Before you begin constructing your outdoor stairway, you need to know the basic steps to build it. Basically, 5 steps will be 10.5 inches long and 26.7 cm wide. You can build a straight-run utility stairway in a day, and the steps will take approximately five hours to construct. In addition, you will learn how to estimate step measurements and install a railing. Read on to learn how to build a straight-run utility stairway.
Building a straight-run utility stairway
If you’ve ever built a stairway, you probably know how daunting it can be. While outdoor stairs don’t require a lot of expertise, they must be planned and executed properly. Usually, straight-run utility stairways are used on porches. Listed below are the basic steps involved in building this type of stairway. Keep in mind that building codes in your community may vary greatly. These regulations can affect the width of your stairway, the slope of its landing, and how railings and balusters should be installed. To avoid any potential trouble, check with your local building department for local codes and specifications.
Identify the exact amount of rise that your stairway needs. Start by measuring the total height of the risers on the first floor. Divide the total rise by the number of risers, and round the fraction to the nearest whole number. Next, mark the width of the treads and risers, and follow the same steps for the second floor. Next, mark the second floor line and proceed with the other two stringers.
Before you begin building your utility stairway, you’ll need to know the exact height of the risers. In general, the stair risers must be 11 inches high, and the stair treads should have a 3/8-inch overhang on the leading edge. In addition to these measurements, the risers’ thickness must be three inches, and you should always install stair guardrails at the open sides of the stairs and on the second-floor landing.
A straight-run utility stairway has a single-level rise, and a single tread can be as long as 16 feet. To estimate the height of your utility stairway, you can use a stair calculator. A stair calculator is an online tool that calculates various parameters involved in the construction of stairways. The calculator provides a reference figure, a decimal conversion table, and lists the most common fractions used in measurements.
Once you have your stairway template and measurements, you’re ready to construct the staircase. Be sure to check the local building codes, as they have strict requirements on stair width. Also, remember that the stairwell width must meet BOCA 96 regulations for utility stairs in dwellings without a lift. This way, you’ll be able to build the stairs without any trouble. So, don’t forget about all the planning and design work that goes into building a straight-run utility stairway.
Installing 2 x 6 treated wood boards
If you’re installing two x six wood boards on your outside steps, there are a few things you should know. Most treated lumber is strong and long-lasting, and you’ll want to purchase the ones that are kiln-dried to prevent future rot. That said, treated lumber is not the best choice for your project because it will shrink after installation and leave larger spaces between each board. Additionally, treated lumber is more likely to crack, so you’ll have to treat it every year.
First, make sure your deck is completely dry. The treated lumber will need several months to stabilize and dry. Ideally, you should choose a board with at least a quarter-inch of bowed surface. If you’re unsure, you can take a measurement before starting construction. Remember that treated lumber differs in width by an inch, so it’s important to measure both the face of the treated lumber and the fresh one. Knowing the difference between the two can help you determine how many deck boards to install.
Estimating step dimensions
Estimating step dimensions is critical for outdoor stairs, whether concrete or wooden. To determine the amount of concrete you will need for your steps, divide the size of each step into several smaller rectangles. These dimensions will make it easier to estimate the total volume of your steps. For example, if you are planning to build 14 steps without a landing, you will need a platform that is 112 inches deep. In addition, each step will have its own weight, so you will want to take into account the weight of the steps.
When measuring your steps, make sure to use a level. Using a 2-by-four with a level on top is a good way to measure the length of the framing around the steps. You should make sure to measure over the edge of the steps for the best fit. After you’ve measured the dimensions of each step, decide how many you want to build and which style you like best.
To estimate step dimensions, first determine how long each tread will be. The length of a step is known as its rise, which is the vertical height between two levels. This height excludes the tread that sits above the last riser. Also, remember that the total run isn’t just the length of the tread – the riser and any overhang caused by the nosing are included in the total run measurement.
Another important factor to consider when estimating step dimensions when building outside steps is the tread depth. A tread should be deep enough for an entire foot to rest comfortably. Typically, tread runs range between eight and twelve inches, but larger steps may require shorter treads. For example, if you’re planning to install a stair with a curved surface, you may want to use a rounded tread instead of a straight one.
Another important detail to consider is the stringers. A stringer should have a gap of approximately one-quarter of an inch between the bottom of the step and the bottom of the tread. The length of the stringers is an important piece of a staircase. If you don’t have enough material to complete the entire staircase, you may want to use precut stringers instead. Once you have the lengths you need, you’re ready to lay out the stair treads.
Installing a railing
First, prepare the steps. Before installing the railing, you should make sure the posts are level and plumb. You can do this by drilling a hole into the side of the steps or adjusting the steps. Then, install the railing posts, one at a time, into the post mount brackets. Be sure to keep the caps of the posts off of the mounting surface while installing the railing.
Depending on the style of the railing you choose, you may want to use screws or bolts. In most cases, you’ll need to use concrete anchors. Use bolts or concrete anchors to attach the posts. Then, install brackets to the posts. If you have wood steps, use screws to fasten the railing. Once you have installed the posts, install the railing. You’ll be glad you did.
Measure the steps to find the ideal height. Some installation guides suggest measuring the steps’ nosings. If this is the case, make sure to mark a stud or equivalent solid structural member in the wall for bracket installation. However, the studs may not line up with the steps precisely. Regardless, you must leave a minimum of nine inches between the railing and the wall so that people can walk freely between them.
Materials and labor costs vary, but you’ll need at least three feet of railing for a five-foot-long section. Then you need to decide whether you want to install a wood-framed railing or an aluminum railing. Wood and vinyl railings are inexpensive, but wrought iron can be quite expensive. Installing a railing on a 10 foot-long front patio will cost you about $1,100.
After you’ve made the decision to install a railing, you’ll have to choose the best way to attach it to the steps. The best way to do this is by installing a simple rail kit. There are several kits available online that can provide code-compliant railing. One kit even allows you to install railing on a curved wall. To make your job easier, check out the L.J. Smith detailed installation manual and follow the steps’ instructions.