How To Build Porch Steps The Right Way

If you are looking for a DIY project to enhance the front of your house, consider building porch steps. It’s an easy job that adds charm and value to your home. Porch steps can be built from wood or concrete and provide a safe way for people to ascend and descend from the porch floor. With some basic tools and materials, you can have sturdy, attractive porch steps in no time.

Tools and Materials Needed to Build Porch Steps

Before beginning construction on your porch steps, make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials on hand:

  • Measuring Tape: To measure the height of the porch floor from ground level as well as any angles needed when constructing the stringers.
  • Drill and Bits: To secure pieces together with screws.
  • Hammer and Nails: To attach treads onto step supports.
  • Level and Pencils: For marking dimensions onto wood pieces before cutting them.
  • Saw for Cutting Wood Pieces: Such as 2×12 boards for stringers or pressure-treated lumber for treads.
  • Pressure Treated Lumber: This type of wood is especially resistant to water damage so it’s ideal if you plan on staining or painting your steps afterward.
  • Paint or Stain (optional): If desired, adding a coat of paint or stain will give a finished look to your porch steps while also protecting weathering elements like sun, rain, snow, etc.

Planning The Design And Layout Of The Porch Steps

Before starting construction on your new porch steps make sure to properly plan out the design by doing some simple measurements first.

Measure The Height Of The Porch Floor From Ground Level To Determine the Number Of Risers Needed

Start by measuring the vertical height from ground level up to where the top edge of your new stairs will meet with the front of your existing deck frame/porch floor. This measurement will determine how many risers (vertical pieces) you need to cut to build each step safely with proper support underneath them.

Calculate Total Rise To Determine the Number Of Stairs Necessary For Safety:

Once you know how many risers are needed it’s time to calculate total rise which is simply adding up all those measurements together until they equal at least 8 inches but not more than 12 inches per individual stair/step (this number should be consistent throughout). Knowing this helps determine how many stairs are necessary to maintain safety standards while walking up/down them without having too much strain on one’s feet or legs over an extended period.

Decide On Overall Width For Comfort

The standard width is usually 36 inches wide but depending on personal preference this could be adjusted accordingly since wider widths provide more room while narrower width makes use of less material overall during installation.

Sketch Out Ideas On Paper With Dimensions

Now that you have all your measurements and calculations it’s time to start sketching out ideas on paper. This step helps visualize the shape, size, and layout of each stair/riser including any angles or curves as well as specific dimensions for both treads (horizontal parts) and stringers (vertical pieces).

Constructing The Stringers

Now that you know how many stairs are necessary and their overall shape it’s time to begin constructing the stringers:

Cut Two 2×12-Inch Boards At Desired Angle

Start by cutting two boards at a desired angle to form the “V” shaped stringer. To determine what angle this should be measured from ground level up to where the top edge of your new stairs will meet with the front of your existing deck frame/porch floor then divide this number in half. This will provide a starting point for cutting but remember to double-check all measurements before making any final cuts as even slight variations could impact safety standards when walking on them later.

Secure Side Boards Together With Screws

Once both boards are cut securely fasten them together using screws at each end so they won’t separate when pressure is applied from above during installation later on. Make sure all holes are pre-drilled first with bits to avoid splitting wood while screwing them in place.

Attach 2×6-Inch Tread Support Board

Finally, attach a 2×6-inch board onto one side of each stringer underneath where treads will be attached later on. This will serve as additional support underneath each stair/step once completed.

Installing The Treads

Now that you have constructed your stringers it’s time to install the treads:

Cut Pressure Treated Wood At Desired Length

Measure out desired length for each piece of wood and make sure they are consistent with other steps since this impacts how to flush everything looks after installation is complete. To ensure accuracy mark desired lengths onto boards before making any cuts using a pencil and level for precision alignment every time.

Secure Each Piece With Nails Or Screws Onto Step Supports

After pieces are cut secure them onto step supports using either nails or screws depending on preference although screws tend to work better since they provide better stability over an extended period without loosening up like nails can do occasionally over years due to weathering elements such as rain.

Finishing Touches

Once everything is installed give yourself some extra credit by adding some finishing touches:

Sand Edges Smoothly

After installation take some sandpaper and lightly sand down the edges until they look smooth and finished instead of jagged or uneven which can happen sometimes when working with wood especially if the saw wasn’t used properly during the initial construction phase.

Apply Paint Or Stain As Desired

If you want to make your steps look extra nice consider painting or staining them afterward for a more polished look and additional protection against weathering elements like sun, rain, and snow.

How To Build Porch Steps Conclusion

Building porch steps is a great DIY project that adds charm and value to your home. With some basic tools and materials, you can have sturdy, attractive porch steps in no time. Plus it’s an easy job that doesn’t require professional help so anyone can do it! You just need to plan out the design beforehand then construct the stringers before installing the treads followed by adding some finishing touches such as sanding down edges and applying paint or stain if desired. So next time you are looking for a new DIY project gives building some porch steps a try -you won’t be disappointed with the results!