How to Build Wood Front Entry Steps

Written by nicole byerly
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How to Build Wood Front Entry Steps
Front steps are a necessity when the ground level is below the door level. (home image by Greg Pickens from

The front entry is one of the most commonly used entry points for a home. Having an adequate set of steps to enter into the home is a rather important quality that you can create on your own with some handyman skills. Creating front entry steps for your home is a task that you can complete in a short amount of time.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 2-by-10-inch boars
  • Drill
  • Phillips head drill bit
  • 5-inch screws
  • Four 1 1/2-inch screws
  • Four L-shaped metal brackets
  • Cement mix
  • Large bucket
  • Shovel
  • Table saw
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Calculator

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  1. 1

    Measure the distance from the bottom of the door to the ground below. This will determine the height of the steps needed. Divide this height by 6.5 inches. For example, if you measure a total height of 42 inches, divide 42 by 6.5 to get 6.46.

  2. 2

    Round up to the next whole number to determine the number of steps needed for the area. In this example, with an answer of 6.46, we need seven steps. Divide the height measurement again by 7 to determine the rise for each step. For example, if you need seven steps for a 42-inch height, we know that each step is 6 inches high.

  3. 3

    Cut sections of 2-by-10-inch board to 6 inches more than the width of the door for each step. For the example given, you need seven boards that measure 6 inches wider than the door's width.

  4. 4

    Cut two sections of the wood to 12 inches more than the height measurement. For the example given, we have a 42-inch entry height which means we need two 54-inch pieces of board.

  5. 5

    Cut two sections of the wood to the step height less than the first two sets of 2-by-10s and continue subtracting the step height until you cut all sets of 2-by-10s for each step. For the example given, you have two 12 inches above entry height, which is 54 inches. You need seven steps, so the 2-by-10 cut lengths in the example will be 54 inches, 48 inches, 42 inches, 36 inches, 30 inches, 24 inches and 18 inches.

  6. 6

    Multiply the total number of steps by 10 inches to determine how far out the set of steps will span from the door. For the example given, we have seven steps at 10 inches each so we will need to go out 70 inches from the door.

  7. 7

    Measure out the total distance along the ground from directly under the door. Dig a hole at both sides of the door that is 12 inches deep by the total distance long.

  8. 8

    Mix cement in a bucket with water and shovel the mix into the 12-inch deep holes. Allow the cement to set for 10 to 15 minutes.

  9. 9

    Insert the first set of 2-by-10s that measure 12 inches above the door base height directly along the wall. One 2-by-10 should go on each side of the door. Check with the level to make sure they are straight vertically. Repeat this step with all the 2-by-10s going down.

  10. 10

    Measure the distance between the 2-by-10s as they are placed in the ground. Cut two 2-by-10s per step that measure the interior width of the 2-by-10s.

  11. 11

    Place one 2-by-10 approximately 12 inches from the ground between the two steps closest to the home. Place this 2-by-10 at a 45 degree angle so that it straddles two sets of 2-by-10s.

  12. 12

    Drive two screws through the vertical side boards into each end of the angled 2-by-10 to secure them together.

  13. 13

    Repeat steps 11 and 12 at the 12-inch height to join all steps together. Once they are installed, move up the height and repeat this process at every 12 inches. You may need to cut more 2-by-10s to secure all 2-by-10 sides together.

  14. 14

    Place one L-shaped metal bracket at 6 inches from the base and 6 inches from the top edge of the 2-by-10s closest to the home. Drive one 1 ½-inch screw through each L-shaped bracket to join it to the 2-by-10s and one 5-inch screw through each L-shaped bracket to join the steps to the home.

  15. 15

    Place one section of 2-by-10 cut to 6 inches wider than the door width on each step once the cement is dry. Allow a 3-inch overhang on each side of the step. Drive one screw every 3 inches on each side of the 2-by-10 until each step is properly secured.

Tips and warnings

  • You will need to install railing if your entry has more than three steps.

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