Patio Stairs – how to add stylish and unique yet safe and functional accessories to your deck.
Just like various homes in Colorado, decks come in numerous styles and designs. Some of them may really need patio stairs as an inevitable functional element due to the landscape and property peculiarities. However, often wooden stairs are more of stylish deck accessories.
Anyway, the safety and functionality of your outdoor space should come first. Too steep or unbalanced, wooden deck stairs may become a serious safety hazard for you and your family, even if they are more of a design element on your deck.
In this article, we shall explain how stairs can be a trendy deck accessory, a safe and functional feature of your outdoor space, and even an additional seating area once you hold a family gathering or neighborhood party in your backyard.
Patio Stairs – the size matters
Any step, whether we are talking about indoor staircase or outdoor wooden stairs, consists of 2 parts:
• Stringer – outside frame;
• Tread – top of the step;
• Riser – the front vertical surface of the step.
Once we talk about outdoor deck steps, their framing is typically made from treated lumber. Traditional open deck steps usually come with diagonal stringers. But if you are looking for an original oversized design that can be used as additional seating is also, you may want to consider a box frame to build your deck stairs. In this case, stairs don’t only hold their primary purpose – to ease access to the deck from the ground level but also become a trendy deck accessory.
Height or depth – which is more important?
To measure a perfect height-with ratio for outdoor deck steps, professionals use the “thumb rule”. The combination of height and depth of the step should be closest to a total of 18 inches.
For example, a 10-inch deep and 8-inch high step of patio stairs is perfect and safe. Most people won’t` trip on such outdoor stairs under normal circumstances.
This rule remains true even if you are aiming at a unique and original design of your outdoor deck stairs. For example, once you build oversized stairs and decide to make your treat 12 inches deep to provide an additional sitting feature on your deck or a place for deck accessories like flower pots, lighting, and more, make sure that the riser remains around 6 inches. Otherwise, your outdoor stars will hold a severe tripping threat.
The perfect width of outdoor deck stairs
To determine the perfect width of your patio stairs, consider the following things:
• How many people will spend time simultaneously at your deck, and what will they do there;
• Do you see the deck steps only as a means to go up and down or want to use it as an additional space for deck accessories, sit on them or even turn them into a sunbathing area?
The standard width of stairs, whether indoor or outdoor is about 25 inches – it is the space that allows two people to pass the stairs freely without the danger of bumping into each other. Once you are aiming at oversized deck stairs, it is essential to consider proportions. In this case, you may want to go over 36 inches.
If you have more than three steps at your patio stairs, don’t make them any wider than 6 feet. Most probably, in this case, you will have to install a rail down the center due to safety requirements.
A steady and safe construction of outdoor wooden stairs
The construction of outdoor wooden stairs consists of rectangular limber frames for each step. The size of the bottom frame is the result of the addition of all steps` width combined.
In this case, the construction will be steady and safe whether you are going for a standard project or have something unique and original on your mind. Although the calculations here are not rocket science, it is always better to address a professional once you decide to add wooden stairs to your deck. In this case, you are guaranteed a quality and balanced structure that will serve you and your family for many years.
Adding several steps to your deck is not just a means to make access to your outdoor area safer but also a trendy deck accessory that instantly makes the overall area look welcoming and neat. Stairs can become an additional seating feature for a big company or an auditorium once you decide to arrange a home theatre or game night. Those stairs will look great with potted plants, solar lighting, and other trendy deck accessories.
Any way you look at it, outdoor wooden stairs are a great solution and additional investment into your Colorado property. However, it is always important to put safety before the design and consider all the measurements, materials, and restrictions before you make the final decision on your patio stairs.