Old House Remodeling:
Installing Porch Or
Bruce W. Maki,
||With the four stringers in place I installed
skirt boards (red arrows) to close off the space below the
steps. I wanted to prevent animals (including the resident dogs)
from making a home there.
I used 5/4x6 treated deck boards (mostly scraps and
off-cuts) for the skirting, and attached them with deck
|I primed some of the skirt boards before
installing them, and I also laid down a plastic sheet over the
soil, to deter moisture from getting into the wood.
Even though this is pressure-treated lumber, it can still rot.
After years of exposure to the elements, the preservative can be
washed away. My intention is to make this house last as long as
possible, and any minor precautions like this are worth doing.
||The skirt boards were simply screwed to the
inside of the stair stringers.
|Beneath the porch, I screwed the skirt boards to
the framing. I then tacked some 1x2's to the skirt boards (using
a pneumatic brad nailer) to keep them together.
||I fastened a pair of 1x4 pressure-treated pine
boards to each riser face. I had to use clamps to hold the
boards straight, as the wood was rather warped.
|Although there were 4 risers in total, only 2
risers needed the 1x4 boards.
After this point I painted the exposed wood with oil-based
primer and latex exterior paint.
||I installed the stair treads with 2" deck
screws. The treads are 5/4x6 deck boards, which are 5½" wide.
The pre-cut stringers have a tread dimension of 11 inches, so two
deck boards (or 2x6's) fit exactly. But this leaves no tread
overhang, or nosing, which is normal on stairs with enclosed
risers. Without the nosing, people tend to stub their feet on the
riser, and possibly trip.
To create the proper 1-inch overhang, I had to rip a 1 inch wide
piece of deck board , rout a small radius on the cut edge (to match
the radius of the other pieces) and install it between the two
full-width tread planks.
Before installing these tread boards I gave them a coat of
oil-based primer (top, bottom, and all sides) and a coat of latex
|I notched the treads around the newel posts.
||I caulked the gaps with Alex Plus.
|The completed stairs.
If only the handrails were so easy...
- Cordless Drill/Driver
- Power Miter Saw
- Brad Nailer
- Quick-Grip Clamps
- Basic Carpentry Tools
- Caulk Gun
- Treated Decking, 5/4x6
- Treated 1x4 Riser Boards
- Deck Screws, 2", 1-5/8"
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