How to Build Box Steps

Rick Paulas

The addition of a deck to the backyard of a home is a great way to extend your living space. After the completion of the deck, homeowners may wish to add box steps for easy access from the deck to the backyard. The size and amount of box steps will depend on the size and height of the deck.

Box steps allow you to reach your deck from the ground.
  1. Determine the size of your steps. Use a tape measure to figure out how far your deck is from the ground. Most box steps are six inches in height. Decide how wide you want your steps. While most box steps are 10 inches horizontally, if you want them longer, you will need to use blocking boards to keep the steps from collapsing.

  2. Build the frame of your step. Use a saw, tape measure and pencil (or marker) to mark the length of the wood you are using for the step. For example, if you are making a step that is six inches in height, six inches in depth and then inches horizontally,you will need to cut two pieces of lumber six inches in length and six inches in height, and another two that are ten inches in length and six inches in height, to create the frame. Use nails and a hammer to nail the pieces together to create the "box."

  3. Attach the top of the step. In the example, you will need a piece of lumber that will cover the top of the "box" that was just created, which means you will need a piece of wood that is ten inches in length and six inches in height. Use a hammer and nails to connect the top of the step to the box.

  4. Make the other steps. If your deck is high enough that it needs more than one step, measure and build the other steps in the same way. You will need to create larger and wider steps, however, since the previously-created step will have to sit on top of them. For example, to add a second lower step to the one you already created, you will need to create a "box" that is ten inches in length, six inches in height; however it will now need a depth of twelve inches to account for part of the top step sitting on top of the second step. Connect the various steps by using a hammer and nails.

  5. Attach the box step to the deck. Use nails (possibly longer ones) and a hammer to nail the box step to the deck. The specific placement of the nails will depend on the design of your steps and the deck. Make sure the step is sturdy before allowing other people to use it. If it is not, add a few blocking boards in the middle of the box for adding support.