Cutting A Stair Stringer

Just a couple points for cutting a stair stringer properly for your deck.

Wide opening close to patio doors

Some stairs have notched stringers everywhere.

There is no solid stringer covering the outsides of the steps.

This deck is an example of that. The treads overhang the stringer on the sides.

Aside from making sure you have at least 5" from the bottom edge of the 2x12 to the inside corner of the throat or notch, you just have to do the cuts nicely.

Here is how to make those cuts.

First Cut With a Circular Saw - Video

Second Cut With a Reciprocating Saw - Video

You can also use a hand saw. The important thing to remember is to use a vertical up and down cutting action so you can get a nice clean 90 degree cut for the tread to sit against.

Cutting The Ends of a Solid Stringer

Cutting the top off

You're not done yet.

On the layout section pages, we showed you how to mark out the tread locations of a set of stairs for solid stringers.

Now you need to see how the ends of the stringers are cut off for final fitting and attaching to the deck

As you can see, if you leave the termination points of the stringers untouched they will be a sharp point and your stairs won't fit very well against the deck.



The finished look

Here is one way to trim off those pointy ends so the stairs will tuck in nicely under the overhaing decking boards.

And with a nicely cut end like this, you can just tuck it under the top decking and against the fascia board or rim joist.






Trimming up the end of the stringer

Cut the bottom end too.

And here is how to cut the end of the stringer to create a great looking finish.

Just cut off that shaded area to the right.

The Finished Look Is Very Nice

End of stringer cut off

Some Other Great Reading

That is pretty much all there is to cutting a stair stringer.

It really is quite simple. But if you misunderstand some of the math or don't know these little tips it is possible to make a mess of your deck stairs.

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