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How to build porch steps

I'm trying to build steps on the side of my porch where I just poured a cement patio. I only need 2 steps. The cement to top of porch is only 20-21inches and the width would be about 3 1/2- 4 feet.  Could anyone help me out with a pattern or any suggestions?  Thanks!!

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Posted 2011-07-26T18:14:56+0000  by genie227 genie227

Hi there genie227 and thank you for choosing Home Depot.


Genie I’m assuming you are thinking of building a concrete steps to compliment your newly poured patio?

 In any case building principles are fairly similar.


Your fist step would be to reach out to your local code enforcement office and inquire about stair riser and tread code. Depending on the area most codes call for maximum of 7-3/4” risers and minimum of 10-1/2 “inch treads. But again contact your local office and inquire what specifically applies to yours.


This said you would divide you total height and determine number of risers needed. In your case let’s say to make things simple you’ve got three 7” risers and three 11” treads. These would be considered very comfortable stairs.


Knowing number of the treads and the depth of the tread you can determine how far first step is going to come out from the side of the porch. Location of the first step would need to be constructed in such mater that it can support the weight and resist the frost movement if present in your area. You would need a concrete footing under your first step.


To achieve this footing needs to be placed bellow the frost line- again one more thing to inquire about.

This is a very important step and it should not be avoided. If you are to pour this on two different days it is a good practice to lave rebar dowels standing proud every 6”-8” inches in the footing. See my genius drawing:smileytongue:;



Once the footing is sized and poured you can move on to the next step;


Building forms.


To build forms start off with the side of the stairs first;


Cut two identical pieces of 3/4” plywood to resemble your measurements and riser and tread setup. Place these two side pieces in place and assure that future tread are going to sit leveled.


Once leveled and set at the desired width firmly secure panels in place by driving grade stakes on the outer sides of the form.


Use form nails to secure to the stakes and make sure to drive nails from the side that it can be removed from later on.

With side panels secured you next step is to place riser in the place.


Use 2by umber for the risers and secure them to the plywood sides. Fasten an additional support from the first to last step to keep them from spreading out.

Depending on the thickness of the pored slab anchor dowels can be placed for better slab to stair connection.


And finally use form oil to prep the forms prior to pouring concrete. 


Hope this helps.





Posted 2011-07-26T21:28:23+0000  by George_HD_CHI
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