This spring I migrated my small collection of Sarrs from a menagerie of pots into those planter boxes made famous by Brokken. In trying to decide where in my yard to place them, I came across a small 4'x4' area seemed promising. Since the footprint was small, I knew I'd have to build something tiered, plus there was a LPG line to contend with. I decided on a bleacher style plant stand then came the part where I had to figure out how to make those pesky stair stringers. I have very little experience in construction so I visited some websites geared towards building stairs, however, I didn't find too much help due to that the rise and run for this project was outside of any standard stair design. I decided install Google's 'SketchUp' program to see if I could make something using that method. After some time feeling my way around, this is what I came up with.
From what I could tell it seemed like it should work…. I purchased the pressure treated lumber -which wasn't cheap - esp. the 2x12x16' for the stringers. Ideally I would have built this in the garage then moved it to the site but the LPG line forced me to undertake the construction in situ. The frame was easy enough.
Using a square and pencil, I marked out the cut lines for the first stringer as shown on the measurements I added to my SketchUp design. My lack of experience on the circular saw was at times evident w/ the cuts not exactly straight. Where the cuts met I used a Japanese Ryoba saw to finish off the 90 degree intersections.
The first 4x4 was temporarily screwed into place and the first stringer laid out. The bottom shelf was only going to be 10" deep –the rest were 12”. I marked the line, placed the stringer into position and used a level on the steps to acquire correct placement on the 4x4. The front of the stringer was screwed into the frame w/ a metal 'T' bracket. Once the bracket was secure, the level was used to again to check that all was square then I marked and drilled for the 5/16x6” galv carriage bolts. I installed the left and right stringers, then the middle one so I could align it w/ the other two.
I decided to use cedar boards for the shelves. A local cedar mill had 5/4x6x6'decking for cheap so I went with that. A stain was applied to help preserve the wood.
The boards were screwed down w/ exterior grade screws. So far it seems like it’ll work. If any of you have experience in construction, feel free to make suggestions on what I could have/should have done differently.