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Old 02-03-2009, 02:27 PM   #1
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Outdoor stairs: notched vs housed stringers?


Hi

I am about to construct a set of outdoor steps leading up to my porch. The rise will be about 49", so the stairway will likely have 7 risers. The stairway will be about 6 and a half feet wide. See photo below:



I like the look of housed stringers as compared to notched stringers, but I was wondering if there are any significant advantages to using notched stringers. I realize that I will need at least one notched stringer in the center.

If I were to go with housed stringers, what size lumber would be appropriate? I have a few extra PT 2x10s lying around and was wondering if these would be appropriate. I also have a pile of metal stair cleats that I could use.

Thanks

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Old 02-03-2009, 03:05 PM   #2
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Outdoor stairs: notched vs housed stringers?


HMMMM! Is this the house that was brought in by Barge?
What I like to do is cut all my stringers notched. Then I use a full 2x12 and install it along side of the outside notched stringers. you might consider that option.
BOB.

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Old 02-03-2009, 03:40 PM   #3
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Outdoor stairs: notched vs housed stringers?


Yes Bob, this is the moved house. I have built a temporary set of narrow steps since that photo was taken, but now I am planning the final full-width steps. I want to build them in keeping with the Craftsman style of the house.

I have done a little research since my first post and realized that housed stringers can collect water and make snow removal difficult. I'm not sure if that is enough to be a deciding factor though. I like your idea of attaching solid pieces along the outside. They would give added strength.

If I went with just housed stringers (no notched outside stringers), could I use 2x10s with metal cleats, or would I need to use 2x12s? I'll probably go with a 7/11 rise/run.
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:45 PM   #4
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Outdoor stairs: notched vs housed stringers?


Not sure if code applies where you're at, but notched stringers ease the process of filling the gap at the risers (or limiting it to 4") as required by code. To me, housed stringers scream DIYer as opposed to professional.
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:50 PM   #5
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Outdoor stairs: notched vs housed stringers?


I don't associate pressure treated wood with a Craftsman style house. Is this the back of the house?
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:03 PM   #6
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Outdoor stairs: notched vs housed stringers?


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I don't associate pressure treated wood with a Craftsman style house. Is this the back of the house?
Ron
It's the front. I intend to eventually paint the stairs. What type of wood do you suggest?
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:14 PM   #7
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Outdoor stairs: notched vs housed stringers?


As KC has mentioned, open stringers make it easy to install a riser! For a six foot width, I would use a center stringer also!
Open stringers make it easier to clean off the snow!
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:19 PM   #8
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Outdoor stairs: notched vs housed stringers?


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It's the front. I intend to eventually paint the stairs. What type of wood do you suggest?
I'd build the stair jacks from ACQ treated southern yellow pine, and would use cedar 1x12's to skirt the treated lumber to hide it from view. The treads would be (2) 2x6 cedar and a 1x8 cedar board ripped to fit the riser. Cut 10" seat cuts for the treads on the jacks, and install the riser blocks before the treads.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:11 PM   #9
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Outdoor stairs: notched vs housed stringers?


Quote:
I also have a pile of metal stair cleats that I could use. It's the front. I intend to eventually paint the stairs. What type of wood do you suggest?
None,...

You could get Extremely Creative,.... Or go totally Conservative,... With All Steel stairs....

With a Welder,+ a small pile of scrap iron, You could build a set of steps that'll last a Lifetime.....
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:44 PM   #10
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Outdoor stairs: notched vs housed stringers?


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Originally Posted by shtoink View Post
Yes Bob, this is the moved house. I have built a temporary set of narrow steps since that photo was taken, but now I am planning the final full-width steps. I want to build them in keeping with the Craftsman style of the house.

I have done a little research since my first post and realized that housed stringers can collect water and make snow removal difficult. I'm not sure if that is enough to be a deciding factor though. I like your idea of attaching solid pieces along the outside. They would give added strength.

If I went with just housed stringers (no notched outside stringers), could I use 2x10s with metal cleats, or would I need to use 2x12s? I'll probably go with a 7/11 rise/run.
Shtoink. if your looking to go with the style of the house I would definitely use the open ( notched ) stringer. Like KC suggested you could cover the outside with cedar.
If your width is 6' I personally would go with 4 Stringers, even tho 3 would do. 4 would make them feel more solid. This is just my suggestion, some might agree and some would think its over kill, the choice is yours.
As for the step material I would go with 5/4 x 4 IPA hardwood.
As for the snow removal! I like the idea of having the side closed stringer to stop the snow when I'm shoveling. but if you use a broom I could see it as a new sense.
As fore the metal brackets, I personally don't like them, it is a quick fix with some future problems, Unless you bolt them through.
from what you have showed us from your other posts on the work you have done on this house you have shown that you have the talent to construct these stairs like a professional . the metal brackets are for None experienced DYI'S. BOB. Great looking project. BOB
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:21 PM   #11
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Outdoor stairs: notched vs housed stringers?


After reading all the helpful replies here and after doing some more research, I think I will go with 4 notched stringers. I could always add outer skirt boards later if I thought that would look better.

Thanks!

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