How to build an Above Ground Pool Deck Steps Part 2 of 3

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Putting Steps on your deck

I used to cut my own steps but now I buy them already cut. They are so much easier and cheaper then cutting your own. The treads you can also buy ready made. The trick is getting them put together and solid so you can get a lifetime of wear out of them. Here are easy step by step directions on how to do that

1. The first thing is to determine where you want your steps to be. In this case they were put in at the back of the deck, so they stopped at the walkway.

2. Determine how many steps there will be. most steps are about 8" down per step. So if you measure from where the first step is in inches and and divide by 8, that is how many steps you need. In the case of this deck I needed 3 steps. If counting the top step 4. So the riser has 4 steps.

3. The next thing is to determine how wide they need to be . In this case i made them 32" wide.I never make the steps out of 5/4 plank. They bounce to much. I always make them out of 2 x 12 or buy the ready made tread which are really nice.

4. After deciding where you want your steps the next thing you do is fasten a board on the joist at the top of the steps. This board will be used to fasten the top of the riser to the deck. If you have a finished step that is 32' wide then you want to overhang the risers 1" on each side. So the actual width of the riser is going to be 30" But the board is going to be cut at 27". You fasten this board onto the joist.. I run some 2 screws in it to secure temporally. When you are done putting on the riser then I run 4 Lag bolts 3" long. See Photo A

5 The next thing is to take and square off the ends of the board .you want to find a spot to dig 2 posts. I cut a scrap board that is longer then 32" and measure 30" out side dimension at the bottom of the steps and put 1 screw in each side to keep the steps at the right width and square. See photo B

6. The hole for the 2 posts must be dug at least 2' deep. Or below the frost line in the area that you live in. I then secure the risers to the post using 1- 3'' lag bolt and 2-3" Stainless screws or exterior grade screws checking that they are square. Mix some concrete and pour about a half of bag in each hole. Being careful not to bump the post out of square. Let sit overnight at least.

7. Next cut off any part of 4 x 4 that happens to be higher then the riser. See Photo C

8. Next measure the treads and using a square cut off 4 boards 32" long. I always drill a hole in the riser before putting in a screw. Screws should be 3" stainless steel or exterior grade. I also never nail the because pressure treated wood seems to always split at a bad time making the finished job look bad. See Photo D and E. Please note the treads have groves in them to help with traction for wet feet.

Next is Putting in Handrails and Privacy fence Part 3 of 3

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Comments 9 comments

handymanbill profile image

handymanbill 2 years ago from western pennsylvania Author

Thanks John for the read and comments.

John MacNab profile image

John MacNab 2 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

An excellent article handymanbill. This is a job I've been putting off for months. Now that you've shown me how to do it, I might just start thinking about it again. Voted up.

Mark m 3 years ago

Great post Jim I'm starting my pool deck this weekend. I hope if I have and probs I can contact you. Thank you mark m

From Michigan.

handymanbill profile image

handymanbill 4 years ago from western pennsylvania Author

mizindependent Sorry about katrina. Thanks for the visit and if you need help let me know.

mzindependent profile image

mzindependent 4 years ago from Texas

Thank you for sharing! Your deck is beautiful. If only our contractors had followed your tutorial, our deck wouldn't have come out looking totally awkward.

Our aboveground pool was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, but we're still stuck with their ill conceived deck. :( We may try again, but we'll follow your tutorial instead.

Have a great day!

handymanbill profile image

handymanbill 4 years ago from western pennsylvania Author

Thanks for stopping by and it is a little bit of work to figure that out.

CapturedWord profile image

CapturedWord 4 years ago from United States

Great advice for steps. Its hard to figure out the right way to get the correct rise on these. Great advice Handyman Bill. This will be a great guide for building steps in the future!

handymanbill profile image

handymanbill 5 years ago from western pennsylvania Author

Thanks for the great comment.I always take any help i can get for new customers

TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az.


Good job my man! I did decks before selling my company. I was into the Brazilian hard wood stuff. I'll tell you, they were beautiful, but I'm glad I wasn't doing the work.

I'm going to run down some of my followers for you. We need to get this stuff out. It's good.


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