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Lumber & Composites

Building a Single Step

I need to build a single step, approximately 6 ft wide and 2 ft deep, that will butt against our patio step to make the tall patio step easier to manage.  This will only be needed for a few years, then will be removed.  So I am not looking for a permanent fix.

The step will be like a very small floating deck, placed on the existing concrete and not attached to anything.  Merely a rectangular frame with supporting beams running perpendicular to the length of the frame, then boards placed on top.

I have never built anything out of wood, so I have some basic questions:

  1. Should I use treated wood or or wood that hasn’t been treated?  The step will be outside but in a covered area.   

  2. If I don’t use treated wood, what do I use on it to protect it from the elements?

  3. Should I use 2x4’s or 4x4’s for the frame and supporting beams?  We have some 4x4’s I could use for this, but is there a reason I should use one size over the other?

  4. Should I use a certain type of wood (redwood, douglas fir, etc)?

Thank you for any help you can offer!


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Posted 2015-04-07T16:59:01+0000  by Looneybird Looneybird

Welcome to the site!

Using wood that is treated will ensure the step will last as long as possible.

If you don't use treated wood use a heavy duty exterior stain or paint or clear varnish-examples below:

4x4's would make the box heavier and more stable and  able to bear weight- I would put cross beams every 2 feet to make it more secure.

If you use redwood, which is great for exterior, use the wood that has the most color red in it.

Exterior stain: here:

Exterior floor paint :here

Clear sealer, here:

hope this helps!

Posted 2015-04-08T17:18:49+0000  by Gail_HD_OC
Thank you so much for your help, Gail!  I really appreciate it.

Posted 2015-04-08T20:45:00+0000  by Looneybird
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