Doggie Stairs With Style DIY
If any of you have read my previous posts, you have likely either seen photos of, or have read about Sadie and Bentley... sweet, loving, cuddly, happy... they truly believe I gave birth to them... my friends and family would probably say I spoil them... Me?? I don’t see it- but I guess it’s possible.
Although my kids I mean, puppies are many wonderful creatures, being tall, is not something either of them
The steps needed to be long enough that they could comfortably walk up and down- and high enough to reach. I found a simple way to determine the amount of steps needed-
1. With the tape measure, figure out where you want the top step to reach and measure down, on an angle to where you want the steps to meet the floor.
2. Determine how many inches you want, in between the steps. I read the general rule for small dogs is 5-6 inches and it goes up from there. Basically, the steps shouldn’t be spaced any longer than the dog’s body length. They should be able to walk up without having to over extend their body. I decided five inches was good.
3. Divide the height by inches apart for steps- and this gives you the total number of steps!!
My calculation was five steps- I added an additional step for the top, since I knew I wanted a little platform/landing on top. Measuring this out and Planning this way, really helped me later (you will see why, soon!) but it also makes it much easier to know how much material to purchase!! I used select pine (quickly becoming my favorite wood of choice!) and I wanted these to look modern vs rustic, so I used all 1x boards, keeping the look sleek.
4. Using a miter saw, cut two boards at a 45 degree angle. Hold them up against a wall to make sure they are flush and use a pencil to draw a line to make the cuts at the bottom, so they are flush with the floor. These will be the sides/supports for your stairs.
5. Now take two more boards and hold them up against the wall, leaning the 45 degree angle cut boards next to them. These will be the supports that go along the back of the stairs.
6. Next, measure lines at 45 degrees, following the line you cut that goes flush with the wall. This is where you will glue/nail/screw the supports for the steps! You will end up with the same number of lines that you came up with, using your calculation!! LOL i don’t know why I am so amazed by this- Math has never been my forte! Haha
As I mentioned earlier, I’m actually making six steps, because of wanting the landing on the top- no line is necessary for this, as it will rest literally, on the very top of the supports.
7. Next you will cut the supports for the steps. This part will be different for everyone. Since my dogs weigh less than 12lbs, my stairs don’t need to be heavy duty. I used the same 1x that I was using for the rest of the project and cut thin slices (a total of ten- five for each board) to attach
8. Next I glued the first “slices/supports” under the lines. Remember, to keep the steps spaced according to your calculations, the top of the supports needs to go just under the line, since the steps will be sitting on top of them.
9. I have a pnumatic Brad nailer, which I love, but if you don’t have one, just glue and with small, thin screws, attach the step supports.
10. Using the first side as your guide, line up the other side and repeat process: take your time with this!!! If this part isn’t lined up perfectly, you will have uneven steps!!!!
11. Next I cut the steps. I used 1x8 boards and cut them to 10” wide. This can be however wide you choose- just take into consideration the size of your puppies, how they move and how much space you have.
Note: I’m not sure why I chose ten inches! If I was doing this again, I would have made them much wider! My stairs are pretty high and to little midgets, height along with not very much width can seem a bit scary!!! Think about how you feel walking up or down tall/long, skinny steps!!! Lesson learned!
12. I decided to stain the frame and steps before I finished putting it all together! See?! I do learn from past experience!! It’s much easier to stain, paint before assembled! I used minwax special walnut and weathered oak
13. I glued and nailed down the steps, onto my supports and decided It wasn’t ebough. I went back to my miter saw and cut six more boards. One for the bottom front, under the first step, flush with the floor, one on the back, one on each side, one for the middle of the back support and right at the top, behind/under the landing (top step). Since my stairs were tall, this provided much more stability/ strength and pulled everything snug.
13. After everything was put together, I added one coat of polyurethane (it‘s VERY thick- only one coat needed!)
14. Wood stairs are slippery!!! I found a cheap throw rug at Home Depot (7.99) in colors that wouldn’t clash and cut out pieces to fit the steps. I used 3m mounting tape to hold it down.
15. I carried my new, light weight, modern doggie steps into my room and to my very pleasant surprise, not only was it a perfect fit, but the puppies loved their new steps!!!
maybe now, i will be able to sleep through the night!!!
What do you think about my steps?
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