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How to Measure for Deck Stairs

When you're determining how large a deck to build and planning your deck's dimensions, spend some time focusing on the steps. Measuring them are easy, but you must know how to apply those numbers. Follow these steps.

  1. Stay within the regulations for deck stairs. Stairs must be at least 36- inches wide, not including the handrails, and they must rise no higher than 12 feet. If you want your deck stairs to extend higher, you need at least one landing for every 12 vertical feet.

  2. Determine your dimensions. Your stairs should be no more than 7-inches high and be no narrower than 11-inches deep. Standard stairs are 6-inches high and 15-inches deep. This provides safe footing.

  3. Plan your railing and handrails. Reserve enough space on your stairs for your railings. Your handrail should be about 2-inches wide, so it easily can be gripped. According to regulations, your handrail should not be exposed.

  4. Make the landings for your deck stairs at least as wide as your stairs themselves. They should be at least 36-inches deep. Make a landing at the top and one at the bottom of every deck door.

  5. Divide the height of your deck by 6 inches. The result reveals how many steps you need to make.

  6. Multiply the number of steps you need by 15-inches per step, for the standard dimensions of a typical set of deck stairs.

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