Four years ago when we had our house built we had some really terrible steps installed. At the time, we had no idea they were terrible. In fact the only thing we did not like was that there was no landing, meaning you had to open the door from a few steps below in order to have room to swing the door open.
Also, our land was graded to ensure water ran away from the home. This causes a small but evident depression in the yard for water to flow down. During a heavy or long-lasting rain, this can become our little “river in the front yard”. Which is a problem when trying to leave or return to the house.
You can watch this by following this link, or by watching below:
Adding a Landing to Your Desk Steps:
We have always dreamed of a wrap-around porch… but that is a long, long way off. However, we needed something to act as a landing outside of our front door. Since we have a gable over our front door, it seemed reasonable (and eye pleasing) to fit our deck with the width of the gable.
Also, while eight feet is a bit deeper than necessary just to have a “landing”, it does provide for ample sitting room. This combined with the ease of construction moved us to have a depth of eight feet.
By coming eight feet from the house we found ourselves fairly close to the depression I mentioned. To solve this we decided to make a walkway, or bridge, to span the depression. This is just high enough to ensure the wood is never in the water flow.
We feel much more comfortable with a wide set of stairs, so, keeping with the ease of construction, we made the bridge and the stairs four feet wide.
While this project is far, far from over, and while this is not a how-to, I would like to share a large lesson learned that we had. In the middle of the project, which corresponds with the middle of filming, we found out that the hardware store had cut the lumber wrong.
For ease of transport (we have a minivan, not a pickup) and to speed things along at home, I had the store cut the lumber. However, once we went to lay the boards for the steps on to the stingers, we found that many where a good inch and a half short… Or, said plainly, someone at the hardware store could not divide by two.
It took an additional two hours (travel, waiting for a manager, getting the correct wood, checking back out) to fix the problem (thank you to my wife for making that trip). So, all that is to say – if you have the option, cut your own wood.
We will keep you updated on how the project goes. We have a lot to do still, from adding railings to sanding and staining, to some minor landscaping at the end of the bridge… so stay tuned!
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