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Old 07-28-2013, 11:49 PM   #1
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making stairs with a 24" run using uncut 2x12s


So,

I'm building a deck for the inlaws (and yes, that was my first mistake).

I'm working under some limitations that are making it tough, so when this latest thing came up, I figured I'd ask here.

Location is SE Idaho.

I have to use deck blocks instead of a poured foundation (those with positive experience with deck blocks, your comments are welcome.

Out of the blue they asked for 24 inch tread depth on the steps. I had planned to also build a ramp, but that was forbidden, and instead they just want very mild long stairs.

I haven't even started the stairs, but that said, I'd love some tips on best ways to make stairs from a ~37" deck platform down to the ground.

I estimate that it needs 4-5 steps, (less rise is better for my father in law).

What I am not sure of, is how (and even if I should) to use a stringer for this.

My time pressure means I cant really special order a super wide set of stringers, so it has to be something I can make myself.


My plan so far is to use 2X12s, and either brackets or cleats to hold the two 2x12's that make up each tread.

Since 2 foot treads make for about 10 feet of stairs, I'll be supporting the stairs themselves with 4 of the deck blocks, and 4X4 posts connected to the 2x12s that would be the stringers if they were cut. The landing will unfortunately be resting on pavers, as concrete isn't really an option.

Comments? questions? is this a good way to approach it?

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Old 07-29-2013, 05:22 AM   #2
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making stairs with a 24" run using uncut 2x12s


100% sure there's not a permit called for this job?
Local codes may make them build this right instead of using those blocks.
Are they at the age where a wheel chair or walker may soon have to be used?
You do know there's going to have to be hand rails all around this deck, right?
http://www.ez-stairs.com/widgets/sta...tor/index.html

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Old 07-29-2013, 07:48 AM   #3
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making stairs with a 24" run using uncut 2x12s


http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/f...rs/outdoor.htm
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:57 AM   #4
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making stairs with a 24" run using uncut 2x12s


If you're set on wide steps, don't use 2X12s...use 2X6 for the treads. The larger pieces will cup badly.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:18 AM   #5
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making stairs with a 24" run using uncut 2x12s


How wide are these stairs? Assuming 36" min. I'd be using 4x stock for the stringers and at least 3x for the treads.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:06 AM   #6
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making stairs with a 24" run using uncut 2x12s


Some added information to clarify the question, and the overall situation.

I live in GA, I'm in SE Idaho for this week.

So a permit simply isnt going to happen. If its not built this week, they will continue to use a set of 30+ year old stairs resting on the ground made of untreated wood that's so weak and dangerous I wont let my family touch them.

The "house" is a double wide manufactured home (aka, a trailer with no wheels). Its not on a solid foundation, so this deck is free standing, hence the piers.

They wont ever be selling it, if anything, any problems with the property will become my problems within 10 years or so. To my understanding, local codes can't actually make them do anything, if they never sell it.

A ramp has been forbidden (as in, my FIL said he'd torch the structure if I built a ramp on it.

And yes, I know a hand rail is required. I'd be adding one for a deck 3' off the ground even if it wasn't required. Stairs will need rails as well, but so far, I still don't know a good way to make the stairs they want.

Thanks RoyalAcresRod, I'll use the 6 inch stock.

kwikfishron, Planning 4' stair width, 4x? I don't know where one gets 4x12 stock (if there is a lumber yard within a couple hundred miles I couldn't find any info on it) , unless you mean I should glue and screw up a 4x12, which was one of my plans I'd considered (well, not really, I';d planned on making 6X12X12's but wasnt sure that was a good solution, and it still left the center of the stairs unsupported.)

At this point, what would really help is a focus on the central question, which is how to make 24" run stairs. I am unaware of a dimensional lumber wide enough to make those stringers, so I assume I need a stringer-less design, and haven't made that kind of stairs, so would love some tips and thoughts on what makes for good stringer-less stairs.

Last edited by Tailor; 07-29-2013 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:32 PM   #7
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making stairs with a 24" run using uncut 2x12s


Build triangles out 2x4 or 2x6 that are 24" by what ever rise you need and fasten them to several 2x10 stringers that remain uncut except the end angles.
Imagine this built out of 2x material



Or use solid blocks. The block starting material would only need to be a wide as your rise. If you want a 7 inch rise then you could cut the blocks out of 2x8 material.

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Last edited by joed; 07-29-2013 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:00 PM   #8
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making stairs with a 24" run using uncut 2x12s


I would approach it differently and build it like a set of blocks. I'd build a secure bottom platform, bolt a smaller platform on top of that, and a smaller one on top of that. I did that for my kids trampoline many many years ago because I wanted something beefy that wouldn't blow in the wind, and I also wanted something they could hang out on. So say you need 3 steps, 24" wide, you build a 6' by 2' deck, put a 4' by 2' deck on top of that, and a 2' by 2' deck on top of that.

Sounds like a lot of lumber but not much more and there's less cutting, less math, and it's rock solid. You use all dimensional lumber so cut to length and screw it together.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:25 PM   #9
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making stairs with a 24" run using uncut 2x12s


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Originally Posted by fred54 View Post
I would approach it differently and build it like a set of blocks. I'd build a secure bottom platform, bolt a smaller platform on top of that, and a smaller one on top of that. I did that for my kids trampoline many many years ago because I wanted something beefy that wouldn't blow in the wind, and I also wanted something they could hang out on. So say you need 3 steps, 24" wide, you build a 6' by 2' deck, put a 4' by 2' deck on top of that, and a 2' by 2' deck on top of that.

Sounds like a lot of lumber but not much more and there's less cutting, less math, and it's rock solid. You use all dimensional lumber so cut to length and screw it together.
This is VERY smart for a small set of steps.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:11 PM   #10
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making stairs with a 24" run using uncut 2x12s


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Originally Posted by fred54 View Post
I would approach it differently and build it like a set of blocks. I'd build a secure bottom platform, bolt a smaller platform on top of that, and a smaller one on top of that. I did that for my kids trampoline many many years ago because I wanted something beefy that wouldn't blow in the wind, and I also wanted something they could hang out on. So say you need 3 steps, 24" wide, you build a 6' by 2' deck, put a 4' by 2' deck on top of that, and a 2' by 2' deck on top of that.

Sounds like a lot of lumber but not much more and there's less cutting, less math, and it's rock solid. You use all dimensional lumber so cut to length and screw it together.
This sounds like the way to do it, but the one thing that confuses me is how it wouldnt be a lot more lumber.

For my needs, it sounds like:
a 4'X10' deck
a 4'X8' deck
a 4'X6' deck
a 4'X4' deck
a 4'X2' deck

That sounds very solid, and its probably the way I'll do it. But it sure does sound like a lot of lumber, unless I am misunderstanding what is meant here.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:24 PM   #11
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making stairs with a 24" run using uncut 2x12s


You're right, it is more lumber, but you don't cover the entire surface with decking, just the exposed parts. and if you set it up right, there is zero waste. It worked out great for me and I never had to worry about stability.

It is more lumber but you don't need your brain, to me that's a fair trade.

good luck however you do it.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:33 AM   #12
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making stairs with a 24" run using uncut 2x12s


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You're right, it is more lumber, but you don't cover the entire surface with decking, just the exposed parts. and if you set it up right, there is zero waste. It worked out great for me and I never had to worry about stability.

It is more lumber but you don't need your brain, to me that's a fair trade.

good luck however you do it.

Thanks, that does sound like a lot less than I was imagining. It also sounds a lot easier for this set of weird stairs.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:13 AM   #13
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making stairs with a 24" run using uncut 2x12s


Sounds like a great idea fred54! I guess I would do it that way aswell
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:24 AM   #14
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bolt a smaller platform on top of that, and a smaller one on top of that.

I meant to ask you, what kind of bolts/ties/fastening worked best for attaching them this way?
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:10 PM   #15
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making stairs with a 24" run using uncut 2x12s


If you are not putting decking on the entire platform I would just use 2x material across the joints to lock the sections together. Put it on the inside and the decking will cover it.

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