Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So Much Work...

...So little to show for it!

After working on steps all last weekend I was able to install TEMPORARY STEPS on Sunday night. While appreciative of the fact that, for the first time since June, they could walk up something resembling acutal stairs, the rest of the family was a little underwhelmed by what I had to show for all my work:

In my defense, since we made the concrete pad high enough to ensure drainage AWAY from the bottom of the stairs (a huge problem before I started this project, water used to pool at the bottom of the stairs , often to a depth of two inches) The distance from the top of the porch deck to the pad was a shade over 19.25 inches. Standard stairs have a 7 inch rise making the perfect height for two steps onto the porch 21 inches. I bought precut stringers and then proceeded to shave off the top and bottom of them to get an approximate 6.25 rise. Since the stringers are pitched slightly forward to ensure water drains off the steps I couldn't just set the fence on the table saw a rip away.

Another issue was how to attach the stringers to the porch. I know that over time the concrete pad will shift and heave. the porch sits on footings so it shouldn't move. I ended up running 2x6 boards from the stringers back under the porch and then drilling through the porch joists and attaching a carriage bolt assembly to tie them together. I only made the bolt finger tight so that over time if there is movement the steps *should* be able to float a bit??? We'll see how that works.

Anyway I got the two middle stringers set up and was able to use salvaged steps from the old basement stairs to serve temporarily. I did get the two outside stingers cut to correct rise and bought a bunch of really nice yellow pine to cover the rise, and to box in the sides of the outside stringers. When I have everything installed the stairs will be 6 feet wide. That means they will extend from one tall pillar to the other.

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