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Old 06-12-2008, 09:01 AM   #16
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Ideally, your deck boards would overhang that rim joist by 3/4", or a similar trim piece would overhang. That would satisfy the code requirement for a nose. Noses make stairs much smoother to walk up and down. The 5/4x6's thickness will kill the consistency of the run measurement of your top step. You could certainly satisfy the nose requirement with the piece of 5/4x6, provided you rip it to a narrower dimension...Perhaps 3" or less, and apply it just like you have it even with the top of the decking. That will accomplish what you're trying to do without killing that top step or attaching a cheesy little piece for a nose.

Here's a GREAT resource from the Stair Manufacturers Ass'n. It is a pictorial interpretation of the stair code, and will really assist you in understanding how stairs are measured. I use this on a regular basis when trying to help people cut legal stairs!
(go to "visual interpretation of the Int'l Residential Code now available" on the right of the screen and open the PDF file). Hey builders...This is a handy one to slip in your code book!

http://www.stairways.org/codes_standards.htm


True, you wouldn't see the hangers for the jacks anywhere but at the ends of the stairs. A35's would be a good option there, but the hangers you've selected will work for all the other jacks.

Yes, you'll need some concrete under the bottom of the stair stringers in most jurisdictions. Most inspectors won't require a concrete LANDING as long as the grade is flat and level, but will require that you have a concrete pad under the heels of your stair jacks. Otherwise they won't stay in place for very long and will sag and settle, plus they can bounce when you walk on them. Check with your inspector, but I allow a 12" x 4" "pad" concealed under the bottom of the stairs. The code does not specify that the required landing (36" out from the bottom nose and as wide as the stairs) has to be concrete. I'll buy level ground, gravel, pavestones, or concrete.

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Last edited by Termite; 06-12-2008 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:33 AM   #17
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[quote=thekctermite;129806]Ideally, your deck boards would overhang that rim joist by 3/4", or a similar trim piece would overhang. That would satisfy the code requirement for a nose. Noses make stairs much smoother to walk up and down. The 5/4x6's thickness will kill the consistency of the run measurement of your top step. You could certainly satisfy the nose requirement with the piece of 5/4x6, provided you rip it to a narrower dimension...Perhaps 3" or less, and apply it just like you have it even with the top of the decking. That will accomplish what you're trying to do without killing that top step or attaching a cheesy little piece for a nose.

So I have to have a min. 3/4 nose. Not sure what ripping that 6" board to 3" and re-mounting would do.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:37 AM   #18
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I would then have a gap under that 3" board down to my first tread, correct?
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
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I would then have a gap under that 3" board down to my first tread, correct?
There you go! You got it. The ripped piece would serve as a nose, and that gap is a good thing. If the 5/4x6 is left as it is, you'd have to apply a nose to it. I say rip it down and let it act as the nose.
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:05 AM   #20
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Doesn't seem like it would look right, but I guess I need the nose.
Now, on to the step measurements. My riser height will be the height of a 5/4 x 6, correct? No, can't be on the first step down since I ripped the vertical, the tread will have to go under that now. My tread width will be the width of two 5/4 x 6? Should my next step then go under the vertical 5/4 x 6 or up against it?
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:09 AM   #21
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I'll answer part of my own question. The riser height can be the same from the first step to the second step. It just depends on the height of what my second step will be. The tread width will be the one that will change if I put the tread up against the vertical 5/4 x 6 on the second step.
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:12 AM   #22
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Wow, now how to cut a stringer to these measurements!
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:34 AM   #23
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Don't base your riser height on the width of that 5/4x6. Chances are it won't work out without having a rise variance.

You need to measure from grade to the top of the deck's walking surface. Then divide that measurement by the number of rises (or lifts of the foot) you're going to have. I'm guessing you'll have three? Then you have the number you need to shoot for.

You're going to have a hard time using the 5/4x6 as a riser block. Getting the required 10" tread and 3/4" nose will require a very deep seat cut in the jack, which won't leave you very much material in the jack to actually support the stair. 1x is a better option, although you won't find it 14' long.
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:05 AM   #24
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Back on one of you're other points, there needs to be a landing out 36" from the bottom nose? I can't just support the stringer heels?
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:08 AM   #25
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Read that post again. The support for the stair jacks and the landing don't have to be the same thing. Code requires a 36" landing, but not necessarily a concrete landing. Most inspectors will let you use the flat yard as the landing, just not as support for the stairs.

The code is written to require that when you get to the bottom of the stairs, you have 36" of flat/level surface and not a hill, a hole, a retaining wall, giant rocks, etc...
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:31 AM   #26
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I guess "flat yard" could be a loose term? My deck starts at 19" above grade and ends at 21 1/2". That's a 30 foot span, though it is noticable. So my steps to the left, the 21 1/2", will have a 2 1/2"" taller first step up from the grass I guess. I really don't want to put any landing down if I don't have to. I'm ready to just sit on it, enjoy the view of my fence (not my hillbilly neighbors), and drink a beer.
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:34 AM   #27
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Almost forgot, what should my stringer spacing be when using this decking material as the treads?
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:41 AM   #28
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That's a judgement call. I'd probably say no farther apart than 2-1/2 feet. I'm a big guy, and I hate to feel the decking flex under my feet. Two feet would be ideal.
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:44 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bajaboy1 View Post
I guess "flat yard" could be a loose term? My deck starts at 19" above grade and ends at 21 1/2". That's a 30 foot span, though it is noticable. So my steps to the left, the 21 1/2", will have a 2 1/2"" taller first step up from the grass I guess. I really don't want to put any landing down if I don't have to. I'm ready to just sit on it, enjoy the view of my fence (not my hillbilly neighbors), and drink a beer.
Worst case you'll have to pour some mulch or gravel down to satisfy the inspector. I'd see what he says before worrying about it too much. You might be smart to cut the stringers for the average of the heights across the slope so neither side stands out if there's a rise variance at the bottom.

TECHNICALLY, the code allows a 2% maximum slope...That's 1/4" per foot. I'd never give someone a hard time on this unless it was bad.
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:54 AM   #30
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So, now I have a height of 19". I divide that by 3 gives me a rise of 6.33 in. Lets call it 6 1/4". My tread will be two 6" deck boards, so that will be at least a 11.5" tread. Well, with another 3/4" for the 1x I'm up to 12 1/4". Sounds a little wide. I guess I should rip the deck board up against the riser. How wide should the total tread be?

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