Tips to design deck stairs

Usually deck stairs are structures built outdoor that are attached to a building, such as the house. They are raised from the ground and have the same purpose as a floor. If you want to build deck stairs, but you do not know how to do it, read the following article to discover different designs and steps that could help you.

Deck stairs must have a nice and attractive design, but also should provide safety. When building deck stairs make sure that they are both well designed and that they are constructed in accordance to your requirements. There are several materials you can use to build deck stairs such as virgin vinyl, solid wood, recycled plastic or steel. You can also use a mixture of plastic resin, forged iron or aluminum and wood fibers to build your stairs. Stairs made of solid wood are the most popular. Besides that, wooden deck stairs are quite easy to construct.

 How to do it

The first thing you should take into account when building deck stairs is the law, which imposes rules about the place where you can build them, their dimension and the like.

 Calculate the dimension of the rise and run of steps

Determine the height from the ground to the deck and divide it with 7, 5 inches to find out the number of steps you have to build. Each sep run must be at least 12 inches. The staircase’s slop must be about 40 degrees from the ground.

Make a concrete footer

After you finish with your calculations, you have to mark the place where the staircase and the ground will meet. Make a six inches deep square hole and get rid of any grass and dirt from it. Add two inches of pea gravel into the hole and use a tamper to level it. Fill the entire hole with fast-drying cement. Again, use a trowel to level it.


Make the stringer using a board measuring 2×12 inches. Mark the sections that need to be cut off to create the stringer using a framing square when you put the stringer in place make sure that it marks the run of 12 inches and the rise of 7.5 inches for each step. Use a zigzag pattern when placing the stringer. After you have marked the return lines, cut them with a circular saw. Use a hand saw for a beautiful finishing. Follow this step to build another stringer.

 Fix the stringer in place

When putting he stringer in place make sure that it touches both the concrete footer and the deck. Make sure that it is placed correctly with the help of a plumb and a level. Connect the stringer to the deck with angle brackets and galvanized deck screws measuring three inches. Connect these two parallel stringers at the base. To do that, put a board measuring 2×6 in between them and attach them with galvanized deck screws measuring three inches. Use masonry anchors to connect the board with concrete.

 The treads

To build the tread you need two boards measuring 2×6 inches. When you cut the tread leave a length measuring one inch for each side of the stringer. Place one tread on the stringer and press it until it touches he back end. Use two deck screws measuring three inches to fix it in place. Do not forget to keep one inch distance on each side. Put the second tread in place and leave ¼-inch gap between the firs and the second board. Keep doing this until you finish.

 The railings

Take two 4×4 inch posts and cut two sections measuring 30 inches each. In order to allow the post to be connected with the stringer properly, cut out a small portion at the lowest part of the tread notch from the front sides. Use 4-inch deck screws to attach post to the stringer. Now, it is time to build the railings. To do that you have to cut 2×4 railings having the same length as the distance between the deck railing and the lower post. Fix the railing to the post using 3-inch deck screws. Make sure that the slope and the railing are parallel. All you have to do now is to place a baluster for each step. Between each baluster, there should be no more than six inches.

Following these steps, you can build your deck stairs very easily. In addition, you can modify the run of the steps, the height of the railing and choose different designs or each element of the deck staircase in accordance to your requirements and tastes. Adding lamp at the lower post will illuminate your stairs, making them look more interesting and beautiful. If you have a small place, you can build spiral deck stairs. Good luck!

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