How to Build Deck Stairs From Pressure Treated Lumber

7 Materials
3 Days

Once we put up our above ground pool we wanted a way to easily get from inside the house and to the pool. Let me just start by saying that this is one of the biggest and most difficult projects I’ve tackled by myself. Ten years ago I barely touched any tools and was afraid of most of them. My husband is amazing, but he’s a busy man too; my “honey-do” list is so long that I can’t always ask him to do everything for me. So eventually I started learning how to use tools and building up my confidence and experience. And now I’m tackling bigger and more difficult projects, like these stairs. All that to say, is that you too can do it! If you’re afraid to use tools or to tackle a project by yourself, just start. You will learn and build up the confidence to tackle more and more!
how to build deck stairs from pressure treated lumber
To start, calculate your stair measurements. I used a website online to easily calculate what I needed. Next I marked out my stringers using these measurements.
how to build deck stairs from pressure treated lumber
Next use a circular saw to cut out the stringers. Just be careful to cut along the line and end before you cut all the way through the stringer. Tidy up the corners using a buzz saw.
how to build deck stairs from pressure treated lumber
I decided to make the stairs 4 feet wide. This way I could use one eight foot long 2″ x 6″ for each tread. I cut each board in half using a miter saw.
how to build deck stairs from pressure treated lumber
Next I laid the stringers out and nailed a tread to the top and the bottom. We measured from corner to corner to make sure that the entire set of deck stairs was square. Once I got a few steps nailed on, I slid the third stringer underneath. I continued to nail the treads on until they were all installed. I used an air framing nailer with galvanized nails, and put 6 nails in each board.
how to build deck stairs from pressure treated lumber
We attached the stairs to the deck, then I finished off with the posts, railings, and spindles. To find out exactly how I did it, read the entire post on how to build your own set of deck stairs.
Please check out my Youtube video to see the entire process, and how I"m able to do these jobs with little kids around!
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Jessica VanderVeen

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Day33195212
    on Aug 28, 2018

    How did you atach the stairs to the deck?

    • Joe Jones
      on Sep 17, 2018

      You can also nail a 2x4 across the the bottom edge of the deck and cut a birds mouth (2x4 notch) in the back bottom corner of your stringers and hang them on it and nail through the backside of the deck board into the stringers. Always be sure to get screws and nails 1” from the edge of the wood

  • Bmi32050820
    on Aug 28, 2018

    How in the world did u lift the stairs to attach to deck. Too heavy for me. Great job. Even my husband was impressed. 😊

  • Joe Jones
    on Sep 17, 2018

    How many inches do you have from the back corner of the cut to the back edge of the board.? It looks like you used a 2x10? With the large spread from ground to deck you are spanning there you’re putting a lot of pressure on that small 3-4” of wood and that’s all that supports your stairs that’s a long fall if they burst. It’s supposed to be a minimum of 5”.

    Also to keep from having to tidy up corners or overcut any you can use a hand saw and finish the cuts

    • Joe Jones
      on Sep 17, 2018

      I only mentioned it just in case that person who doesn’t know or this is what they read to do theirs they don’t make the mistake and not know. Also I don’t know if you know but they make brass clamps you can call them to go on your framing square they lock on it and have 6 sides and they allow the square to sit in the exact same position on your wood everytime you move it to mark a new step so you know 100% your steps are all identical. One goes on each arm of the square. The angle iron will help some you can also put 4x4 posts 1/4 & 3/4 way between deck and bottom step to support it that will support too and be a bit cheaper if it’s temporary.

      Ive seen pros cut through their cuts because of the circular saw the way it cuts. They would rather complete the cut than spend 5 min with a hand saw finishing cuts. That’s more dangerous than what you have because it’s causing a split to preexist

      great work though. And to save the lifting you can mark your top board and nail the stringers up top then put your steps on as you go.

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