How to Make Stairs Out of a Box

A box stair works for low transitions, such as two or three steps to a deck or doorway. Box stairs have the advantage of being easier to build. They are also sturdier than traditional steps. While traditional stairs use stair stringers as a basis for steps, box stairs use a series of pressure-treated wood boxes, in which one box equals one step. The number of boxes you need depends upon how many stairs you want to build.

Step 1

Measure the height of the stairs to calculate how many boxes you need to build. Box stairs are ideal for one to three steps. The minimum tread depth is 10 inches and the maximum riser height is 8 inches.

Step 2

Cut two 2-by-6-inch boards to the correct width of your stairs. Cut the other two boards to an appropriate length, according to the measurement you took in Step 1. For example, if you have two stairs, the bottom step will require a minimum tread depth of 20 inches. Therefore, you should cut the two side boards to 20 inches each.

Step 3

Screw the 2-by-6-inch boards together to make a right-angled box. One board makes one side of the box.

Step 4

Cut the 1 1/4-inch-by-6-inch boards to the width of your stairs.

Step 5

Fasten the 1 1/4-by-6-inch board to the top of the box to make the treads.

Step 6

Repeat Steps 1 through 4 for to make a second box. Place the second box in position on top of the first box, then screw the boxes securely together up through the base of the second box. Complete Step 5 for the topmost box.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • 2-by-6-inch boards
  • 1 1/4-inch-by-6-inch boards
  • Saw
  • Screws
  • Drill with screwdriver bit

About the Author

Stephanie Ellen teaches mathematics and statistics at the university and college level. She coauthored a statistics textbook published by Houghton-Mifflin. She has been writing professionally since 2008. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from State University New York, a master's degree in math education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from National University.