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1st DIY project, Wooden front porch steps...

So, I've just moved into this old house, cute as a bug but some things are of course falling apart and need to be replaced. Have decided to replace the steps myself since those seem to be in the worst shape ( we found when trying to move things in ha ha). I sort of have an idea where to start, but being my ocd and analytical self, I wanted to research online to make sure I do everything correctly from the get go. So far I have found many DIY info on replacing and building wooden deck steps. But my steps are just to the front door, not extremely wide though not very narrow either.

I need to know how to measure, and pretty much step by step what I should do. (Wow that sounds awful) but completing this task will be so awesome. So any help would be greatly apreciated. And yes I am a big time beginner, though I have all the tools I need ( thanks to a wonderful grandfather).  Thank ya much.

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Posted 2011-03-10T18:05:46+0000  by mj2020 mj2020

Hey Mj2020,

Congrats on the new house and welcome to the Home Depot community. We hope to see taking on all sorts of DIY projects around the new house. In order to give you a step by step (haha) I have a few questions about the existing stairs. They are wood steps now correct? Also look to see how they are connected to the house. How many steps do you have and do you want to make them wider?  If your steps are wood you can basically copy what you have and just replace the rotted and cracked wood. Are the steps connected to the foundation of the home or onto the siding?

Check to see how the steps are constructed.

They are probably either built with a stringer.



Or with brackets. Which do you have?


Here is a project guide on replacing the steps with brackets just in case. CLICK HERE


Let me know what you are working with so we can do the project 100% the correct way.-Gregg

Posted 2011-03-10T19:59:10+0000  by gotogregg

Thanks for the warm welcome ;o)   As for the answers to your questions, Yes the original steps are wood. No they do not seem to be permanently connected to the house ( it's possible that they are just so old that they are just no longer so) There are a total of 3 steps but they don't really "meet up" with the door entry way. There is about a 3 inch difference between the top step and the entry way.  The steps themselves are currently 3ft. wide, and yes I would preffer them to be a bit wider ( about 5-6 ft. so not a "huge" difference ).  The way they are put together are absoloutly nothing like the diagrams you posted ha ha. Ummm it seems the person who built these steps used what they had. So it will be very easy to take apart and remove. It's the starting over part and creating new and CORRECT ones that I need the info about. A nice little DIY project to be my first if I do say so myself ha ha. I so appreciate the help.

Posted 2011-03-11T20:15:20+0000  by mj2020

Greetings mj2020,


My name is Mike and I also work with the Home Depot in Chicago.  Doing these steps is a great first DIY project.   Home Depot carries pre-made stringers in 3, 4, and 5 steps.  You can make them as wide as you would like. 

Depending on how wide you determine how many stringers you will need.  


I found a project guide for deck steps that will work just fine for your situation.


This will help give you an idea on what you’re going to get into.  The one thing they leave out on this is attaching the steps to the house.  You will need to pick up some 2x4 joist hangers and place them where the stringers will attach to the house.  The stringer will fit the joist hanger and is attached with a few nails on the side to hold it in place.  They wider you make the steps the more flexible the wood will be.  If you go bigger than 48”, you may want to consider adding a 3rd stringer in the middle to help keep the steps from sagging.  If the bottom of the steps rest on concretes you can also use the joist hangers and attach the stars to the concrete with a simple concrete screw.


If you have any questions or run into any problems, feel free to write back.  Also if you could post some pictures on where the steps will be that would be great. this will help to ensure we get you the right way of secreing them properly.

Posted 2011-03-11T21:13:25+0000  by FlyingHDsod

Is a stringer the same as a riser?

Posted 2011-03-11T21:45:46+0000  by mj2020

Hey mj2020.


Stringers are the main supports that hold the stairs together from top to bottom.  They run at an angle and have the cutouts for treads and risers.  You can make them from 2x12s or buy them pre-made in certain lengths.

Stair treads are the boards you actually walk on, the steps on a stairway.

Risers are the boards that your toes run into if you step to far on a tread.  In some staircases, the risers are omitted for a more open look.


Let me give you some links to other sites that show how to do this.

References made to how advanced this is to do relate to 2 things:

1. There is some math involved.  It is simple math but it's math just the same.

2. Carpenters who build elaborate staircases in homes use different methods, and this work is at the top of their game.


For those of us who just need a simple set of deck stairs, this project is not so bad.


Here goes:,,20046225,00.html


I hope this helps,



Posted 2011-03-11T22:08:27+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
I moved to my new old home that time deck and front wood of my home not look like.
I search online, what's paint will be best for my house, one day my uncle visited my new house and suggest to me hemp shield wood finishing products and told me you should try it after use this product I was happy to see my house.
look at my new house.
Posted 2018-06-18T05:14:11+0000  by Dseb01
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