Stair treads that are 14 inches wide make a graceful transition to the lawn and provide comfortable places for people to sit and relax. For this DIY deck project, you'll need a handful of tools, plus the ability to calculate rise and run for a stairway, use a circular saw, and fasten nails or screws.
For this project, stringers are attached to a crossbrace at the top and a toe-kick at the bottom. The landing is made of concrete pavers set in a sand bed. Stairs with 14-inch runs (tread widths) should have rises of between 5-1/2 and 6-1/2 inches. The wider the treads, the more total run the stringers have to span. When you notch stringers, you weaken them. After the notches are cut out of these 2x12 stringers, about 5-1/2 inches of uncut width is left for strength—in other words, the stringers are as strong as 2x6s. These stringers have to span a distance of about 9 feet, which is close to the limit for a 2x6 joist. For extra strength, we added 2x4 cleats.
Before you begin building deck stairs, grab a helper. You will need two people and a few days to assemble the project, depending on the scale of your deck.