Fine Woodworking Ideas - Building Outdor Stairs . part2

Fine Woodworking Ideas - Building Outdor Stairs . part2


• There are five basic design elements you'll need to consider when planning outdoor stairs:
Fig 1- fig1
How a stairway is built depends primarily on the total rise–the vertical dimension from the upper floor to the lower floor. The total run–the horizontal length of the stair assembly–depends on the slope of the stairway, which is determined by building codes. From the Sunset book, Basic

The Total Run (Fig. 1) is the total horizontal distance covered by the staircase, from the edge of the upper floor (porch or deck) to the edge of the staircase where it rests on the landing.
The Total Rise (Fig. 1) is the total vertical distance from the surface of the landing to a point level with the surface of the upper floor (Note: You can't find the rise simply by measuring straight down from the upper floor because the ground directly below may not be level with the landing).
Fig 2building outdor stairs
The components of a stairway, with basic stair-building terms. From the Sunset book, Decks, © Sunset Publishing Corporation

Run (Fig. 2) is the horizontal distance from the leading edge of one tread to the leading edge of the next tread.
Rise (Fig. 2) is the vertical distance from the surface of one tread to the surface of the next tread.
Passage Width (Fig. 2) is the width of the stairway.
The ratio of the total rise to total run (or rise to run) determines the slope of the stairway. As a rule, that slope should be between 30 degrees and 35 degrees; an outdoor stairway may be slightly shallower but should not be steeper. The ideal riser height is 7" with an 11" run–which also works out well with standard lumber widths–but you may have to vary the proportions somewhat to make the height of each step work out evenly between the landing and the upper floor.
The passage width can also vary, depending on how heavily you expect the stairs to be used. As a rule, 36" is the minimum; 48" is better for a single person, and you may want to go to 60" to allow room for two people to pass comfortably.

  A stairway consists of four basic components:

Stringers (Fig. 2) are the sloped members that support the stairway. 2x10s are generally allowed for stairs with four treads or fewer, but 2x12s are sturdier.
• In most cases, you'll need good quality material with no large knots, either pressure treated or cut from heart redwood or cedar, to resist decay. Stringers should be placed no more than 24" apart if the treads will be 5/4 material or 36" apart for 2"-thick lumber.
Treads (Fig. 2) are the horizontal members that you walk on. When building an outdoor stairway, they are typically cut from the same material as the upper floor deck or porch–5/4" pressure-treated pine or 2"-thick lumber.
Risers (Fig. 2) are the vertical members at the back of each tread. 1" surfaced boards (3/4" net thickness) are the most common material used.

Fig 3 fine woodworking the components of a railing
The components of a railing. From the Sunset book, Decks, © Sunset Publishing Corporation

The Railing Assembly (Fig. 3) consists of posts, a cap rail and vertical balusters between each post. 4x4 is the most common post material with a 2x4 handrail. Codes regulate the overall height of the railing assembly (usually 30" to 34") and may specify a maximum width for the handrail.

Fine Woodworking Ideas - Building Outdor Stairs PART 1  --- PART 3 -- PART 4 

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