Decks are typically constructed before patios because this enables frost footings to be installed without disturbing the concrete slab that was previously in place. It is in your best interest to forego the possibility of constructing two projects at the same time so that you can direct your attention solely toward the task at hand. If you intend to construct a concrete patio below the location of the landing on your stairs, you will need to modify the design of your stairs so that they may land in the appropriate place on the patio after it is finished. It is possible that you will be required to postpone the final inspection of the deck until the patio has been completed in order to ensure that the steps fulfil the standards for uniform risers and treads. In the meanwhile, you ought to reinforce the stairwells' bottom landings.
The stairway leading up to a deck needs to be meticulously constructed such that all of the stair rises, which refers to the vertical height of the steps, and all of the tread depths, which refers to the horizontal length of the step runs, are identical. A trip hazard will exist on the staircase if the height or length of the bottom or top step is significantly different from the height or length of the other steps. In addition, the staircase and its railing need to be in compliance with the codes, which were established to ensure that the staircase is stable and risk-free. In most cases, using pre-built stairs will result in a violation of the code.
Read more: Building Cascading or Warp Around Stairs
To begin, you will need to become familiar with the components of deck stairs. At the bottom of the stairs, there is typically a flat surface constructed of concrete, pavers, or gravel known as a landing pad. In situations where there will be seldom usage of a staircase and the grass is level, a landing pad may not be necessary. The boards that run horizontally across stairs and are used to walk on are called treads. The treads of stairs can be created out of a single 2x12, but most commonly they are constructed up of two decking boards or two 2x6s.
A stringer is a wide board, typically a 2x12, that supports the treads and runs at an angle from the landing pad to the framing of the deck. A stringer is considered to be "open" when it has notches that are visible, but a stringer is considered to be "closed" when it is either a solid board with cleats for the treads or an open stringer with a solid board affixed to the side. Risers are boards that are positioned on the ends in order to cover the vertical voids that are created between the treads. The material used to construct risers is often 1 by material, fascia board, or decking.
The breadth (or depth) of a single stair run is referred to as the stair tread. The vertical distance that may be measured from the top of one thread to the top of the next tread is referred to as a stair rise. The full amount of horizontal ground covered by the stringer is referred to as the total run. A stairway's overall change in height is referred to as the total rise, and it is measured from the landing pad to the top of the deck's decking.
Now, are requirements that are commonly seen in codes, along with our recommendations:
At a minimum, the width of the stair treads should be 36 inches. Despite the fact that these are the minimum criteria, we recommend that the width of the steps be at least 48 inches so that it does not seem claustrophobic.
The greatest stair rise that can be installed is 7 3/4 inches, while the shortest stair rise that can be installed is 4 inches. Check out the following hint for some suggestions on rise-run combinations. It is recommended that there be no more than 3/8 inch of variation between the longest and smallest riser heights or stair depths on a set of stairs. This is a rather rigorous rule, so you need to take the time to thoroughly plan out your stringers. Notches on an open stringer shouldn't be cut any deeper than necessary; otherwise, the stringer will be fragile.
The posts that support the stair railing ought to be firmly fastened to the structure of the deck or to the ground. In most circumstances, the stair railing should be equipped with a handrail that can be grasped. The distance between individual balusters in the railing should not exceed 4 3/8 inches, and there should be a gap of no more than 6 inches between the bottom rail and the tread.
It is important that the stringers be spaced closely enough to provide proper support for the treads. This spacing varies according to the different tread materials. In most cases, stringers can be spaced as widely apart as 16 inches on center if the treads are made of 2-by timber. It is recommended that the spacing between the 5/4 decking or composite decking boards be at least 12 inches. Make sure to verify with your local building authorities and carefully adhere to the installation instructions provided by the decking manufacturer.
Some builders of decks place a landing made of concrete at the bottom of the stairs leading down to the ground. The minimum size required for a landing at the top or bottom of steps is 36 inches by 36 inches. It is recommended that you place the stringer for your stairs on the first 12 inches of the concrete landing. In this instance, we are pouring a pad that is four feet by four feet.
Find a suitable area for constructing the concrete molds. Determine your location's altitude with the help of a level and a measuring tape. In this particular instance, the joist material that was removed from the deck prior to its demolition served as the basis for the concrete forms. To keep the shape in place, we used wooden stakes. After the concrete has been poured, the surface should be levelled using a magnesium float.