How to replace a deck step

A broken step or steps can make your deck unsafe as well as unsightly, but replacing it is a simple task.

Are the steps leading to your deck starting to deteriorate? Or is there just one that is broken and needs to be replaced? A broken step or steps can make your deck unsafe as well as unsightly. Here is help for you.

Start by measuring the step (or steps) that you will be replacing. You are going to want to get the same exact steps that you had so measure very carefully. Measure the length, width and depth of the step. Also, make a note of the type of wood used, this may be pine, birch, redwood or cedar, and you can bet that it is pressure treated.

Go to the hardware store and purchase the wood that you need. Also get a box of 2 1/2 inch treated decking screws. Because screwing down the components of your deck is much easier than nailing them.

Measure the wood. Check your measurements, both on the deck, on your notes, and on the wood. Then measure the wood one more time. Cut the wood to your measurements. Always remember MEASURE TWICE CUT ONCE, because if you make the step too small you will be unable to use it.

Place the step on the stringer, make sure it is going to work and screw it in place.

Stain the entire deck to match the new step.

What if, however, when you removed the step, you found that the problem was not with the boards on the steps, but rather the underlying stringer?

In that case it would be best to just replace the entire set of stairs.

The principle is the same; measure everything, and make extensive notes. These notes will be your blueprint.

Note the length of the stringers and the area between them. Measure the width, length, height of each step and be sure to note what kind of wood was used.

Now, purchase your wood.

Get the pressure treated variety of the wood that was originally used on your stairs, or your deck. This will make everything uniform, as far as color when it comes time to stain.

Purchase a nice stain/preservative that will compliment your home. Now is the best time to stain your entire deck, not just the stairs that you've replaced. Since you are renewing your deck at this time, why not purchase enough to complete the entire thing?

Purchase a box of 2½ inch treated decking screws.

Measure and cut your wood. Be sure that you cut the wood to the exact measurements in your notes. Before you cut, measure it again, so that there are no surprises.

Screw the stringers to the deck, at the top and anchor them at the bottom, either with another board between them or sink them into concrete.

Test fit your steps, and screw them in place.

Stain the steps and then move on to the rest of the deck.

Safety is the most important thing when it comes to home ownership, and keeping your deck safe will keep your home safe. Replacing steps when they need it, and staining (preserving) the wood will keep accidents from happening.

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