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dgspurgin 07-14-2009 06:39 PM

Attaching deck stringers to 2x8 rim joist
Is there a way I can attach my 2x12 stringers to a 2x8 rim joist so I don't have to make the 1st stair the same level as the deck?

My issue is that the additional step will mean that my stairs will
1) stick further into my yard (not desirable)
2) will have to buy longer stringers then what I got???
(have 10ft boards to cover 72 inch drop, 7.2 rise, 10.5 run -- so need 12ft boards?)
3) start to worry about intermmediate posts with longer stringers?

I'm OBVIOUSLY a rookie here so any help would be appreciated! :P


stubborn1 07-14-2009 07:43 PM

You can install a stair hanger board to pick up the striners. Do a Google Images search on "stair hanger board" and it should give you a good idea of the concept. You may need to modify in some way to fit your situation.

dgspurgin 07-15-2009 09:23 AM


Now... if my rise is is 7.2 inches and I'm trying to attach stringer to a 2x8 joist (essentially 7.25) my stingers are basically not touching my rim joist at all. All the stair hanger boards examples I could find all have part of the stringers touching the joist. Is this a prob?

I don't want to, but would it be better if I basically made first stair on stringers flush w/ top of deck?


Scuba_Dave 07-15-2009 09:40 AM

I put in a 4x4 post at the top of my stairs - set on a concrete pier
I then put (2) 2x6's (I think) across to support my stairs
They are also lagged/nailed into the garage wall on one side & the 2 posts on the other side
So my stairts are fully supported & really didn't even need the cement pad at the bottom as support - but it's there

On my stairs to my new attic I designed/built the stairs so that the top stair will actually be covered by the plywood sub-floor

It is better to have the stringer landing against the rim joist
But hanger boards are used quite alot

Here is one using a skirt board
I do not prefer this method as I think it traps more water
And I know it traps more snow up here

dgspurgin 07-15-2009 09:47 AM

Wow. In that lower picture the stringers rest entirely on the hanger board. The key then, is supporting the hanger board. On my deck there is a 1ft overhang so there's 1 ft gap between rim joist and posts/beam.


p.s. Thanks for the reply!

drtbk4ever 07-15-2009 10:23 AM

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I am a little fuzzy as to your situation (stairs are new to me too).

But I have seen pictures of the stairs mounted with the top of the stringers "Inside" the rim joist. I think that is the correct terminology. Here is the picture of what I mean.

Then I think that means you would have to get longer stringers.

I think.

dgspurgin 07-15-2009 10:37 AM

Great picture nooob.

This is another alternative I was considering... though as you mentioned this would mean me having to return a bunch of lumber (hopefully they'll take back) and getting a new set of 6 stringers. (yes.. 6! Wide stairs!)

Scuba_Dave 07-15-2009 10:53 AM

Ok, 6 stringers changes the picture quite a bit
How wide are the stairs - seems like maybe ~12' ?
If you are hanging a long board with long stairs there is the possibility of a much greater load
It can still be done, but you just need to make sure it is sturdy/secure
Seems like stairs like that become the prime picture spot for that family re-union with 40-50 people on the stirs posing for a pic

I use the heavy duty PR stair treads - 4' wide instead of the normal deck boards

drtbk4ever 07-15-2009 11:05 AM

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Originally Posted by dgspurgin (Post 302093)
Great picture nooob.

This is another alternative I was considering... though as you mentioned this would mean me having to return a bunch of lumber (hopefully they'll take back) and getting a new set of 6 stringers. (yes.. 6! Wide stairs!)

So Dave, in this case where you have wider stairs, especially if they are hanging off of end of a cantilevered portion of the deck, posts and concrete piers would be a very good idea. How would you attach a post to the stringers in the middle of the stair span? See sketch.

dgspurgin 07-15-2009 11:06 AM

Stairs are originally supposed to be 5 feet across - with a stringer every foot. I'm using composite decking for treads (probably CorrectDeck) so wanted to have more support.

Way I've calculated is 9 steps down to cover 72 inches (6ft) from top of landing down to ground.

The more I think about it, I think I might attach the stringer behind/inside the rim joist (instead of creating an extra step at same height as deck just so I can firmly attach stringer to outside of rim joist)


drtbk4ever 07-15-2009 11:09 AM

Here is a site where you can calculate the total run, tread width etc.

Scuba_Dave 07-15-2009 11:14 AM

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I would put a post at either side - supported by a cement pier
One at each side of the stairs - to be hidden by the stairs
Bolt this directly to the rim joist - on the inside
Then put the hanger board on the outside - bolted/lagged to the new posts

For stairs 12' wide I might go with 3 posts
I'm not sure if a 2x12 as the board hanger spanning 12' between 2 posts would be enough
Possibly it would with metal brackets to hang it off the rim joist

I used the posts - lag bolted the ledger boards to the posts
I also then attached hanger brackets from the rim joist to the new ledger board
My stairs are 4' wide - 3 stringers & rock solid, only 8 steps all together
The bottom step is a concrete pad the also supports the deck
This the main entranse to my sunroom/kitchen & stairs were reinforced with the idea of the 26 cu ft fridge being carried in thru the back

II Weeks 07-15-2009 07:15 PM

2x8 rim joist is really pushing it. we never do a deck without 2x10 rim joists and sometimes 2X12, depending on the size of the deck. Any rim joist thats going to hold a staircase gets doubled. where the stairs are going we add on a double hanger board and then on the back of that hanger board we add on a 2X12 joining the two different heights and then block them in.
Is it extra work, yeah but wtf? we have tools and air guns and nobody gets hurt and 16 o.c. is long gone when it come to stairs, its 12" on center
weather does strange things to decks and its usually the stairs that go first and bad handrails. take your time, do it right amd use exterior screws in stead of nails on all stair framing

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