. . . and I have a new deck staircase. Not bad for never having framed 'em before. Holy crap-on-a-stick were the wet pressure-treated 2x12s heavy.
Long story short: the Missus and I hired a contractor to come put a second staircase onto our deck (stairs, middle landing for a 180, and then a lower flight of stairs). He showed up, got about 3/4s of the way done. . . and then never showed up again. The lower flight wasn’t even bolted to the vertical 4x4s!
Two months after we started, we had no word from the guy. Today, I look at Nawth Chucka and say, “Hon, I’m gettin’ to work.” I measure the rise, the run, input that into my calculator, and figure out how much lumber I need. Off to the store! $116.87 later, I’m hauling back two sixteen-foot 2x12"s into the backyard. A little later, I’m marking off my lines with a framing square and cutting out little triangles for the riser and tread faces–three stringers. I get those bolted to the 4x4s, space the middle stringer, and then start cutting treads and risers. Every now and then my wife tosses out a new bottle of ice water (which goes down very easy, mind you).
About four hours later, I’ve got a nice little flight ‘o’ steps which I have to admit, I’m amazed I put together for never having really done it before. I’d done plenty of framing and sheetrocking, but the diagonal thing scared me. I thought there was some Jedi mind trick to this. The first stringer I cut was wrong though–too short. I’m thinking there’s got to be an easier way to do that. But I can use that as a middle support for the upper flight (which the contractor never reinforced, like I wanted).
Now I’m all sore and crap. Hands have blisters, and I’ve got a little sunburn. Tomorrow, I gotta do the handrails and get back to paving the patio. My wife is smart: she saw some old brick buildings were about to be demoed, so we went over and picked up six hundred. We’d gotten another three hundred from that contractor (before we blew him off), so all I need to do is finish up the handrails, and lay a few hundred brick this week. And then, the the tiki bar!
Damn, I’m sore.
Huzzah home improvement.