Building Box-Style Stairs
Faster to frame than cut stringers, wraparound stacked boxes make a lot of sense for short, wide deck stairs.
The main stairs of this grade-level deck are a focal point of the deck and wrap 5 ft. around one outside corner, so they had to look good. I had two framing options for the stairs: stacked boxes or cut stringers. Stacked boxes made more sense for this project because they‘re faster to frame, they’re self-supporting, and they provide a more stable and straight base for precise trim. Box frames also make the most sense for short, wide stairs. For more than three risers, box-stair frames aren’t as efficient a choice because they use more lumber than cut stringers.
Finishing the Stairs
The horizontal trim board that runs across the top of the skirt also serves as the top stair riser, so this was a good time to install the stair risers and treads, which feature the same border treatment as the main deck.
Photos by Charles Bickford. Drawing by Toby Welles, WowHouse.