The old porch staircase has gone all rickety and wobbly? Well, fear not, as it turns that building a whole new staircase by yourself is not such a difficult endeavor after all. All you need is a bit of patience, the correct tools and materials, and of course a few ‘steps’ (ignore the hastily contrived pun) to guide you along the way. So, without further ado, let us check out the simple guidelines to craft your very own basic porch staircase.
Step 1 – Take measurements from your previous staircase
Before you are hell bent on destroying the remnants of your previous staircase, do make sure to take the correct measurements out of it. These measurements include both the tread and riser (i.e, the horizontal and vertical facade of a step), along with the angles and proportions. Also, you can also keep a photograph (for later consultation) with your measuring tape evenly distributed along the old staircase gradient. And, finally, a good exercise in architecture includes a tread, riser ‘formula’ that entails – 2 times riser + tread = 24.6 inches or 625 mm.
Step 2 – Now, arrange the stringers
After your olde stairs have been demolished for good, you can move on to arranging the new stringers as per the earlier measurements you have taken. You have the option for either metallic structure or a timber structure. However, the metallic structure do not require its edges to be treated, thus reducing your work load.
Step 3 – Now, arrange the boards
Now, you can assemble the timber boards (of correct proportion to the earlier staircase) you have cut, along the stringers. This arrangement will give you an appropriate visual idea of the new staircase.
Step 4 – Fixing the boards to the stringers
The stringers already have holes along their lengths for attaching the boards by putting screws through them. However, this step can be a bit on the ‘hit and miss’ side, especially since some of your stringer holes would go along the edges of the boards. For those edge lining holes, you have put the screw with an angle, so that they can still go through the ‘meat’ of the wooden boards. And, as an recommendation, we would advise you to put the screws through the bottom side of the staircase, with a 45 degree angle. This process would make sure that both the tread and riser is firmly affixed to each other, without endangering the structural integrity of the staircase. Moreover, from the perspective of aesthetics, the ugly looking screw heads won’t be visible from the conventional top side.
Step 5 – Making the final adjustments
Before this step, your basic porch staircase should already be complete. However, practicality dictates that some structural members may still be out of their place. In such imperfect scenarios (which pertains to majority of the cases) you can adjust them according to the apt measurements taken earlier. For example, we can use jigs to alter and correct the position of the risers, so that they are leveled and placed in accordance with the bottom edge of the next step. After that we can continue with the earlier mentioned fixing process.
Step 6 – Making further modifications
Porch staircases are not just limited by their function as an access point to your house. Their spatial nature also make them a semi-private place for inhabitants of the house to hang out. In such cases, one can always make the upper most step more wider for people to comfortably sit on. This can be done with appropriate measurements and adequate fixing support for the stringers (especially on the sidings). Other visual improvements entail the addition of railings and wooden covers to hide the exposed stringers. But, of course, as with other cosmetic components, they are not essential for the core usage pattern of your newly built porch stairs.