How to Build Boxed Deck Steps

Lead Image
  • 6-10 hours
  • Beginner
  • 150-300
What You'll Need
Wood (usually Lumber)
Measuring Tape
Water to Repellant Coat

Decks are a relatively inexpensive way of extending houses and access to their entrance is usually made if you build deck steps. Box steps made on private property don’t have to follow a specific dimension of course, however, if the steps are being constructed upon public property then it is important to check for applicable rules with the building and/or the fire codes.

Below are the things you shall require and the steps with which you can construct personalized boxed deck steps.

Step 1: Get the Planning Done

To avoid problems during construction it is a good idea to plan the design and structure beforehand. To do so, you must decide the position of the stairs and the required build (whether it can carry more than one person at the same time, etc). A handy plan might also be a good idea if the structure is going to be a complex one.

Step 2: Measure the Height

It is mandatory to measure the vertical height of the deck surface from the ground, using a measuring tape, as the number of steps and the type of foundation will be based upon this detail. The height of each step (unit rise) is usually 9 to 10 inches whereas the depth of each stair (unit run) is usually 18 to 24 inches. Therefore, once the height has been measured, the number of steps needed would have to be calculated (height/unit rise) and the unit run will have to be finalized too (the greater the height, the greater the required unit run and vice versa).

Step 3: Buy the Material

The quality, durability and the amount of wood, as well as the nails purchased, would be directly dependent on the number and type of stairs required. Lumber is usually preferred for constructing deck steps as it has a smooth surface and can generally take more weight load. However, at the time of purchase, some accommodation for the lumber likely to be wasted in the process of construction should also be made.

Step 4: Lay down the Framework

Once the material has been purchased, it is essential to support the framework of the stairs with the deck and to lay down a foundation (with an additional kicker plate, if required). For increased safety, a solid base is preferable for which a concrete slab, a base of gravel or a wooden deck can also be used.

Step 5: Getting it all Together

Once the base has been formulated, the next step is to hold the pieces to the basic structure by screwing them together using a hammer. Stringers shall also be required as they would act as outer boards holding the steps and once the stringer has been laid down the steps would be placed on top of them.

Step 6: Additional Options

If the number of steps exceeds 4 to 6 then it is a good idea to add a railing or fence, for security and support purposes. Moreover, if the steps raise more then 12 feet a corridor could also be added. A water-repellant coat could also be added to the stairs in order to increase their durability and resistance.