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    Deck stairs construction question

    I'm thinking about reconstructing/extending the stairs around my deck. Most of the stringers will meet the ground where there is currently grass. The rise will only require two steps if I don't build one at the level of the deck.

    My question: If I'm only needing two steps, is it absolutely necessary to construct concrete footings? I'll be installing 6 stringers, so I'd prefer to avoid doing so if it's not a must. Yes, I'm in Iowa, so freeze/thaw is an issue.

    Some other options I've considered: Burying some concrete block. Or burying a treated 6x6 on a gravel base, then mounting my stringers to it. I've never built steps outdoors before, so I have no idea if this will work.



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    Re: Deck stairs construction question

    It is ok to float the steps. Just install a 2x10 header on the bottom of the stringers to tie them together.



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    Re: Deck stairs construction question

    Quote Originally Posted by cyking View Post
    It is ok to float the steps. Just install a 2x10 header on the bottom of the stringers to tie them together.
    Assuming normal drainage, how much vertical "play" could I anticipate in a full freeze/thaw cycle? Thanks!



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    Re: Deck stairs construction question

    If you put some compacted gravel under the steps you won't have much heave.



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    Re: Deck stairs construction question

    I've gone the gravel and 6 x 6 route and I have 7 steps down from my deck and have experienced little if any trouble with freeze/thaw.


    Hit it hard, every yard

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    Re: Deck stairs construction question

    Quote Originally Posted by psychlone99 View Post
    I'm thinking about reconstructing/extending the stairs around my deck. Most of the stringers will meet the ground where there is currently grass. The rise will only require two steps if I don't build one at the level of the deck.

    My question: If I'm only needing two steps, is it absolutely necessary to construct concrete footings? I'll be installing 6 stringers, so I'd prefer to avoid doing so if it's not a must. Yes, I'm in Iowa, so freeze/thaw is an issue.

    Some other options I've considered: Burying some concrete block. Or burying a treated 6x6 on a gravel base, then mounting my stringers to it. I've never built steps outdoors before, so I have no idea if this will work.
    Where I live if I take out a permit for something like that they would force you to do the footings. But I wouldn't take out the permit for that because I think it is a waste of time and money to put in the footings. I would just float it or do as others have said and put in a gravel base.



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    Re: Deck stairs construction question

    Quote Originally Posted by cytech View Post
    Where I live if I take out a permit for something like that they would force you to do the footings. But I wouldn't take out the permit for that because I think it is a waste of time and money to put in the footings. I would just float it or do as others have said and put in a gravel base.
    In Ames, there is no footing required for steps. The only footings that they require is on the support of the deck. In fact, there is actually no concrete required in step construction. I don't know if that is the same as other cities, but the only thing they were concerned about for the steps was the railing, which with only two risers would not be required.



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    Re: Deck stairs construction question

    Yup just get some 3/8" minus lime rock, moisten it, and tamp it. You'll experience little to no heave.


    Now that MBB is back, do we still have to pretend that WBB matters?

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