Building Steps for your Deck

Steps for your Deck

Steps are one of the main parts of building a good deck. Without the steps, there is no deck. Although it is a challenging project, you still can choose to build the steps yourselves with enough patience and time from your side. You don\’t have to rely completely on the contractors or professionals to build a set of deck steps. With the suitable tools and the right instructions, you will also find that these following steps will help you to build the steps for your deck before or after the deck boards are in place. Here are the basic steps on how you can build your own deck steps.

You will need:

  1. Circular saw
  2. Hammer
  3. Handsaw
  4. angle irons
  5. screws or galvanized common nails
  6. framing combination squares
  7. measuring tapes
  8. angle irons
  9. lumber
  10. levels
  11. joist hangers
  12. bolts
  13. lag multiuse screws
  14. pencil
  15. electric drill


  1. Before starting the deck building, check local codes for specifics in your area before you begin. This is a very important procedure to ensure that you are doing nothing wrong by building this.
  2. First, measure the height of the deck. Six or seven inches is the normal riser height so divide the height of the deck by six or seven, this will tell you the number of steps that you will need from the ground to the top of the deck.
  3. Next, calculate the tread or the width of the step from front to back (T). The riser height (R) is twice plus the tread width should be between 24 inches and 26 inches. Or, (2xR) + T=24 to 26. The tread should be 12 to 14 inches for a riser that is 6 inches tall.
  4. To build the steps, pour foundation and add a kicker plate if desired. The kicker board is a board that attaches to the foundation with bolts or concrete nails. The bottom of the stairs can be attached to it.
  5. Transfer the step measurements onto a 2 by 12 treated board that will become your first stringer. The stringer helps you to form the stair-size calculations. Mark the height dimension of a step onto the short arm of a framing square.
  6. Place the framing square to the board with this mark at the outside edge of the board. Hold the square in place and slide it up and down until the width dimension on long arm of square is on the edge of the board.
  7. Trace around the outside edge of the framing square, the tracing will look like a \’V\’. Continue marking the treads, at this point your board will look like \’VVV\’.
  8. Carry on by subtracting the tread\’s thickness from the bottom of the stringer and then notch out the bottom to fit around the kicker plate. Use a circular saw or handsaw to cut along the trace lines.
  9. Check the alignment with the deck. Trace the cut and cut a second stringer using the first as your pattern. Use bolts or the end or rim joists with joist anchors or angle brackets to attach the stops of the stringers to expose joists.
  10. Attach the bottom of the stringers to the base or kicker plate with angle irons and lag screws. Cut risers and treads to the desired width of your stairway.
  11. Leave ¾ inch overhang on each side. Screw or nail risers in place then add treads. Fasten bottom edged of risers to the back of treads.

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