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Can You Put Deck Stairs on Uneven Ground? (How to)

Sometimes a situation calls for this.  Perhaps your home or office building is on uneven ground to begin with.  Now you want to add a deck with stairs.  Can you do it? 

Yes, you can put deck stairs on uneven ground.  HOWEVER, some precautions must be taken.  The foundation of the stairs MUST be supported on something level.  How do you do this?  There are ways this can get done.

Man fixing the deck stairs

You can either put in some footers that have even tops, or dig out the ground where the stairs are going to go and compact it into a level ground formation.  This will be where your foundation will go.  The stairs themselves will rest on this level foundation.  The process is similar to one you would use to properly install a patio or a sidewalk.

Should You Put Deck Stairs on Uneven Ground?

Man fixing the deck stairs

There are times when this is necessary such as if there are a couple of hills in your yard.  Maybe you want to put a pool at the top of that hill.  Then you plan to surround it with a deck and some corresponding steps.  There could be problems associated with this if you are careless about how you construct the stairs.  The foundation needs to be on even footing at all the points of contact.

You can do this as long as the foundation of the stairs is on level ground.  If you fail to abide by this rule, you will have problems.  The stairs themselves are able to be on uneven ground.  However, their foundation must sit on level ground in order to be safe.

A good tip to be aware of is for an outdoor stairway, such as stairs for a deck, the steps themselves must be a little sloped.  This is important because you do not want rain or snow water to accumulate on the stairs.  Keep in mind that the foundation must still be laid flat on level ground for safety purposes. 

What Tools Do You Need to Put Deck Stairs On Uneven Ground?

Confused man standing

You will need a full standard carpentry tool set and some comprehensive and thorough instructions on how to properly install your deck stairs.  Then you will need some machinery that is made to dig out the earth and compact it into a level surface for the stairs’ foundation.

Supplies that have to be included are concrete deck block in the appropriate size for your project as well as polymer.  Tools you will need include an assortment of nails, screws, nuts, bolts, etc.  Again, they should be for your specific project.  You will also need stringers.

When choosing your nails, screws, etc. make sure they are of a sturdy material such as steel.  The directions for your project should tell you exactly what material they should be made from.  This is true of the wood or whatever material you are using for the stairs themselves as well.

Machinery needed to level out the ground underneath the foundation of the stairs should be small enough to fit into your backyard and not pose a hazard to your neighborhood or home.  It is possible to rent them from a facility that specializes in this equipment.  Or, you may wish to hire someone who is already trained in how to operate this equipment.  

What Preparations Do You Need to Install Deck Stairs on Uneven Ground?

Man fixing the deck stairs

Bear in mind that uneven ground does not always mean hills and slopes.  You might have rocky terrain and hard dirt in uneven patches all over your yard.  You might have removed a flower bed where you now want to build a deck and steps.

Any kind of surface like that must also be evened out prior to starting your project.  You must make sure there are no rocks or bricks where you put the foundation of the deck stairs.  Additionally, there should not be any mounds of dirt sticking up.

Again, it is okay if the stairs are set above terrain like this.  BUT,  when you are talking about the foundation for the stairs, this is NOT okay.  It all must be leveled out.  This kind of project may require the assistance of people in addition to yourself.  Two sets of eyes are better than one when it comes to spotting problems. 

How to Install Deck Stairs on Uneven Ground

Confused man standing

One piece of advice that is strongly recommended is to anchor the stairs to the ground.  You can use an anchor made of concrete, a base plate, and a short post to create that connection to solid ground.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on September 11, 2022.

There are some so-called experts that do not feel that step is important.  However, we beg to differ.  Anchoring the deck stairs to the ground is a safety priority.  Without this, over time the materials can wear out and the stairs might literally fall apart.

There is more information available about how to install deck stairs on uneven ground.  You can begin with the source where you found this article.  You can also look up directions online.  Nowadays, everything important is online. 

How Do I Reduce Future Maintenance of My Deck Stairs on Uneven Ground?

Man fixing the deck stairs

There are ways to go about doing this successfully.  One thing to do is to make sure you frame the stairs to a landing that is uneven.  Another thing is to correctly install your deck stringers.  The key to this is to prepare your stringers properly.

When you follow all expert advice to the letter, you should be able to avoid the need for a lot of maintenance down the line.  This is not a permanent thing though.  These stairs should be checked periodically for possible problems.

If you see a problem cropping up, take care of it immediately.  Then you will avert a possible safety hazard later on.  An additional piece of advice is to use only the best materials for this project.  Cheap materials will not cut it on a project like this. 

How Do I Improve Safety for Kids Around Deck Stairs on Uneven Ground?

Confused man standing

One of the best ways to do this is to ensure you follow all procedures to the letter.  This will avoid any structural problems with the stairs.  That will improve safety for kids and everyone else too. 

Being certain the foundation of the stairs is constructed properly is a huge safety practice.  Another thing is to remove any rocks, holes, or high bumps from the ground surrounding the bottom of the stairs. 

One other safety tip when kids are involved is not to make the stairs themselves too thick.  Remember, kids have short legs.  Huge steps can be difficult for them to navigate.  Having handrails for the stairs is also important.  Most kids will need to use these. 

How Do I Improve Safety for Elderly People Around Deck Stairs on Uneven Ground?

Confused man standing

Most of the same advice that applies to kids’ safety also applies to elderly people.  They are no longer able to navigate large stairs.  So thick stairs are a problem for them.  Sometimes they get dizzy and lose their balance easily.  Therefore, handrails for the steps are imperative.

One thing you can do when you have elderly people to think about is make sure the areas at the top and bottom of the stairs are free from any debris.  That could make them trip or slip. 

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Another thing is to remember to take measures to prevent water from building up on the stairs.  Elderly people could slip on that.  If you build the deck stairs correctly, most of these issues can be avoided.  Supervision of the elderly around these stairs is also recommended.  That will help a lot with safety too. 

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on September 11, 2022.

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