Five Little Stringers

While I was at work and working on a side project, Noel got busy with the upper stairs.

Some calculations before starting work

We'd discussed building the stairs so they used the ipe efficiently. That works nicely for the stye of stairs we have; for outdoor stairs I prefer not to go above a 6-inch riser, and I like a wider step. I think the proportions work better.

Template for the stringers

One of the things Noel told me he learned from making the basement stairs was that it helps to make a template of the riser before cutting your wood. So he used some scrap plywood and tried things out. And it was a good thing he did, because the first template he made was not quite right.

Stack of stringers

With the template , he was able to take little breaks during the work day to go outside and cut the five stringers.

Stringers fitted in their slots

A test-fit said they were all good, but they needed to be notched to fit against the kicker.

Using joist hangers to attach the stringers

The kicker is screwed in place here at the bottom of the stairs. The stringers will bear against it when people walk down them.

We hung the stringers on the framing using joist hangers. This is not strictly how you use joist hangers, and I'm sure we will get a pile of hate mail about doing this, but it turns out joist hangers are super cheap and they work just fine.

Stringers set in place

By the time I got home, all five stringers were in place. The outer ones will have extra blocking around them for the handrail, plus there will be cross-blocking on the top (also for the handrail).

The first walk up the stairs

Noel laid some loose boards over the steps, and I was the first person to walk up and down the stairs.

Temporary stairs

There's still a lot of work to do, but today it became obvious that I should start thinking about what we need to buy for the handrails, because we are moving fast on this part.

Quality assurance team inspecting the deck

The QA team was hoisted up to perform their inspection. Verdict: Rosie is now known as "Safety Dog" -- she dislikes open risers and the lack of handrails -- and Goldie is pretty much terrified of the deck.

posted by ayse on 05/10/12