Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Building Stairs for the Club House

There are lots of tutorials on the wonderful world wide web on how to build stairs.  We read almost all of them.  However, I'm not entirely sure we followed any of them.  The good news is that we have stairs and they turned out great!!

The standard rise (up and down measurement) for stairs is somewhere around 7 inches while the run (horizontal measurement) is around 10.5 inches.  Since we were making these stairs for little feet, we decided to make the rise only 6 inches and the run 6 inches as well.  This made for a much smaller step "up" as well as a smaller spot to put your foot.

So how'd we make the stairs? 
Because we used a "square" number for our cut outs (6 inches by 6 inches) it made the math super easy and we were able to use just a regular metal framing square.

1. We first made a 45 degree angle cut into a 2"x10" which ended up being the angled piece that attached directly to the club house 4x4 post.
2.  Obviously where we have that stair stringer set up against the club house is way too far up on the 4x4 post but we were checking the angle of the stairs to be sure the steps would end up level to the ground.
3.  Once we cut off the end of the string to fit it to size so the top of the stairs would be level with the club house deck, we were able to determine where we would need to dig more holes to place the support 4x4's to attach the bottom of the stairs to the ground.
4.  We buried the 4x4 post two feet into the ground leaving approximately 8 inches above ground to attach to the stair strings.
5.  We mixed up another bag and a half of quikrete and set the posts being sure we kept everything level and square.
6.  After we let the concrete set over night, we were able to cut the stair treads to size leaving a half inch overhang on each end plus there is the one inch over hang on the front of the stairs since we used 2"x8" boards.

You may have also noticed in the first picture that we added some posts caps for the club house corners.

They are solar powered light we found at Home Depot for $4.88 each.  Batteries Included!  They're not exactly "bright" at night, but we weren't looking for anything to light up our entire back yard or to even draw attention to the fort.  Basically just something fun to cap off the posts.  Bryan described the output of light perfectly.  He said they basically look like a white firefly that got stuck on.  We don't expect them to last past this year, but for the price, we couldn't pass it up.  Maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised?!  Doubtful.

So here she is in all her glory!

Since our little ones are still.... little, I'll be adding a handrail very soon but for now, our three year old is managing quite fearlessly up and down those stairs.  The best part about how we attached the stairs is that in the future we can always remove the stairs completely and put a rope ladder or rock climbing wall in it's place.

If you're looking for a general lumber list, you can find that here.  To see more building details check out this post, and this one, too.  If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a line!  I'll try my best to answer it!


(Special thanks, once again, to Carmel from Our Fifth House for the inspiration!)

P.S.  Does anyone else's garage look this bad after a whirlwind project?

Linked up to these lovely parties:


  1. My garage is way worse - so feel better knowing that ;) This turned out so awesome! I bet your kiddos are thrilled!! So many great memories! Featuring this on my blog tomorrow!

    1. This is the best comment, EVER! :) Thanks so much for featuring me! I can't wait to see it! Thanks!

  2. My husband has been promising us a playset since *last* summer, so this year I got my dad on board (a la Carmel's inspiration) and I'm hoping we will have an actual play set by Labor day!

    Pinning this up and down, I love your ideas!


    1. Your blog is amazing!! Thanks for stopping by! I definitely can not wait to see what sort of design you come up with for this swing set!!

  3. This is beautiful! I love how the tree comes up through the floor. My husband and I are working on an enclosed playhouse- complete with insulation, windows, and doors- so I can really appreciate this project.

    1. Wow! I'd love to see pictures when you're done! Sounds like you have a project and a half going on in your yard!

  4. Bookmarking this page and hoping it's still here in a few years! We're just building the swingset frame right now, and when baby girl is older and ready for a slide hopefully we'll add on the second portion.

  5. One other thing.. did you end up leaving the swingset as is, or painting it?

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by!! We used treated lumber which needs to dry completely before painting or staining. A good way to see if your lumber is ready, is to sprinkle it with water. If it beads up, it needs to dry longer. If the water soaks into the wood, it's ready to finish!! This spring, our lumber should be ready!! Once we find a few days in a row with clear weather, we're going to stain/seal it all with a clear coat since we like the look of the natural color.

  6. Love love love your swingset!!!! How big is the fort/deck thing?

  7. Thanks you for that idea I'm going to build this one today without the slide and swing set

  8. Hello , how is this holding up? Can you email me


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