Stairs for the Littlehouse Porch


Stairs for the Littlehouse Porch

by rdpecken on Oct.15, 2012, under Uncategorized

Well, there’s not much to show for progress over the past several months.  With all of the travel and family responsibilities lately, we did not get back up to the ranch during July, August or September.

We finally made it up there over October Break period. But even this was a shortened trip.  We got the main part of the stairs to the front porch built  We still need to complete the railings and the rest of the porch railings and posts.

Porch Stairs Started

Because we had some things to accomplish in the Valley, we did not make it up to the Ranch until 5:00pm on Monday. We spent the rest of the daylight hours setting up camp. The next morning, we got up and had breakfast, then started on the stringer design.  Our neighbors from up the road stopped by on their way out, and we visited for a while.

The stringer design was very difficult for me.  I’m just not very good at visualizing these things in my head.  But I only wasted one stringer by cutting it too short.  It was easy to figure out how many steps and what their rise and tread would be.  The hard part was coming up with a way to attach them to the porch.  There was no board to attach them to, since the first step down took up most of the rim height.

So I ended up nailing/screwing another board between the two beams under the porch.  I put some 2x4s in back of them to attach the new board to, and these 2x4s then attached to the beams.  Overall, they are pretty solid, but I wasn’t expecting to have to do that.

After figuring all that out, we excavated (with a masonry hammer and shovel) a depression in the ground for the cement landing pad for the stairs.  It is 1 foot wide and a little over 4 feet long, and 5-1/2″ deep.  We framed some forms and started mixing cement.  After 2 bags of cement, it became clear that the 4 bags we brought were not going to be enough.  I started adding large rocks to take up extra space in the cement.  Even with this, we were a half-bag short.  So the next morning, we packed everyone up (we had the grandkids with us), and headed in to Kingman to pick up supplies.

We would have just gone to Seligman for cement, but we also discovered that the water pump for the house had died during the day.  We were hoping that Home Depot would have an appropriate replacement, but it ended up to be fruitless.

After we got back from Kingman, we continued cutting stringers and attaching them to the porch.  We left the last one off, so that we could finish the cement work.  We poured the last part of the landing, and called it a day.

So on Thursday, we added the final stringer to the porch, and bolted a plate down to the cement between the stringers.  This made the steps very solid once we screwed the stringers to this plate.  Finally, we cut and mounted the actual steps and riser boards.

About this time, it started to rain on us.  This was looking like the typical October – several day rainstorm that we get about every year, so we packed everyone up and headed back to the valley so that we wouldn’t have to fight the mud with our trailer on the way out.

So anyway, we’ll need to go back up really soon to fix/replace the water pump and winterize the water lines but we will have to find the time and money to do it.

I have a couple more pictures from this trip that I will post later.

2 comments for this entry (from previous blog site):

  1. Wayne

    Sorry to hear about your troubles.
    I do have 2 bags of concrete and a spare water pump in my shipping container. Bad timing I guess.

  2. Randy

    Thanks, Wayne. We still had water available in the shed, as that is on a separate pump. So it wasn’t so bad that we couldn’t live with it for a couple of days. I think I’ll buy a cheap spare to put in temporarily while I attempt to repair the original. At least they are easy to replace.


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