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Building Basic Stair Stringers



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today I'm building the steps for this

ground-level entry deck and it thought

it was a perfect opportunity to teach

you the basics of making stringers now

there are two main factors to take into

consideration when you're laying out

your stringer the rise of the steps and

the run start with the run now in this

case because I was building the deck I

had some control over the run so I'm

dictating the run by how wide I want

each tread to be I'm going to use to

deck boards they're each five and a half

inches so my run is about eleven inches

per step there's going to be one two

steps so that's about 22 inches so I

built this deck so the rim joist is

roughly 22 inches from where I want the

front edge of the steps now if you were

building steps on an existing deck where

you had to hit a certain mark then you

need to measure that distance and divide

it by the number of steps to determine

how wide each tread should be now the

rise of the deck is the distance from

the top of your decking down to whatever

your landing is in this case I installed

some paver stones over several inches of

compacted gravel to determine this

height I'm just going to use my level

I'm going to measure down from the

bottom of the level down to the landing

and my measurement is 20 and 5/8 inches

now I divide that by three and the

result of that is about 6 and 5/8 inches

so now that I've determined the rise in

the run I'm ready to lay out the

dimensions on this 2 by 12 stringer I'm

going to use my framing square this side

will be the rise this side will be the

run so this edge will be six and

seven-eighths my rise I'll hold that

point and then the run is 10 and 3/4

that's that point double check to make

sure they haven't changed and I can mark

the stringer

next I'm going to move the framing

square up and position it so that run

intersects the rise line from the

previous and I'm going to set it up just

the same way ten and three-quarter run

six and 7/8 rise now that we mark the

run of the top tread I'm going to use

the carpenter's square to extend that

rise line down and that's going to be

the back of the stringer next I'm going

to mark the rise of the bottom step

now this sometimes confuses people

because it's the bottom step

there's no tread under it so we subtract

the thickness of one tread from the rise

so in this case instead of six and

seven-eighths inches the rise of the

bottom step will be 5 and 7/8 inches

finally we'll mark the bottom of the

string and that's simply a line that's

perpendicular to the rise of the bottom

step and we locate that at 5 and 7/8 the

mark we just made if you're only making

two stringers it's easy enough to lay

them out individually but in my case I'm

cutting out 7 small stringers so I chose

to make this template so I can trace

them out now our stringers laid out and

we're ready to cut

now I'm ready to attach them to the deck

first thing I did was measure down the

rise of each step six and seven-eighths

from the top of the rim joist snap the

line and that marks the top of all the

stringers then I attach the stringers

using these metal connectors and

structural connector screws

you