How Wide Should Deck Stairs Be?

Building a new house is very fulfilling but designing it can sometimes be frustrating, especially when it comes to smaller details. If you want to have deck stairs in your house, it is important to know its measurement. So, what should your deck stairs' width be? We have researched this question to bring you an answer.

Although you can have any size of deck stairs of your preference, it is advisable that deck stairs should be at least 36 inches wide. This is the ideal width size for any deck stairs for an easy and safe stairway.

Deciding and planning on the details of your home is not an easy task. In this post, we will discuss the correct sizes you need to consider before putting up your deck stairs. We will also answer some frequently asked questions. Keep reading!

Deck Stair Width

New Composite Wood Front Porch and Stairs - How Wide Should Deck Stairs Be

Building stairs should have careful planning to achieve equal stair sizes that are safe for your house. If you plan on putting a deck stair that will connect your deck and your yard, you need to ensure that the width size is correct. It may seem to be a little detail to the house but having the right measurements will provide ease for your family.

Although the decision on what size you want to use solely depends on your preference, the advisable deck stair width should not be less than 36 inches or 3 feet wide. This is the minimum width requirement for your deck stair or you can also make it wider. This will not only provide a safe stairway to your home but also a comfortable and traffic-free staircase that you can use for many years.

Deck Stair Tread Depth

Another measurement consideration is the depth of a deck stair tread. The depth requirement should be not less than 9 inches deep. Better Homes And Gardens suggests that your deck stair tread should be 14 inches deep. This is to have a more comfortable place to relax.

Deck Stair Riser Height

The deck stair rise is also an important consideration when building a deck stair. A stair rise refers to the vertical distance between the top of one tread and the top of the following tread. It is ideal to have your stair rise with a height of 7-8 inches.

Following the recommended height will help you reduce the possibility of falling and tripping on the stairs. Make sure that all the stairs are in accurate and consistent measurement so that there will be no accidents.

How To Build Deck Stairs?

Stair stringers made from pressure treated wood being temporarily positioned during backyard deck construction.

After knowing all the measurement considerations of a deck stair, you are now ready to build your own. Doing it by yourself or with a help of a person who knows construction will help you save more money than hiring a professional to do it for you.

Before proceeding to the steps, you need to prepare first all the materials needed. The material will still depend on how big your deck is and the deck stairs you want.

Steps In Building A Deck Stair

Close-up of worker using drill to install new porch decking, Worker Installing Composite Wood Decking

After preparing all the materials needed, you are now ready to take on the steps in building your very own deck stair. Here are the steps you can follow:

1. Know The Deck Stair Measurements That Are Compatible With Your Deck

Not all decks in every house are created equal. That is why the decision on how big your deck stair will occupy should still depend on your preference. However, make sure that you follow the guidelines or the proper recommended measurements for a deck stair.

To do this, you can just put a board from the top of your deck to the ground. This will determine how high you can put a deck stair.

2. Determine The Number Of Tread And Risers

While following the ideal measurements of treads and risers, you are now ready to calculate how many treads and risers your deck stair should have. You need this to make sure that the steps are equal.

3. Layout The Stairs And Do A Test Fit

This step is very important to do before assembling the stairs so you will know whether or not you need to make some adjustments to the project. You can start the layout by marking the outside part of the board until you meet the top and bottom of your desired deck stair. Then, you can do a test fit to make sure the measurements are correct before cutting. You can do this by placing the board against the deck down to the bottom.

4. Cut The Notches And Assemble The Deck Stair

This time, you need to proceed to cut the stringer's notches. You can use a circular saw in cutting and preparing them for assembly.

The next step is to assemble and install the deck stair. Screw the stair stringer onto the bottom of the frame. Then cut the riser to fit the stringer. Repeat the process until all the risers are of the same size.

5. Add A Handrail

It is important to install a handrail when making a deck stair. This is not only for aesthetic purposes but also to keep the family safe and away from danger.

If you're planning to have a pre-made handrail, make sure to have the right measurements on your deck stair. You can also do it on your own, but you need to follow the suggested measurement for a handrail.

Read this article "What Height Should Handrail Be On Stairs?" to learn more about the proper measurement of a handrail and other things to consider in putting some.

Do Deck Stairs Have To Land On Concrete?

Charming newly renovated home exterior with mixed siding, Charming newly renovated home exterior, natural wood siding and grey siding create a beautiful curb appeal. Detail view of a nice walk out deck with wooden handrails.

In most cases, homeowners prefer to have their deck stairs land on concrete to prevent the stringer from rotting. Although this is possible, the base of your deck stairs doesn't need to stay on concrete. They can land on concrete, but it is not a requirement.

However, if your deck stairs are landing in a yard, you need to put on some paver blocks to have drainage for water. If the water stays on the base of the deck stair, it will only cause it to rot. And we don't want this to happen.

Does The Landing Count As Step?

One step in installing a deck stair is to know how many treads and risers you need on a certain project. This also includes the number of steps. However, many homeowners are confused as to whether they need to count the landing as a step.

Basically, a landing should be counted as a step. Every time you raise your leg upward from one level to another is a step. So next time you count the number of steps in your deck stair, be sure to count the landing.

How Far Apart Should Stair Stringers Be?

One of the factors that contribute to the durability of a deck stair is the distance between the stair stringers. They are the support system of the stair which will hold the steps when installed.

When installing a stair stringer, make sure that you carefully plan its sizing and distance. For maximum stair support, your stair stringer distance should be no more than 36 inches apart. The nearer they are to each other, the higher the chance that it can support your steps.

If you have a wider staircase, you need to add more stringer. Do not attempt to distance them more than the maximum distance only to save money because if they fall because of their low durability, then it will be more costly to renovate.

How Many Steps Can You Have On A Deck Without Railing?

Front view of modern beach house exterior in New Zealand

Putting a deck stair railing promotes safety for the family especially when you're living with elders. The railings will help them to hold when going up the stairs.

According to most building codes, it is recommended to put railings on any stairs that are located outside especially if the deck is 30 inches higher off the ground. If it is below 30 inches, a railing is not required but is beneficial for safety purposes. You can install a handrail or a stair rail where it is necessary. Moreover, you can also use non-slip tape to ensure that no one will slip on the stair if ever it rains.

Click here to see this anti-slip tape for stairs on Amazon

In Conclusion

New Composite Wood Front Porch and Stairs

An ideal staircase design should feel comfortable to walk up, and that means having the correct measurements. Following all the recommended sizes will help you reduce accidents on the stairs and make your deck a more comfortable space.

If you find this article helpful, be sure to check out these other posts that may interest you:

Should A Wood Deck Be Sloped?

Do Decks Have To Be Attached To The House?

One comment

  1. I realized that designing and building a home requires compromise and careful planning. It’s not just about what looks good, but also what is safe and functional for everyday use.

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