Latest Discussions : Tools & Workshop


08:02AM | 06/02/04
Member Since: 06/01/04
1 lifetime posts
I need to build stairs off my porch onto a new concrete patio. I can't get a carpenter to come until mid-July and now I'm worried about my kids' safety, so I'm diving in on this one. I've never built stairs before, but have done many small home improvements myself. The height from patio to entryway is 23". I'd like them to run the length of the porch (16 ft) and have a tread of 18". How do I calculate riser? The patio has a slight pitch for water run-off. Also, how many stringers wd I need? I like the look of the Trex treads and PVC risers. Anyone have advice/opinions? Thanks in advance.


12:08PM | 06/02/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
Maybe this is a trick question, but the tread width does not affect the riser calculation. You have a vertical rise of 23 inches. Assuming 3-steps, the riser height is 7.666 inches (7-21/32) including the top surface. From the top of the lower step or patio to the bottom of the step subtract 1.5 inches nominal, assuming 2x lumber. The stringer will be cut with a riser height of 6-1/8 inches assuming the treads lay over the riser. 3 risers, 2 steps = 23 inch rise, 36 inch run.


06:40AM | 06/03/04
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
Actually only the bottom one is 6 1/8 to compensate for no tread on patio. the others are still 7 21/32 because a tread goes on both the above and below step.

Here is a link I found about building stairs.


06:47PM | 06/03/04
Member Since: 12/27/02
543 lifetime posts
Look at my site's tutorial on deck stairs, my stair chart starts at 4' though.

Anyway, the 3 basic rules will interest you...

While you're there look at the Dr. K project in online projects, that has stairs similar to what you are wanting to do.

As for the Trex spacing, look at your measuring tape, you'll see a small diamond every 19+ inches, that is the spacing you'll need for the stringers 19.2 inches on center for 2x and 16" o/c for 5/4.

Alter Eagle Construction & Design

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