undefinedSeptember 23,2019

How To Build Deck Stairs: A Complete Step By Step Guide

The process of building steps for a deck is not the same process for inside staircases. When you are constructing stairs for the deck you find a unique set of challenges and face a different type of abuse. You also have to give extra time and pay extra effort for building decks with stairs. The decks with stairs have to endure the vivid swings in moisture content, the chances of freezing or thawing cycling, and UV rays from the sun per day. Therefore, you have to keep these challenges in mind while building steps for a deck. In this article, you will find out how to build steps for a deck and a few tricks regarding building steps for a deck.

How To Build Platform Steps For A Deck

Worrying about how to build outdoor stairs? Do not worry; there are few simple steps to create amazing decks with stairs. Though it may seem at first that building deck stairs is a complicated job but with the right guidance and little hard work, you can get it done. Wondering how to build deck stairs? Firstly you must take careful measurements for the task. It is important to know exactly how many stairs you are going to build right before starting the task.

Secondly, start framing out your deck. You can also choose to purchase stringers if you don’t want to build them. Stringers are the part of the stairs that the treads and risers will attach to. Finally, add the risers and the treads and you are done. Your deck stairs are ready and it is time to just sit back and enjoy the outdoor space of your home. 

Stairs with more steps will require railing for safety and decor. Open stairs rising over 30 inches need guards on any open sides above the point 30 inches high. However, make sure that you ask permission for the construction from the local authority while getting started on how to make steps for a deck.

How to Build Deck Stairs In Simple Steps- Calculating the Stair Measurements:

Before you get started on the job, you need to purchase all the raw materials. For less wastage, it is important to have accurate measurements. Know how to take steps for a deck by just following the below steps.

Check Building Codes:

how to build deck stairs


Here is a list of common building Codes for Deck Stairs- Stair treads 36 inches in width and 10 inches in height, stair risers: 7.75 inches or less. choose stringers with no notches either saw-toothed or stair-shaped cuts that are deeper than half the width of the board. Choose accurately else the stringer will be too weak.

Check if You can Use Pre-cut Stringers:

how to build deck stairs


It is the best option to use pre-cut stringers. You can easily avail of it from builder’s support stores as they are readily available in the standard size. Choose to make your stringers only when you need the stairway to be steeper.

  • Start by measuring the height of the stairway. Use the maximum space on the ground.
  • measure the height and length of the stringers you need and get them from the market. You can also customize the longer stringers according to your requirements.
  • For cutting a stringer to size, cut it at the bottom step so that is not as high as the others. The bottom steps can be much less high.

Choose a 40-Degree Slope for the Landing Zone of your Stairs:

how to build deck stairs


It is equally important to realize the position and the angle where your staircase will end and start. Draw a line from the edge of your deck down to the ground at a 40-degree angle while making a mark for a point at the end of the staircase. 

  • Make sure that the 40-degree slope starts at the bottom of the support beam where you are going to fix the stringers.

Place a Straight Board on the Deck:

Finally, position the board on the staircase and extend it so that it is directly above the bottom of the stairs that acts as a landing spot.

  • You can put board slopes upward toward the landing spot and level it with shims.
  • Measure the ground to the board and write down measurements for the material to be purchased.

Divide the Total Rise by Number 7 and Find the Total Number of Steps in the Deck:

how to build deck stairs


To make it simple, consider an example. If your total rise was 60 inches, divide that number by 7. You will get an answer of 8.57. Round up the number to get 9. Use 9 steps for the deck. Moreover, note down this number to use in your calculations during construction.

Divide the total rise by the approximate number of stairs to find the rise of each step. You must also use tread boards that are at least 36 inches long and 10 inches deep. These boards create the part of the stair that you step on.

Calculate the Length of the Stringers to Know the Length of the Staircase:

how to build deck stairs


You will find stringers either of saw-toothed or stair-shaped notches cut into boards. These broads run diagonally along the staircase. They prove very beneficial in supporting the staircase. All you need to do to find their length is add together the square of the run and the square of the rise. Find the square root of the answer and multiply it by the number of steps. You will find the actual length of the stringers you’ll need. 

For Example, for a tread that is 10 inches, square 10 by multiplying the number by 10. You will get 100. If your rise is 7 inches, square that number by multiplying it by itself to get 49. You must now add 100 to 49 You will get 149. Find the square root of 149. The answer will be 12.206. Finally, multiply your answer with the number of steps that you have to find the total length of your stringers.

How to Build Deck Stairs In Simple Steps- Finishing the Deck Stairs

Here are the steps to finish your deck stair construction.

Use a Drill to Screw Each Stringer to the Bottom:

how to build deck stairs


You have to place the top of the stringer on the bottom of the frame of the deck. Now, screw an L-bracket on each side of the stringer to connect it to your deck. Repeat the process for the connection of the second-stringer to the deck.

Cutting the Risers:

how to build deck stairs


Place a riser on the edges of the stringers facing out. Now take a ruler and pencil to mark cutting guidelines where you need to trim the riser. Take a saw and start cutting all risers according to their respective guidelines.

Attaching Deck Screws to the Riser:

how to build deck stairs


Place the risers on their respective positions on the stringers facing out from the staircase. Take a drill and drive the 7.6 cm deck screws through the risers and into the edge of stringers. For complete security, you should put at least two deck screws. Also, be careful while drilling because if you drill too far it can make crakes. 

Do the Trimming of the Treads and Drill Them onto the Stringers:

how to build deck stairs


When you are done attaching the risers, take 1.5 by 10 inches tread boards and cut them to 36 inches in length. Choose 3 inches deck screws to attach the treads to the stringers. You can do it by drilling through the tread boards. Do it at the edges of the stringers, it is the point where they connect. Moreover, you must use at least 2 deck screws to attach these tread boards but make sure that none of the screws are sticking out of the wood.

how to build deck stair


Points You Should Consider

Now you know how to build deck stairs with a landing, here are some important things you should remember while building steps for a deck:

Make A Big Deck

While building deck stairs, make sure that your deck complements your home. Make as large a deck that fits in your budget and it also depends on the available space you have. Large decks are very helpful and attractive.

Consider Your Lifestyle

You should always consider your and your family’s lifestyle before designing a deck with stairs. If you have plenty of space and you like to organize different events with your family, you should make a multi-tiered deck with separate elevations. In case you have a smaller backyard and organize smaller intimate gatherings, one level with a built-in bench seat will be ideal.

Include Deck Lighting

Concentrating only on how to make deck stairs will take your mind off from including lighting in your deck. When you add lighting, it improves the usability, ambiance, security, and safety of the deck.


With this article, you know how to build deck stairs with a landing. While building steps for a deck you have to consider many points such as usage of the deck, the weather of the area, and many more things. Take your time while designing your deck and its stairs.

For more information on home improvement, visit HouseDecorationTip.



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