If you are like most people with a new build, you probably ended up with some simple construction stairs out to a patio.  Rather than using a stringer stair that only has 2 or 3 steps, you should consider a nice and simple box system that will double as seating.

We featured a stair stringer calculator in the past and it is a MUST if you are building /cutting a stringer. However, if you have low elevation change (about 30″ or less) consider stock materials with limited cutting required by building a series of boxes that stack.  This requires nothing more than straight cuts with limited marking/measurement.

For my box set of stairs I simply needed to utilize 2″ x 8″ lumber (western red cedar in my case) topped with 5/4 treads (true 1″ thickness). This provided me with 8 1/2″ rise.  My tread width is about 11″.  This set of stairs was simple to build, is easy to remove, and is a terrific place to have a seat (see the photo below of my son with his Grandpa playing with caps).

Box style steps framework

Box style steps - Western Red Cedar

Box style steps – Western Red Cedar


Box style steps double as a seat

Box style steps double as a seat