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dlhein 05-11-2008 06:28 PM

wood front porch steps
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front porch steps

Posted by dlhein1 on May 11th, 2008 07:09 PM | Watch this Topic
We're having wood steps made for our recently rebuilt front porch (1920's house. There are already existing raised flower beds one either side where the steps will go. It's only two steps and the rise will be 7-1/4". The carpenter is making the treads out of t&g mahogany same as the porch floor 11-1/2" wide. I'm assuming he's doing them by that "25 rule" -- something about the rise and tread need to coincide. However, that is going to put the bottom of the steps BEHIND the raised flower beds by about 3". To make it more complicated the flower beds aren't even either. One (out of necessity) was previously made about 4" farther back than the other. My question is: Is that going to look funny? Would it be better to have the treads 13" so they meet the flower bed edge on at least one side? Or is it more important that the steps themselves don't look out of proportion? Or am I being silly and it really doesn't matter either way? I wish I could send a few pictures. If anyone wants to help me with this decision, I could email my pictures. These steps aren't going to be cheap. I want to stop the guy if it would be better to make the treads wider for aesthetic purposes. I would love the opinion of someone who has a good sense of what looks best even if it's thinking outside the box. Thank you so much.

buletbob 05-11-2008 07:03 PM

Nice looking porch, what is going to happen to the concrete piers, is he going to chip them back for the stringers?
You could also add another few rows of brick to make up the space and to support the stringers also. are you going to install posts and rails?

dlhein 05-11-2008 07:28 PM

Actually, he is going to cut away part of those footings for the stringers. But he can't cut them away to make the stringers exactly normal. I'm going to plant small shrubs on either side when he's done to hide them. Huge, aren't they? That was my husband's handy work 20+ years ago. Now he was the kind who ONLY thought about structure and function and to heck with aesthetics. :( ha ha. Additional bricks won't be necessary the way he's doing it. He's doing 4 stringers and attaching everything really well. And, no, we aren't doing railings. I realize that technically we should by code, but I'm hoping the argument that they were never there on this 83 year old house will work. Or that I've seen dozens of porch steps on newer homes than ours with 4 and 5 steps in our town with no railings. Because of the position of the posts for the porch, it would be really hard to figure a way to put a railing and have it look good. And I think it would look silly for two short steps. So what do you think about my original question? Do you think I should have the carpenter make the treads wider so the steps will at least be even with the logs for the flower bed on the right side? Thanks.

buletbob 05-11-2008 08:02 PM

Will the 1st step start on the walkway?
And if he did make the steps wider, how will he cut the stringers? Because there will not be any meat left in the stringer I suppose. Will he be making box beams and stacking them?
And as for wider then 12" steps I usually make wider steps for shorter riser's, its easier on your legs & knee's .
and an answer to your first question . I think either way will look good. Bob

buletbob 05-11-2008 08:06 PM

What is the run (length ) from the front of the logs to the front of the rim board and the rise (height) from the brick to the top of the deck? just curious.

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