What You Need To Know About Deck Stairs?

Step with outer corner on the terrace from the deck

Deck stairs are an important part of your deck, but they can be difficult to plan and build. Deck stairs must meet code, which means that building them from scratch may not be the best option. The easiest way to make sure you have safe and legal deck stairs is by using pre-built steps. These steps come in a variety of styles – including wide or narrow treads, straight or curved risers, and different railing heights – so it’s easy to find the perfect step for your project!

The steps not only have different heights, they also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are wide or narrow treads with straight risers as well curved ones; the railing height depends on your needs too!

The measurement of a stairway is the distance from one landing to another, and stairs are measured in their “rise” (vertical height) multiplied by how many steps descend into it; this produces your “total rise.”

Here’s what you need to look for when deciding which step is best:

Tread depth

– This should be equal on all the steps

Riser height

– The risers should be proportionate to each other. Generally, one tread is as high or higher than a single step (about two inches). However if you need stairs with easy access for children and pets make sure there are at least three risers in between them so they can climb up.

– Risers should be at least seven inches high and not more than nine-inches tall so that people can easily step onto them from a lower tread or stair, while still being able to see over their heads when they are climbing up (or down). Also make sure there is no obstruction on the edge of a riser that would make it difficult to step up or off.

Width of stairs

– The wider the steps, typically one can climb up or down them in a single stride – this is good for those with limited mobility issues and also makes it easier to walk side-by end on narrow staircases like spiral ones that are often found leading from an attic bedroom into other rooms below if you don’t want to go through the main house.

Height of railing

– This should be at least 36 inches high and have a balustrade that is no more than four-inches wide (to prevent tripping). In addition, there must also not protrude past any treads or risers, which would make it hazardous for those walking on the stairs below.

Tread depth

– Treads should be at least 11 inches deep and no more than 12-inches, so you can comfortably walk on them without feeling like your foot is hanging over an open space (or too high). Make sure there are not any obstructions on the edge of a tread that would make it difficult to step down or off.

Railing height

– While walking up and downstairs, you should be able to stop at any point along your path without feeling unsupported by an overhand railing (or not having one there). The railings need only provide support as long they are within the arc of your reach. When using pre-built stairs, they need to be a minimum height and width which varies by code regulations (usually 36 inches wide).

Rise length

– The rise is how much vertical distance you travel with each step up or down in elevation; it should not exceed more than seven steps without having another landing pad.


– Rails are necessary if there is no landing pad or an obstruction on one side that would make stepping off difficult; they must be securely attached to a post, column wall etc.. Rails should not exceed more than 36 inches in height from deck surface (unless it’s higher by building codes).

– The railing may also need railings for safety reasons like stairs leading down but this depends on how high/heavy someone might find themselves as well what kind of obstacles exist along edges where people walk – then rails will have top added support via posts with horizontal members connecting them together “ladders”. They can vary anywhere between 18-24″ apart vertically depending upon use case needs so these two types typically complement each other.

Like any other structure on an incline where someone might be walking or climbing – deck railings need sturdy posts at both ends that extend out past its edge with horizontal members connecting them together/ then rails can vary anywhere between 18-24″ apart vertically depending upon use case needs so these two types typically complement each other’s measurements for safety reasons like preventing falls etc…

For example if you have enough room but not sure about code compliance go-ahead measure all parts using tape measures: count number vertical steps and estimate height of each step using a foot or meter measure for its length, then multiply these two numbers together to get the total rise.

Another example: if you have 12 steps that are 24 inches high – your deck stairway would be about 36″ tall (12 x24=288).

If it’s an exterior stairs they need more than one handrail per flight. For interior use there is usually only needed at least 18″. These rails should also meet the code so check with the local building inspector before installing any custom railings.

Caution With Electricity With New Posts

As in all DIY projects involving electricity always make sure power has been turned off! Turn on circuit breaker/breaker box nearby while working near electrical boxes which can easily give shock & death under extreme circumstances such as if the hand is in contact with both live wire and earth ground.

Carefully remove old wiring, copper pipes or other materials from the area where you want to install new railing posts so they are not damaged by hammering (always wear protective gloves).

The location of these post should be carefully measured as a deck’s stairway has specific guidelines for safe construction: at least 36 inches high & 12″ wide landing pad; tread depth must exceed rise height – otherwise it will be a tripping hazard! For example, if your stairs were 24” tall then ideally each step on that flight would need about 32″ deep walk space but no more than 34″. This means there needs to be two stringer boards per set since one board won’t span over this distance.

Mark the location of each post with stakes; dig a hole at least 12″ deep and 24” wide for posts. Anchor one end to prevent it from shifting below ground level, then use concrete or pressure-treated lumber (if available) as your reinforcement material when you pour & cure into place – this will help hold up against rot over time! When installing railing brackets onto these new railings supports be sure they are not more than 36 inches apart otherwise their weight may cause them to bow outward under load which could lead to wobbling in windy conditions.

When measuring where stairs have been built before: measure that height by standing on top stair step while holding tape extended towards floor so its bottom edge is just touching base of high-point stair step.

If top or bottom stairs are noticeably different in height from other steps: use a level to make sure the landing pad is flat, then add 45mm (approx two inches) of concrete under higher end and lower that side down as evenly possible so it matches with rest When installing prebuilt deck railings on these new rails be careful not too install them more than 36″ apart otherwise their weight may cause instability over time due wobbling during windy conditions!

Measure where existing railing has been installed by standing at the base while holding tape measure vertically just touching floor & extending up towards highest point without leaning forward—measure this distance after walking onto each consecutive ramp section until you reach the top.

Then divide this distance by 36″ to get how many inches the railing should be from each other for balance and stability of deck over time (max is about 48″).

Measure where existing railings have been installed in same way as described above, & then mark a line on new rails with pencil or marker–this will help make sure you don’t end up installing them too far apart later when your laying down concrete! Start at base taking measurement vertically just touching floor extending straight upwards without leaning forward-then move onto next section marking it again so that all measurements are consistent throughout installation process.* 39″” point: When measuring out between two posts measure 18″ evenly distributed below height level; To ensure safety you want space between posts of 24″ or more, which is better than 18″.

When measuring a landing pad take the measurement off floor at base touching wall. Extend it straight up without leaning forward-then measure top point.* The bottom and back railings should be from each other for balance (max about 48″). If you are using prebuilt stairs they might not meet code so first learn parts: Landing pads; Stairs & their railing must comply with codes designed to keep them firm/safe by making sure steps have equal rise height&equal tread depth on all stair sections including end risers as well.”

If there are any obstructions on an outside edge that would make stepping off difficult then they need some kind railing added for safety reasons; this also applies if someone were standing at one side waiting/watching while somebody else was walking downstairs – having no railings could lead them both falling!. There needs only support as long its within reach but rails must meet minimum requirements per building codes which vary based upon height and weight of the user.

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