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Old 05-14-2012, 01:33 PM   #1
Newbie Bill
 
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Box steps or stringer for a deck stairs


Hey Gang,

Looking for a little input.

I have a two level deck and I want to put some stairs from the upper level to the lower level.

The total rise will be right around 23.5 inches and there is no limits to the run.

I would like to build some box stairs similar to those by the door in the attached photo. (Thanks to CrossWorks for the inspiration). I like having the wrap around appearance which is alot easier for a noob like me to replicate with box steps as opposed to using stringers.

With a rise of 23.5 inches, 3 risers result in 7.83 inches of riser height which means I am at the upper end of acceptable riser heights. If I use 4 risers, the height would be 5.87 inches. Either of which I am OK with.

I am just wondering if there are guidelines that limit the total rise (or number of risers) permitted with box steps?

I should also ask if a stair railing is required for stairs less than 24 inches in total rise?


NOTE: this isn't a photo of my situation, just for reference purposes only.
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Last edited by drtbk4ever; 05-14-2012 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:27 PM   #2
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Box steps or stringer for a deck stairs


You need to check with your local building inspector. Around here they use the International Residential Code 2006 edition for deck staircases.

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Old 05-15-2012, 09:54 AM   #3
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Box steps or stringer for a deck stairs


Thanks Daniel, I appreciate your input and a call to our building department is on my list of to dos.

The reason I asked on here is I was hoping for someone to quote me the IRC guideline, or provide a direct link to the applicable IRC codes. Because I fully expect the codes within IRC to be far more stringent than those from our building department. As an example, here is an excerpt from their deck building guide for footings:

Acceptable deck foundations
Concrete pads: 2 ft. x 2 ft. with a minimum 4 in. thickness and a maximum spacing of 8 ft. on centre.
Concrete piles:
8 in. diametre x 8 ft. deep, spaced not more than 8 ft. on centre
10 in. diametre x 10 ft. deep, spaced not more than 10 ft. on centre
12 in. diamtre x 12 ft. deep, spaced not ore than 12 ft. on centre
("Pyramid blocks" are not an acceptable foundation on their own.)





From my own google searches, I have located a Deck Construction Guide which indicates "All stairs with 4 or more risers shall have a handrail on at least one side [R311.7.7]." I am assuming this R number is a reference to the IRC. I have also read that stairs with a total rise of 30 inches or more require hand rails.

Again, our inspectors will have the final say, but I expect your guidance will create a superior set of stairs than theirs.
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Last edited by drtbk4ever; 05-15-2012 at 10:00 AM.
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