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brcocar 04-15-2011 08:45 AM

Deck stairs
2 Attachment(s)
Hi folks,

Quick question. What would be the best/strongest way to attatch three stair stringers to a triple 2x10 beam. Would joist hangers do the trick? Follow up question... if the pre-cut stringers are level is that all I need to worry about? I guess I could use any advice about installing deck stairs. The stairs will be coming away from the house, parallel to the driveway...


tcleve4911 04-15-2011 08:57 AM

My first reaction to your question is that you are not going to want to attach the stairs to the header.
You should have an outside rim attached to the joists and the stairs should hang off the rim, usually fastened from the back or with a strap hanger made from PT.

There's lots of ways to attach the stringers.
Hope this helps

tcleve4911 04-15-2011 09:08 AM

My second reaction is I notice you have precut stringers.......:( here we go ....
I build a lot of stairs...there's books on the techniques.
I determine overall height from grade where the stringers will land, to the top of the framed deck.
I divide that # by 7 which will tell me how many risers I need.
That # is then divided back into the overall height and that gives me my riser height.
I cut the bottom of the stinger the thickness of my tread and that makes all the risers exactly the same from grade to deck.

The only reason I went through that lengthy explanation is to let you know that you will NOT be given that opportunity.
Your first step off the grade will be different from all the rest.

You have to determine where the stringer will land, and cut off the bottom of the stringer to make all the treads & risers level & plumb.

That's all for now......
Chime in if you have any questions:)

12penny 04-15-2011 05:55 PM

Agreed with tcleve. Unless you're very lucky, theres no chance pre-cuts will pass inspection.

Gary in WA 04-15-2011 08:19 PM

The posts are required to be 6x6. The posts should be capped (or let-in) with positive metal connection. All should be pressure-treated wood. The house ledger requires the same size or larger than joists. Ledger lagged or bolted to house, rim screwed to joist ends; fig.11, stringers require a metal hanger, Fig.31, require 5" minimum meat left below riser/tread notch on stringer, span of 6’ or 7’ for notched (open) stringers- or add posts/beam, or a landing; fig. 28. Posts at bottom of stairs, etc….


dtsman 04-15-2011 10:38 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Couple of choices, one use joist hangers or you can notch the stringer at the top, lag a 2x4 to the rim joist, then hook the stringers onto the 2x4 with the notch and secure.

Gary in WA 04-15-2011 11:03 PM

Couple of choices, one use joist hangers or you can notch the stringer at the top, lag a 2x4 to the rim joist, then hook the stringers onto the 2x4 with the notch and secure.

Attached Images

I don't think that choice is in the Deck Code I sited............ Gary

dtsman 04-16-2011 09:32 AM

Yea. I do alot of notching when decking for both strength and aesthetics . You dont find things like that in the new online documentation. You find ideas like this from guys who where trained in the field by the old timers like me back in the 80's and 90's, when I couldn't pull out a blackberry and google "how to build a stair stringer and install".

I have done the notch since taught, because I like the look better than hardware fastners when they are exposed. It has passed residential inspections in VA Beach, VA numerous times and a set up steps I built in a bar in Louisville, KY passed the commercial inspectors looky as well.


If the women don't find you handsome,
they should at least find you handy.
(Red Green)

Gary in WA 04-16-2011 10:22 AM

I understand completely. When I started my framing Company in '73, it was normal to notch the stringer at the top. I cut a notch only big enough for the hanger seat, not removing strength material as the one pictured. If you line-up the wood grain with the meat left in the stringer, top of notch is above it, reducing the shear load to rely on toe-nails only. Similar to a rafter seat cut and the meat left for bearing or tail overhang. I change my old ways when learning new Codes as they are change/amended because of problems or failures. I try to site the latest Code as eventually all will conform to it, may as well start building to the minimum code now, rather than code 30 years ago (whether local B.D. is up-dated or not). The pictured notch followed is weak and may get one a violation (and possible split failure, plus replacement), but following the latest code will always be better/safer/stronger.


kwikfishron 04-16-2011 10:40 AM

199 Attachment(s)
I’d pressure block it but I’m sure that’s wrong now too.

Gary in WA 04-16-2011 01:02 PM

"I’d pressure block it but I’m sure that’s wrong now too." ---- Possibly. Check locally.

Around here, the “pressure blocking” of the truss bottom chord for ceilings was eliminated (early '90's) and replaced by hangers. Even the 2’ ones require hangers, possibly our location in a seismic zone has some influence. Same with 2x’s for ceiling soffits of any length over 4’, depending on AHJ. Our areas require a positive connection.

Stairs require joist/stringer connection support 40# per sq.ft. or footnote “c”;
Point is, I’d rather build to today’s minimum Code than yesteryear’s minimum.
Doesn’t mean you have to if not required by Code, but if ever a failure it’s in your favor rather than against you for liability alone…. As a pro or a H.O.

Page #17;


brcocar 05-09-2011 09:50 PM

wrong again
Hi folks,

Quick amendment to my previous question... I thought the end of the stair run would end up on the concrete pad, but I was wrong again, so my question is, can I pour a 3" concrete pad about 3'x3' where the stringer ends, or do i need to dig a footing and put the posts in a footing and then attatch them to the stringers? I saw on "" the guy dug footings for the end of the stringers and in the middle. My stringer is only 13 steps, his was 16 I think. Any thoughts as to if I need the footings, and if I need more support in the middle of the run? I think knowing where the stairs will end, and having them on solid ground rather than on dirt will help get them level... I hope. thanks for any advice.

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