Need modeler: Exterior Wooden Stairs in U.S., sketch started. I am the experienced builder w/details

I have attached my SketchUp for Web file and a 4-page PDF of a mix of the architect’s and my hand drawings. Let me know if PDF is a poor format to use here.

I need a modeler experienced with drawing exterior stairs, preferably U.S. based (all dimensions are U.S.). The SketchUp drawing attached is my start, and the critical dimensions are accurate. I need a pro to take it from here. You do NOT need to know Building Code. We will need to work together because the final drawing will differ from the current drawings, especially in the handrail design. Please PM me to discuss your rate or a bid, and be prepared to supply examples of your work.

Further explanation: My architect was inexpensive. I expected his drawings to need adjustments in the field, and that multiple things would not be able to be built as drawn. It was good enough to pass Planning and Plans Review. All hand written dimensions on drawings are accurate, and the pier footings are in. The handrail will be modified in a way that isn’t shown on any drawings yet.

Exterior Stairs 2020.skp (401.2 KB)
Exterior Stairs Drawings.pdf (88.7 KB)

Thank you,
Mike has SketchUp pros that can do that for you.

1 Like

DM sent!


You failed to mention why you wanted a SketchUp model of stairs you already have plans for. Regardless, stairs are almost always fun … so I went ahead and did a quick SketchUp model.

Here is a DropBox link to this SketchUp model.

The stringers are 2x12, the joists and ledger 2x8, the handrails 2x6, the rails 2x4, the balusters 2x2 … and the treads and landing 2x whatever. Both the landing posts and railing posts are 4x4. Seems like there are conflicting notes on size of the posts for the landings … 4x4 may be a bit light. (I would be inclined to use 6x6 … and add some braces.)

The elevation of the landings as shown in the plans was spot on for steps with 7" risers and 11" treads … with 1’ nose. But the location of the posts did not line up as nicely … so you may need to adjust the model a bit if it needs to align with the plans exactly.

I will send you a PM with my contact info if you want to talk about this model.


E. Godsey


@egodsey : Wow! I’m envious of your talent! But I’m also grateful that I haven’t put in the learning time that I’m sure you have, in order to produce such results as “fun”! I’m in awe of how you imported the architect’s plan view drawing into SketchUp and did your 3D modeling right on top!

So now I have some apologies to make, starting with you. On Saturday afternoon, I worked out an arrangement with another kind (and I believe talented) SketchUp forum member. He has taken my drawings and begun work. There was a HUGE amount of information that I failed to get into my forum post. I had scanned all of my paper drawings (both architectural and hand sketches of mine), which produced a 4-page PDF, not the 1-page doc I submitted. In the process of doing some file renaming and shuffling, I placed the wrong doc into my forum post! I’m attaching the 4-page PDF just so you can see how different reality has worked out compared to that one original plan view.
Exterior Stairs Drawings.pdf (247.6 KB)

And just as you suspected, reality needed a lot of adjustment. I poured the pier footings on the last available day last fall, after hurriedly making lots of changes to the drawings in the field. Yes, a 6x6 is needed for the one post that supports the corner of the entry platform (too tall for a 4x4), and that post (pier footing) was pushed farther from the house by an old brick wall along some cellar stairs that aren’t on the drawings. The landing platform posts and stair posts will be 4x4, and bracing will be added that doesn’t show on any drawing.

In my rush last fall, I didn’t take the time to get an accurate measurement of the distance from finish floor (2nd floor) to actual grade, so I poured the bottom set of piers too close to the landing. My lower flight will bolt to those posts and cantilever around 2 feet! Once the SketchUp model is done, I’ll let the local inspector decide if I have to dig and pour new piers to align with the bottom of the stairs.

The other thing that no drawings show is that the inspector said the handrails meet Residential code but not Commercial. The architect didn’t know that, and it passed Plans Review, but those railings will look very different - a guardrail at 42" with a handrail at 36" - that must have closed ends. Nothing for a firefighter to catch something on.

And that was a large part of my desire to get a SketchUp model to show him before we build it. He couldn’t give me a single example of a set of stairs in the city that had been built as he described. So I want to show him what I plan to do, and I want to see it myself before I order expensive premium grade lumber. :blush:

I’m going to send a PM to all who contacted me to announce that I’ve made an arrangement.