Tuesday, July 28

Pay Attention and You Might Learn Something (More Deck Stuff)

Steps - the beginning.

If I had realized how much work goes into putting in stairs I might not have agreed to having Family Member do it. He and the various family member assistants are doing a great job, but it's a big task and I'd be feeling pretty guilty if he hadn't volunteered to do this of his own free will.

Why is it such a big job? Well, stairs down from the deck have to go somewhere and my yard is small; having them come straight out meant they'd end up somewhere outside the back fence unless they were built really, really steep. Clearly some creative thinking was required here. Thus it was decided that I should have a landing so that the stairs could, so to speak, turn back upon themselves. I lose a little yard, but it was just space that needed mowing anyway, so I'm good with that.

Then there have to be support posts to hold the stairs and landing in place. Since you can't just stick a post up there (there are apparently rules about this kind of thing), holes had to be dug into which the posts went, along with cement to hold them in place. This, I learned, is what they call a "footer." And let me tell you, when it comes to equality between the sexes, men win, hands down, in the "ability to dig deep holes" category.

Those jagged boards you see are called "stringers." They are the forms upon which the actual treads are layed. How do you know how many treads are involved? Math *shudder* The length you need is called the "rise." The average height for "risers" - that is, individual steps - is 7". You can go to a 7 1/4" or higher; but if you need more than a few steps, it's gonna get hard on the legs making the climb. So you divide the length by 7 and you get the number of stairs.

I ended up with 11 steps down to the landing, and another 6 to the ground. So how high up is my deck? You do the math.

9 comments:

Merry said...

Wait a minute... this sounds like there's MATH up ahead...
runs away

kemicado - Gilbert & Sullivan's first draft of their opera, which was never quite a success until they did a little editing of the title

Theresa said...

Well done on the math! It looks like the deck is coming together! I like the pretty blue.

GatorPerson said...

Did you know that a typical house has 14 steps in the stairs?

Did you know the stairs at the Dayton hotel had 18? Industrial height of rooms.

Your 11 + 6 indicates the ground slopes off about 14 inches from the downstairs floor, or maybe the basement ceiling height is 14 inches more that standard, also because of the slope of the land.

McB said...

I don't know about 14 inches, but there is a definite slope towards the back fence.

McB said...

Oh, and they're really the same shade of gray as the deck. Probably it was a combo of my camera and the evening light that makes the stairs look blue-ish.

Keziah Fenton said...

What I want to know is when we're all going to McB's to sit on her deck and admire the scenery???

Anonymous said...

Looking really good. Glad you've got people who know what is what. Actually, I did know risers, stringers, footers...footers are what the idiot did NOT do when he built my mom's deck. Oh, and the balusters are not an even amount of space between them. My son doesn't think any of the spaces are regulation. The idiot is the guy who took the money and ran. He worked on my mom's, my aunt's and a friend's bathrooms and the deck all at the same time. Did not finish any of the bathrooms. My brother was sooo angry. But no one could find the idiot to prosecute.
cbpen
sefiedi: method of torture my brother would probably use if he ever gets his hands on the idiot.

rssasrb said...

It's high. That's as much math as I'm going to do this early in the morning. It's looking great McB

paidis--what contractor's say everytime you see them

WapakGram said...

WAH! I can't do the Math, that's the problem. I didn't know there would be a quiz at the end!

VERY snazzy looking deck! I'll bring my own lawnchair!

pusinsin: when GG's kitties are put in a room for being bad.