How to install the 2×12 solid and sawn stringers, stair treads, hanger board and guard rail for the upper flight of deck stairs.
Table of Contents
- Planning and Building Wood Deck Stairs with Landing
- Tear Down Old Wood Deck Stairs and Landing
- Remove Wood Deck Stair Landing Support Posts and Concrete Footers
- Build Deck Stair Landing: Pour Concrete Footers and Install 6×6 Posts
- Deck Stair Landing: Saw Post-to-Beam Support Notches
- Deck Stair Landing Beam and Joist Framing
- Deck Stair Stringer Hanger Board and Simpson Strong-Tie LSCZ Stringer Connectors
- Install Wood Deck Stair Stringers and 4×4 Newel Posts
- How to Frame a Wood Deck Stair Landing
- Build Wood Deck Stairs – Layout Solid and Sawn Stringers
- How to Install Deck Stair Stringers and Treads (you are here)
- Build Wood Deck Stairs and Landing – Completed Job Photos
How to Install Deck Stair Stringers and Treads
Simpson Strong-Tie TA9Z-R ZMax staircase angles are fastened to the outer solid stringers at the locations marked for the stair treads, then pre-stained 2×12 WeatherShield stair treads installed. The stair treads are fastened to the staircase angles with SD 1/4 x 1-1/2 inch screws. Then two #8 x 3 inch wood screws are driven in from the top of the tread to fasten it to the sawn middle stringer.
Blocking between the 4×4 guard posts and stringers conforms to Figure 36 “Stair Guard Requirements” on Sheet 19 of the Deck Code:
Deck Stair Guard Rail
The original stairs did not have an inside guard rail. The home builder used long 2×2 pickets to prevent falls instead. The new stairs are built narrower with 36″ wide treads (“clear space”) to make room for a proper rail. Compare the photos above and below:
The 4×4 guard post at the top of the stairs is mounted to the 2×12 stringer because there wasn’t space to fasten it to the deck joists:
I didn’t like having to mount the top guard post to the stringer because this method is not as strong:
My solution was to drill pilot holes and drive two Simpson Strong-Tie Deck-Drive #12 x 4 inch stainless steel wood screws horizontally to tie the 2×6 rail caps together. Lateral (“push”) loads are transferred from the stair rail to the deck rail making it very rigid. The screw recesses were filled with exterior caulk to keep out rain water:
Deck Stair Stringer Hanger Board
The interior and middle stringers are mounted to the stair hanger board with the outside stringer mounted to the deck rim joist and 6×6 post. The stringer placement was constrained by the original stair configuration and Code requirement for 36″ wide stairs:
The stringer connections are shown in the following photo. BTW – the hanger board appears to be uneven but it’s level. The problem is the deck joists are not square the deck!
View of the stairs and landing platform progress:
Deck Stair Landing Guard Rail and Newel Posts
4×4 newel posts are bolted to the stringers with 1/2 inch galvanized bolts, washers and nuts. The newel posts simply sit on the 5/4 deck boards. The newel posts are initially sawn longer than needed. The slope will sawn to match the 2×4 top rail after temporarily screwing the top rail in place, mark the slope and saw the top with a circular saw.
The landing guard has a 2×6 top rail with 2×4 side rails. 2×2 pickets will be installed later.
The outer solid stair stringers are screwed to 4×4 guard posts (far right side of the photo behind the newel posts) installed the exact width of the stairs to prevent side-to-side movement:
Deck Stair Stringer 2×4 Base Plate
The stringers are notched to fit a 2×4 base plate screwed to the landing 2×8 joists and interior blocking. The stringers rest on the base plate without nails or screws. The plate prevents forward movement of the stairs:
View under the stairs showing how the 2×12 stringers rest on the deck landing with 2×6 blocking between the stringers. The stringers are not nailed or screwed to the landing. The 2×4 base plate is out of view on the far side of the blocking:
The aluminum handrail and 2×2 pickets are installed in Build Wood Deck Stairs and Landing – Completed Job Photos.
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