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The Mistake I Made Installing Pressure-Treated Timber Stairs

Math Errors

So I've talked to you in the past about some of the difficulties and challenges of building stairs. They're not easy. From a mathematical standpoint, it works out just like rise over run. You look at the hillside behind me and you say, "OK let's say we've got 15feet of height differential.  We've got a 6-inch stair, so that's going to equal 30stairs." Then we figure that at the depth 12 inches per stair, you're going to have about 30 feet. You measure, "do we have 30 feet?" And it all works out on paper. But when you get out in construction, sometimes things go wrong.  So, today I want to show you something that didn't go right that we're about to fix and what happened and how it could have been prevented. Right here we started building the stairs as we normally do. And the one thing I want to point out is these for 7 or 8 stairs look fantastic from an aesthetic standpoint.  They're solid and they're strong.  The problem is that they're too deep....

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How to Backfill a Timber Retaining Wall

57 Stone

Today I do not want to talk to you about dirt. I want to talk to you about this stuff: 57-stone. This is a course stone about 3/4 - 1" and it's great for drainage.  We're building a paver patio that's going to extend off of the house to just a portion underneath this deck. So, what's important here is this wall’s pretty short. It's about 3 ½ ft tall at its highest point, so you might be tempted to try to get away without drainage. We've seen a lot of jobs where contractors will just backfill with dirt only.

I do not recommend in any situation but specifically where water is going to be sloping down and has a potential to seep in behind this wall. What we've done here is we've put in a boat load of this 57-stone instead of using dirt.  In a normal drainage system, you're going to have about 12 inches of dirt that you're going to wrap in a fabric and allow that to create a separation between your gravel and your dirt.

So eventually they don't combine....

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