QUESTION: Hi Michael,

I have some stairs to construct: Total Run = 83" or 6'11"  Total Rise = 36.75"  I'm looking for stairs with somewhere between 7" Rise and 11" Run.
1. Minimum Tread Run = 10"
2. Minimum Rise = 4"/Maximum Rise = 7.75"
3. What is the correct number and dimensions of Risers?
4. What is the correct number and dimensions of Treads?


ANSWER: Hi Angel,
    I can help you with this, but first I need to know how you are calculating your total run. Do you mean that you only have room for a maximum of 83"?

    By the way, there is a great deck stair calculator, if that will help you, at:

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: No, Michael, the total run could be less than 83" or more than 83"

Ok, the thing is....if you already know your total run, then there would be nothing else to figure out. Your total run is simply determined by the number of steps you build.

So, anyway....I normally use two deck boards per tread, which makes an 11" tread depth. For a 36 3/4" height, I would do 5 steps (including the top) That would make each riser come in at just under 7 3/8". Or you could build six steps with a rise of slightly over 6 1/4" each.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Michael Romano


I can answer any questions relating to decks, porches, exterior stairs & railings, walkways, access ramps, pergolas, deck roofs, screen rooms, etc... These may include design ideas, footing to framing design & construction methods, various species of woods vs. composites & pvc/vinyl materials for decking, skirting, or railing applications. I also have expertise in various rain-free systems for under-deck storage & living spaces.


I have designed and built decks and many other types of outdoor structures for over 25 years for my own home improvement company. We also perform many other types of home improvements, including window & door installation, molding & trimwork, siding, basement finishing, siding, etc. Our main love however, is decks!

NADRA - The North American Deck and Railing Association. Several Small Business & Home Improvement Contractor Alliances & Associations.

I have written several articles over the years for,, and many other deck & construction related websites.

High School graduate. 2 years of Mechanical Drawing & Architecture classes. Vocational School graduate. 2 years of Construction Technology & Carpentry classes. Many years of reading, researching, and application in the real world.

Awards and Honors
I am certified by several decking manufacturers for expert application & installation of their products.

Past/Present Clients
Mainly local residential clients, and occasional commercial clients, including restaurants, nightclubs, office buildings, etc.

©2016 All rights reserved.