Building Deck Steps

deck-steps.jpgPlanning a summer barbeque…reading a great book out on your new or remodeled deck, creating a new season tan have gotten easier and classier with the New Age materials available for building deck stairs that deliver a design statement plus create value for your home and property.

Cool Contemporary Trends In Materials For Building Deck Stairs. When is a step not merely a step? Answer? When it’s designed into a larger deck and entertainment area for every day use along with entertaining friends. No longer a “tag-along after thought” for a deck, deck stairs and deck stair railing systems create robust design statements…materials include traditional wooden deck steps such as pressure treated lumbers or more expensive but durable Western cedar…eco-friendly long lasting composite decking in subtle earth tones…and even high density vinyl.

How To Build Deck Stairs. All good, and all great deck step designs…especially when the “finished look” will be architect inspired with a textured composite and color-balanced material…rely exclusively on the quality of the support structure. Here, you and your builder are thinking about how to build deck steps supported by concrete support pads, structural timbers such as 2 in. X 12 in. pressure treated “stringers”, anchor bolts, hangar and joist support hardware brackets, 16 in. center tread support studs, and of course laser-sighted layouts to determine pitch and angles so that each stair is level and “true”.

Deck Stair Plans. Do-it-yourselfers can obtain remarkable and detailed deck stair plans online…from “big box” hardware and building supply retailers or local builders and architects. To design deck stairs, you’ll need some form of PC-based cad program, in order to model different design iterations…adjusting width, height or rise or considering graduated width or even spiral deck staircase layouts. Look for programs, or service providers who can input your raw dimensional data…work up a complete bill of materials, from lumber lengths to deck screws…and then create a number of design “looks” for you to consider. Take your time. Decide slowly.

Deck Spiral Staircase. When building deck stairs and you want to make a huge visual impact, here’s where the unusual wrap-around effect of spiral deck stairs becomes a design option. The positive argument says you’ll create the same deck access, long life and load carrying capability plus you’re adding seriously cool looks which may translate into improved home values. The less sanguine argument states that you’ll find someone who has a physical difficulty or even a certain mental hang-up about approaching a deck spiral staircase, and of course seriously large objects (think huge grills, furniture, pianos, a team of Sumo wrestlers) generate difficult access-use problems.

Deck Stair Railing Systems – A World of Choice. No longer rough milled logs strung up outside Lincoln’s Illinois cabin, modern decks get incredible finishing treatment options including metal deck railings (think steel, alloys)…cable deck railings (think thin-profile high strength steel safety cables held taut between upright posts)…or ultra-modernist see-through safety glass deck railings. Safety tip: check with your town’s building code to learn about deck stair railing “code” requirements…spacing and layout which reduces risk of accident to you or guests or delivery guys.