How to Build Platform Deck Steps

Lead Image for How to Build Platform Deck Steps
  • 3-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 200-300
What You'll Need
Marking stakes
Level bar
Measuring tape
Drilling machine
Deck screw
Hand saw (optional)

To build deck steps, you need a lot of precision and patience. You can complete the job in 1 to 2 days, but accuracy is the key before you are able to fit the steps. If you are slightly off with measurements, you may be running into the risk of somebody falling off or the whole thing coming off the platform. Follow the steps below to build your own deck stairs.

Step 1: Measure, Calculate and Mark

Before you seek to do anything with the steps, get one of the wooden boards to mark your measurements. These will form the zigzag shape of the staircase as seen from the side. Use a stake to make the marks.

For calculations, start with the level bar, protruding it out towards the open space from the platform area. Use the measuring tape to get the height of the platform or the highest point of ascent on the steps. This will allow you to get a ratio of the number of steps, and the height of each. It is advisable to not change the 2x6 measurements of the wooden boards, as they provide a comfortable safety lest you trip or stumble.

Step 2: Decide the Deck Step Design

The entire staircase has to fit into the pre-recorded height. However, you may not be able to implement the framework boards accordingly. With the fear of going out of measurement, you can always fit in another step. However, you can choose a straight on step series directly leading to the platform surface. In that case, you will need to be extra cautious with the measurements and preferably go for a trial before you fit the wooden planks on the faces exposed after sawing on the diagonal marks.

Step 3: Place the Wooden Planks

Place the two zigzag wooden planks at less than 6 feet against the platform. They will be difficult to balance unless their thicknesses are adequate. However, you can use clamps on the vertical face of the platform to hold it at one end. The vertical gravity reaction on the zigzag planks will be greatly reduced for the clamping. Drill and screw the clamp if required.

Step 4: Nailing the Step Planks

Nail the step planks at both ends where they rest on the zigzag faces. Depending on the thickness of your board, you may or may not need drills and screws for this step.

Always remember to maintain safety and precautions. The presence of a first aid help is mandatory for all carpentry work, especially when homeowners take to the task.