I have just finished cutting my new stringers for my deck to ground
which is quite long as the ground is higher where the deck is and
slopes down to the level of the in-house garage. I have 13 steps...I
made the sringers from 2x12x12 pressure treated wood. Here's the
question...which I think I know the answer to...they are 39" from
outside the left to outside the right so 36" between them. Should I be
concerned about the length and should I put a couple of posts mid way?
There is about 5" from the "V" of the cut so they are strong enough I
think from what I read, but they sure do look awful long with nothing
in between. Any one have a link to a site that deals with this? I have
looked at a few sites but nothing deals with this much length.
Thanks for any suggestions/help.
Myself, I would use three stringers, not two, add a 2x6 or 2x8 cross
piece between them and an additional pair of posts in the middle w/
While they may well be "strong enough" w/o the extra material and
bracing they will definitely be springy and will also have a tendency
to sway/swing side to side in the middle.
Double stringers, or at least a third one in the middle, and some cross
blocking in a couple of places to create some box sections to stiffen the
thing. But yeah, stairs that tall will have a little bounce. Also a long
haul against gravity for some folks. On outside stairs that tall, most
people put a landing. In wet weather, if you slip, that long flight will be
a long way down.
Agree with the others, a third stringer is needed. You could stiffen
the stringers considerably by nailing a 1x12 skirt board along the
outside of each (may look better also).
The next time you need to build stairs that high consider routing
grooves into the stingers and slipping the treads into the grooves.
If you have 5" remaining, you have slightly less than a 2x6 in strength, so
you can look that up in the spanning tables. What are you planning on using
for the treads? You almost certainly need a third stringer just from that
perspective. When I built our deck, I actually used four stringers, because
the minimum spanning distance on stairs for the composite decking I was
using for the treads was only 12". I then put some X-bracing underneath the
four treads and they are rock solid -- not even a hint of bounce on them.
Don't skimp on this, it won't cost much more in the grand scheme of things
and you'll be happier if the deck and stairway doesn't bounce (our old deck
swayed if you leaned up against the railing and wiggled-- our new
replacement, which is quite a bit bigger, won't budge).
My house is probably cheaper than yours, and I only have three steps
and they are only 30 inches wide at the most (without my going to
look) and the builder built the steps with 3 stringers, one in the
middle. And maybe double stringers on each end. I'll check if you
ask me to.
Now the thing is falling apart and I want to fix it up just for a year
or two. I don't want the trouble to make or cost to buy 5 stringers.
Nobody even uses it except me. Maybe I'll use two and redo the whole
deck next summer or the next.
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