How to use pre-cut stair stringers for decks

Written by emily patterson
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How to use pre-cut stair stringers for decks
Deck stair stringers with decking in place. (stairs image by Horticulture from

Precut stair stringers save time when installing a deck. Calculating the angle for stair stringers can be difficult for many homeowners. Precut stair stringers are an easy solution to the problem of creating your own stair stringers. Choose precut stair stringers based on the height required for your deck. Measure the height needed before purchasing the precut stringers. Divide the height of the rise on the chosen precut stringer by the height needed for the stairs to determine the number of risers the precut stringer needs to have to fit your deck.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil or marker
  • Level
  • Pavers or flat concrete blocks
  • Shovel
  • 3 inch deck screws
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver bit
  • 5-inch blocks of wood
  • Pre-cut stair stringers
  • Deck boards
  • Circular or hand saw
  • Safety glasses or goggles

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  1. 1

    Measure the height of the rise, or back section, of the precut stair stringer.

  2. 2

    Measure down from the top of the decking on the face board of the deck using the measurement of the rise of the precut stair stringer. Mark this location. Repeat for each additional stringer. Install stair stringers no less than 16 inches apart for stability of the stairs.

  3. 3

    Place each stringer in position with the top of the stringer at the mark made in the last step. Use a level to ensure that each stringer is plumb.

  4. 4

    Install a concrete paver or flat concrete block at the bottom of each stair stringer. Use a level to ensure that the blocks are level to each other. Remove or add soil as needed to meet the bottom of each stair stringer.

  5. 5

    While holding the stringer in position, screw a block of wood on the inside of each precut stair stringer. Align the top of the stringer with the line marked from the top of the decking. Screw the stringer to the block of wood from the opposite side of the stringer.

  6. 6

    Cut deck boards for the treads and screw to the vertical surface of the precut stringers.

Tips and warnings

  • This job is easier with two people.
  • Protect eyes with safety glasses or goggles while using power tools.

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