Latest Discussions : Tools & Workshop


07:53AM | 01/21/10
Member Since: 04/08/08
54 lifetime posts
I am going to be installing a set of steps from my porch to my patio. I took measurements from the one on the back side and I see the steps are 6 1/2" high. I would like to build the new one at the maximum of 5" to better accomodate my family. Is this even possible? How do I figure the length of the frame? The deck is 33 1/4" high.


02:13PM | 01/21/10
Member Since: 12/27/02
543 lifetime posts
There are quite a few stair calculators and charts on the net most will tell you the stringer length. I even have on on my deck site that I did years ago but my stair chart doesn't go that low.

It's simple math though, the stinger is the hypotenuse of the right angle triangle and the square of the hypotenuse equals the sum of the square of the opposite two sides.

When you get your total rise though make sure you are measuring from finish to finish, not to framing.

If you are going to make the step rise lower you typically need to compensate with a longer tread to make it comfortable.

Here a 3 basic rules carpenters use when designing stairs. You can use any one of these that you prefer to come up with the tread width & riser

height for a comfortable set, and of course always check your local codes.

1. The sum of two risers and one tread should be 24 to 25 inches.

2. The sum of one riser and one tread should be equal to 17 to 18 inches.

3.The height of the riser times the width of the tread should equal between 70 and 75 inches.

Never make a tread below 9 inches.

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03:44PM | 12/21/11
Member Since: 12/21/11
6 lifetime posts
I want to do the same thing but I want patio steps. Where can I go to find more information on how to build that? My brother just did his steps last summer, but he lives in Minneapolis. I think he had some Minneapolis handyman to give him a hand.

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