and online stores with great prices and customer service. This article will explain how to build outdoor stairs using one piece of lumber as an example so you can see how easy it is.
Supporting the Posts
The first step in building an outside stair is to install the support posts. Posts should be installed at least 3 feet into the ground and as close to each other as possible. They should also be level, plumb and square. It’s important that you use a concrete base when installing your posts so they don’t shift or bend over time.
Building the Stringers
The stringers are the boards that make up the sides of your steps. You should use two-by-eight lumber for this part, as it’s sturdy enough to support the weight of an adult and wide enough to stand on safely. Cut each stringer board to match the length of your step’s face (the side facing away from you). Next, lay each stringer flat on its back in position on top of where you’ll be building your steps so it can be secured with screws into place when you start assembling them. This will help stabilize everything as you go along so nothing moves unexpectedly while working on them.
- Step 1: Measure the distance between the bottom of your deck and where you want your steps to be.
- Step 2: Cut a piece of 2×6 lumber to fit this measurement. If you’re building stairs, cut two pieces that are 46 inches long and two pieces that are 34 inches long. If you’re building a porch, cut one piece that is 95 inches long and another piece that is 48 inches long (the distance from the top of your post to where you want the bottom step).
- Step 3: Lay out each board on its side so its length runs parallel with an edge of your deck or porch structure. Using a pencil, mark where each end touches both sides of their respective structures (i.e., if you have four posts on either side of your structure, make marks every 14 inches). These marks will indicate where notches should be cut into each end so they can fit in place directly against posts or other supports.
Attaching Rails and Handrails
Attach the handrails to the stringers. With your rails in hand, place them over one end of each stringer and mark where you want to drill holes for screws. Using your stud finder or taping off method, drill holes at these marks. Insert 2″ deck screws into each hole and drive them until they are flush on both sides (the wood will swell around the screw). Repeat this process at each end until you have three rails attached.
Attach rails to steps: Place a wide level across two steps so that it sits evenly between them; it should be parallel with both sides of each step (this will help eliminate any chance of tipping). Attach a rail to each side using four 1/4″-20 x 1-1/4″ carriage bolts with washers and nuts per side (two per hole), making sure you use lock washers here too!
Attach posts: Use 4×4 pressure treated posts sunk into concrete footings placed beneath where your stairs will sit check local codes/regulations before doing this! A common rule of thumb is that every step should be 3′-6″ high above grade level; so if you’re building an outside staircase like we did here then make sure all three steps are lower than 6′.
Building outside steps is more than just stacking one block on another.
Building an outside step is more than just stacking one block on another.
The steps need to be strong enough to hold the weight of a person, level and straight, and the right height.
They need to be set in a concrete base that can support them without sinking into the ground or cracking as well.
Congratulations. You have successfully built an outside step, and you are closer to being able to sit on your front porch with a cold drink, watching the world go by. Building an outside step can be hard work, but it is worth it to know that you were able to build something that will benefit you for years to come. As long as you take your time and follow all safety instructions carefully, this should be a fun project that can be as enjoyable as relaxing on the finished product.