How to Build Steps in Any Building

How to Build Steps in Any Building: Well-designed steps make a great first impression, and when built correctly, they will last for years. Famous Mechanics Senior Designer Michael Stilwell and his father Tony Stilwell recently designed and built the steps in their barn, and shared their project with us.

The designer of any steps has a responsibility not to make them difficult or dangerous to walk down or climb. To achieve this, you must consider an easy slope to walk up, and each step must be in harmony with all the others. A good set of feet should also stand up to the seasons—sun, rain, and snow.

Read More: How to Make a Simple One-Leaf Table to Save Space

The best slope for a human to climb is about 32 degrees. The slope is calculated as the rise (the overall height of the steps), divided by the run (horizontal distance from the edge of the curb). In our case, the angle is about 29 degrees, which is shallow but not uncomfortable. Each step is 11 inches deep, and rises 5 9/16 inches above the next. Using 5 ½ inch wide IPE decking, we double the boards for each step.

After calculating your steps, you can begin the process of building the foundation. You’ll want to dig a few inches under your feet and tap it down to create a flat and even base. Pavers or bricks make an excellent foundation. Note that local building codes sometimes require you to excavate the foundation to sit below the frost line, which can be several feet below. Make sure you check the local codes for your area. In our part of North Carolina we don’t have to account for any of the problems caused by freezing and thawing of the ground.

You can think of the design as adding the threshold as the top step, making 3 steps in our case. So all I have to do is measure and cut the stringers (the pieces of wood that support the steps) for the 2 steps.

Divide the rise (16 ¾-inches) by 3, and we’re left with each step 5 9/16-inches high, including the thickness of the IPE decking boards.

The stringers, 3 of them, are scored on 2-inch by 12-inch pressure-treated boards, with the grain of the wood running diagonally for strength. Make sure you make all the cuts square and parallel as you want the structure to be straight and support the decoration.

How to Build Steps in Any Building

A table saw is useful for achieving this, but you can use a good portable jigsaw with a straight edge, and if you’re feeling skilled and energetic, you can use a handsaw. In any case, mark as accurately as possible and cut the line carefully. If you are precise enough you shouldn’t sand any surfaces, but you may need a chisel to clean up the surfaces.

When calculating how many stringers to make, allow decking to be supported on 16-inch centers or better.

In our case, the steps had to go in front of a 36-inch-wide door, and so we used 36-inch lengths of IPE decking. I built a box structure with stringers, and risers from 2-inch x 6-inch pressure-treated boards with stainless steel screws and construction adhesive. The structure is fastened to the building skirt using angle brackets and stainless steel screws.

I attached the decking to the structure using the same stainless steel screws (but no adhesive). You can use coated steel decking screws, but I prefer to build more, since I’m not paying anyone for my labor.

Once done, check the steps for stability and enjoy your new entry.

What are the steps to build a commercial building?

The construction process of a commercial building involves six basic stages from start to finish, and each of these stages involves a series of tasks. These basic phases are planning and development, design, pre-construction, procurement, construction and post-construction.

What is Stage 5 in building a house?

Step 5: Individual rooms will begin to take shape and you’ll begin to get a sense of what your new home will look like once it’s finished. Internal insulation is installed and then thoroughly inspected by a third party for proper placement. Once the insulation inspection is passed, the drywall is installed.


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