The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Step landing

Porch stoop

Although plumbing has consumed a lot of our attention over the last week, we did have time to make a start on more code-worthy steps.

The beginning is a landing in front of the door, minimum size three feet by three feet. We're trying to move this project along so we can get our electricity, but I took to heart my father's admonition over a decade ago that building is much cheaper if produced in sizes divisible by eight. So we expanded out to four feet by four feet instead.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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should be obvious but what is the /8 rule?
Comment by Jim Fri Oct 20 14:06:14 2017
to keep it from being slippery when wet...
Comment by adrianne Fri Oct 20 16:21:20 2017
I take it that you have to have code legal steps and such before they will hook up power? I guess you are discovering that 'po ol' south west Virginny was really lax on any kind of building codes.
Comment by Eric Fri Oct 20 17:03:27 2017
Hope you used treated lumber for the framing.
Comment by Errol Fri Oct 20 20:09:04 2017
As you're building the steps, think about how long you plan to live there. If for a longish while, think about building steps that will easily convert to a ramp. Having a sizable landing will make it easier to attach a ramp later on, for easier mobility when such things matter, whether for you or for guests or for moving large/heavy items in and out.
Comment by WendP Fri Oct 20 20:55:32 2017
I agree--why waste a board foot here and there when you can just put it to good use. I think a 4ft square makes a better landing size in any case, leaving a bit of space on the landing for whatever you need to bring inside with you. Will you have a railing?
Comment by Jennifer Sat Oct 21 11:12:45 2017

Jim --- Size structures at 4 feet, 8 feet, 16 feet, etc. long/wide/tall. That way you don't end up with any unusable scrap.

Mom and Daddy --- We splurged and did it all in treated wood just in case.

Eric --- Yep, I definitely miss those unenforced Virginia building codes.... :-)

WendP --- We designed our back stoop so that it can hopefully attach easily to a larger porch that will have a ramp on it. I figured that would be very handy for moving firewood up to the back door!

Jennifer --- Railing coming up in a later post. :-)

Comment by anna Sun Oct 22 14:32:12 2017

I like your rule. Here in Japan the standard 2x4 is 6', and the standard plywood is 3x6, so here we have to divide by 3. :)

Enjoy building your new homestead!

Eric in Japan

Comment by Eric in Japan Sun Oct 22 23:53:16 2017

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