How to build wood steps for a manufactured home

Written by jim wildman
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How to build wood steps for a manufactured home
It's not hard to build wood steps for your manufactured home. (stairs image by Horticulture from

Building a set of stairs for your manufactured home is not as hard as you might think. Check with your local city or township for the code requirements, and make sure to use pressure-treated material wherever the wood contacts the ground (or for any decking that will not be painted or stained). With a few hand tools and a calculator, however, you can make them yourself.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Calculator
  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Screw gun
  • Deck screws
  • Square
  • Pencil
  • String
  • String level
  • Hammer
  • Pressure-treated lumber
  • Painter's tape

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  1. 1

    Measure the distance from the bottom of the door to the ground, using a tape measure. Divide this number by seven for an approximate number of the stairs you'll need. If your door is 42 inches off the ground, for example, you'll need six steps.

  2. 2

    Multiply the number of steps times 12 inches. This will give you the approximate distance that the stairs will need to come out from the house. For example, 72 inches equals six steps times 12 inches.

  3. 3

    Ask whether your local city or township requires you to build a landing. Most codes require a landing of at least the same width of the staircase. Additionally, the staircase must be at least 36 inches wide.

  4. 4

    Determine the layout of your staircase for the landing based off the rough calculations from above.

  5. 5

    Hammer in a temporary stake taller than the bottom of the door where the first stair will start. Run a line from the bottom of the door out to the stake. Use a line level to adjust the height of the string until it is even with the bottom of the door. Measure the distance between the string and the ground, then subtract 2 inches. This is the height of the stair landing.


  1. 1

    Dig four holes, using a post hole digger, to support four pressure-treated 4-by-4 posts. Square the four hole locations to the door and space according to your stair width. Set the post into concrete and make sure they are level and plumb using a 4-foot carpenter's level. Let this dry.

  2. 2

    Attach four 2-by-8 rim joists to the post ,using lag bolts or carriage bolts. These should be set 5/8-inch below the elevation for your stair landing. Use joist hangers to run between two of the rim joist (spaced at 16 inches on centre for the additional floor joist needed). Screw these into the rim joist with exterior deck screws. Cut the floor joist to fit between the hangers, using a circular saw or mitre saw. Finish the landing with 5/8-inch decking and secure with deck screws. The decking should be cut to overhang the rim joist by 1 inch.

  3. 3

    Mark the stringer for the stairs with a framing square; use the outside dimensions only. The short leg of the square is the "rise," which is the distance from the ground to the top of your landing divided by the number of steps. This number needs to be between 7 inches and 8 inches; subtract the thickness of your stair material and mark this on the framing square with a bit of painter's tape.

  4. 4

    Set the "run" -- the long side of the square -- at 10 1/2 inches. Place the long leg of the framing square to the right and the short leg to the left; it should resemble an upside-down "V." Start at the right side of the 2-by-12, and put the two marks of the framing square on the edge of the stringer. Mark the stringer with a pencil tracing the outer edge of the framing square. Move the square to the left and put the long side mark on the point that the short leg ended and mark the outside of the square again. Repeat the layout for the total number of steps. The last step the left ends with the run, and the first step to the right ends with the rise.

  5. 5

    Cut along the marks on the stringer, using a circular saw to remove the wood to the line. Finish the cut with a jigsaw. Set it next to the landing and check the fit. Use this stringer as a template to cut two more.

  6. 6

    Attach the three stringers to the landing, using hangers and deck screws. Place one at each side of the stair and one in the centre. Cut the star tread material and attach to the stringers with deck screws.

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