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Old 07-19-2011, 11:29 AM   #1
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Deck Stairs too short...


I built a deck, and got pre made step runners. one side looks good, but because of the ground slope the other side of the step is about 4-6" from hitting the ground. How can I make up for this easily and safely? I thought about bolting a 4x4 to the inside of the runner on the short side to make it touch the ground, but I'm not sure if that is safe or meets code... My other thought is just bite the bullet and build a patio at the bottom to make the hight level and correct, then the steps would rest on the patio... Not sure if I have time for that this year or not, so wanted to see if there was an easy way to make it work safely until I can do the patio.

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Old 07-19-2011, 12:12 PM   #2
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Deck Stairs too short...


Post a picture first. Second, you are most likely going to have to relocate the stairs, due to 4-6" short on one side, means that there is no quick easy fix. How did it pass code & enforcement for your local.

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Old 07-19-2011, 12:14 PM   #3
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it is still under construction so no inspection yet. Would building the raised patio to make it land right on the patio be a fix that would work with code? I'm doing it myself, so I'm not sure the dos and donts
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:32 PM   #4
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Deck Stairs too short...


The only people who will know if it meets code will the be the inspector and permit application people (you did get a permit, right?)

In my region of western Canada, you must have footings down below the frost line for any part of your deck, including the base of the stairs. Because soil can heave and drop with moisture, frost, etc, just resting the steps on ground/patio blocks doesn't pass code. The stairs can sit on the patio blocks, but the load must be carried by the bottom railing posts which sit on footings below the frost line. If your stairs don't require railings (deck must be no higher than 24 inches off the ground), then the bottom of the stair stringers must sit on the footings.

Plus, the ground at the bottom step must also be level with the step, which would likely mean you have to build up a patio block area for the lower side. But that can't carry the load of the stairs.

Call your inspector. He should be more than happy to come out and give you advice on what would pass for you.

Last edited by dpach; 07-19-2011 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:42 PM   #5
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Deck Stairs too short...


I do have a permet and double checked the code requirements. No footings are required as part of code. only thing they mention is that it needs to sit on pavers, block or something other than dirt.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:52 PM   #6
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Where do you live? Placing just loose, means that it will walk later, if not sooner. Post a picture.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:57 PM   #7
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I will post a pic when I get home. I live in Minnesota. I think even if its not code, I may pour footings anyway. I mean, it can't hurt.
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:02 PM   #8
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You may need to cut your own stringers-----That requires a bit of thought and a bit of math--

If you can do both of those things we can help.

Helpful tools to have: a framing square--"The Little Blue Book" (or a book on stair cutting from the library -the "Little Blue Book" comes with some new framing squares)

A set of stair gauges-(Little brass clamps for the square--about $3.00)

A SkillSaw--and a hand saw (or a saws all)

Let us know if you need help---It's so rare that precut stringers actually fit the need.--Mike---
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:02 PM   #9
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Deck Stairs too short...


Pour a pad like an air conditioner pad.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:09 PM   #10
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Deck Stairs too short...


Jim, yes they could do a landing pad, but that means that the one that is too long, will have to be custom cut, and the rise will have to be determined for the pad, which means possible hit from the inspector. Stuff like this should have been thought out before any wood got cut, or hammer hit a nail. Site plan is always the killer, when not done correctly.
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:12 PM   #11
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Ok, I feel dumb. I was looking at my deck again... I had just mounted the steps differently than I initially planned. I had them step out first instead of step down. I will just change the steps to a step down first. wow, how simple could It be.. Thaks everyone for your help.
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:27 PM   #12
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Deck Stairs too short...


Quote:
Originally Posted by jjohnston7 View Post
Ok, I feel dumb. I was looking at my deck again... I had just mounted the steps differently than I initially planned. I had them step out first instead of step down. I will just change the steps to a step down first. wow, how simple could It be.. Thaks everyone for your help.
As long as the tread heights are equal and fall into code parameters, you should be fine.

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