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What you need:
  • Shovel
  • Spirit level
  • Drill
  • 10 inch Timberlock fasteners
  • 4" X 6" treated lumber
  • Skillsaw
  • Sand or other fill material
The first step in building a wood staircase in your garden is setting a string line. The string line will serve as a guide for your staircase.
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Start the staircase by laying down your first step. The steps are made from 4"X6" pressure treated lumber. Measure and cut the first piece of lumber so that it is the same length as the distance in between the bottom two stakes your string line is attached to. Level the piece of lumber vertically and horizontally.
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Next, you must determine the rise of the staircase that you are building. Once you have the rise figured out, you will know how many steps you will need. Divide the rise by the total height of a single step. Each step being made in this demonstration has a total height of just under 7 inches. The lumber is approximately 6 inches tall, and the concrete slabs that will serve as the actual steps are 1 inch in height. Secure a length of string at the top of the proposed staircase. Attach a line level to the string and measure from the first step up to the string. This will give you the value of your rise. The rise on this particular area was 28 inches, so four more steps will be used to finish the staircase.
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You now need to determine the depth of each step. The run of this staircase is approximately 12 feet long, so each step will be three feet deep. Placing a couple of 3 foot pieces of 4" X 6" lumber perpendicular to the first step will secure it in place. You will need to dig out the area that the 4" X 6" will sit in. Once the 4" X 6" is in place, make sure that it is flush and level with the first step. Each support beam should be set about 2 feet inwards from the outside edge of the step.
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Use a 10 inch Timberlock fastener to secure the support beams to the first step.
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Measure and cut the second step using the string line as your guide. Place the step on top of the support beams. Measure 3 feet from the front of the first step to the front of the second step. Make a mark on both support beams to indicate where the second step should be. This will give you the proper tread length for the step.
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Once you are satisfied with the placement of the step, secure it in place with a couple more 10 inch Timberlock fasteners.
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Repeat the previous steps until the staircase is completed.
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Once all of the steps are in place, there are numerous different ways to complete the staircase. Filling the spaces with soil and planting grass seed will create a beautiful, natural look. You could also fill the spaces with crushed gravel or concrete for a more utilitarian staircase. For this demo however, the spaces were filled with sand and then capped with concrete slabs.