When we bought our house, we were lucky enough to have a hot tub come with it. Both K and I love hot tubs, but it wasn’t high on our list of things to come with the house, or to have added to the house that we bought. With that bonus of it coming with our house, we are now hooked on our hot tub. Building a back-yard oasis for ourselves, we spend a lot of time outside, so in the less pleasant weather, we can still sit in the tub nestled under our deck and enjoy the sounds of the yard, while relaxing in the luxurious warmth of the tub. Many a morning we have enjoyed the colourful sunrises over the mountains across the valley, or listened as the birds chirp in our cedar hedge during a rainstorm. It also comes in handy when we need to soak our aching muscles after a long day of hauling rocks in the yard.
The dogs will quite often come and sit on the stairs beside the tub to chill and enjoy the shelter under the deck. Neither like rain much, so they prefer to stay somewhere it is dry…unless there is something exciting to smell or chase in the yard. Prior to getting Basil, Ellie would perch on the top step while K and I relaxed. The only problem, is the steps were rounded and she didn’t have a lot of space. This last winter, the steps started to break in un-repairable ways, so I knew it was time to replace them.
Knowing that the dogs like to come and chill, I wanted to make the stairs a little larger to accommodate both of them coming up for a visit. I decided to make the bottom step 48′ x 29.5″ and the top step 30″ x 17.5″. This also allows us to get out of the tub easier when both dogs are refusing to move out of the way.
I used 2×6 to build a nice solid frame, including a brace through the middle of the bottom step to provide additional support for the top step. I used 1×3 for the slats and provided approx. 1/4″ between each slat to allow for water to drain off.
I got to use my new router table to round the edges of all of the slats.
And I decided to stain everything before assembling to ensure every inch of each board had a good base stain on it. With it constantly getting wet, I wanted to make sure it had a water resistant stain to help keep the boards in good condition.
Once assembled I gave the stairs a few more coats of stain for good measure.
They turned out great, and both the dogs as well as K & I have been enjoying the sturdy new stairs. No more almost splits to get out of the tub, and no more tiny perch for the dogs to come and chill with us.