How to build wooden steps over brick

Written by nicole byerly
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How to build wooden steps over brick
Wood steps are a convenient option for covering up broken brick steps. (steps 7 image by Samuel Birkan from Fotolia.com)

Rebuilding brick steps is time-consuming and difficult. Not every do-it-yourself homeowner will want to tackle the task. Creating a set of wooden steps to place over the brick is a convenient alternative. this building project enables you to use the new wooden stairs, in a much shorter time than rebuilding brick ones.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • One sheet three-quarter-inch plywood
  • Two pieces of two-by-six-by-eight lumber
  • Tape measure
  • Hand saw
  • One box 3 1/4-inch nails
  • Hammer
  • Pencil
  • Square
  • Shovel
  • Cement mix
  • Bucket

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the rise and run of the brick staircase. This will indicate exactly how large the new wooden steps need to be. Measure the rise and run of each step to find the largest measurements.

  2. 2

    Create a stringer of the stairs including the rise and runs. Cut each rise and run to the largest measurements recorded, with an additional quarter of an inch to separate the wood from the brick. These stringers will be used as the supporting sides of the stairs. Add six inches in height to the base of each side in order to bury the sides for additional support.

  3. 3

    Cut step stringers out of the three-quarter-inch plywood. You will need two step grids: one for each side of the existing brick steps. The stringers will contain the rise-and-run area for each step, using the brick as an outline.

  4. 4

    Measure the width of the brick stairs and count the total number of steps on the staircase. This will tell you exactly how long each tread needs to be, and how many treads are needed to completely cover the brick.

  5. 5

    Cut each tread to be 12 inches deep by the measured length, with an addition four inches in length to cover the stair stringer you will install. This means if you measure 30 inches wide, you will cut each tread to 34 inches to create a slight overhang on each side.

  6. 6

    Dig a hole on both sides of the existing brick steps to insert the step grids. The holes should measure six inches deep by four inches wide. Insert one stringer on each side of the brick steps.

  7. 7

    Mix cement in bucket according to packet directions. Fill the two holes and allow cement to harden completely around the two step stringers before installing stair treads.

  8. 8

    Measure the distance between the outer edge of each stair stringers to determine the total width of the stair case. Subtract the measurement from the total width of each tread and divide the remaining amount by two. This means if you cut the stairs to 36 inches, and the total width measure 32 inches, you will have 4 inches remaining. Divide the four inches by two, and you will have a two-inch overhang created for each side. Mark the overhang on each side with a pencil.

  9. 9

    Install the stair treads by lining the overhang marks to the outer edge of each stair grid, and hammering four nails along each side directly into the three-quarter-inch plywood grids. This will create a solid and dependable stepping surface.

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