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Closed Stair Risers

Most high-end deck projects use closed risers to finish the stairs. Open risers sometimes appear cheap and unfinished. They also are often in violation of IRC code for decks over 30", which maintains that they meet the same requirements as guardrail infill. Stair risers may not have openings present that would allow a 4” diameter sphere to pass through. Most risers are made from deck boards or fascia material. Make sure the material is heavy duty enough to resist feet kicking the risers. If you are using 1x material, you may want to install blocking behind the riser board for added strength. Low-voltage lights can be installed into the riser boards in order to meet the IRC code for stair illumination. Most deck stairs use a nosed tread that extends beyond the riser board, which looks attractive and protects it from being kicked loose from above.


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Explore Articles by Topic

Create a free account and get instant & exclusive access to all that Decks.com has to offer:

Checkmark 1,000+ How-To articles
Checkmark 80+ Free Deck Plans
Checkmark Deck Planning Calculators
Checkmark Free & Simple Deck Design Tool
Staircases

Closed Stair Risers

Most high-end deck projects use closed risers to finish the stairs. Open risers sometimes appear cheap and unfinished. They also are often in violation of IRC code for decks over 30", which maintains that they meet the same requirements as guardrail infill. Stair risers may not have openings present that would allow a 4” diameter sphere to pass through. Most risers are made from deck boards or fascia material. Make sure the material is heavy duty enough to resist feet kicking the risers. If you are using 1x material, you may want to install blocking behind the riser board for added strength. Low-voltage lights can be installed into the riser boards in order to meet the IRC code for stair illumination. Most deck stairs use a nosed tread that extends beyond the riser board, which looks attractive and protects it from being kicked loose from above.


Popular Stairs Articles
Staircases

How to Build Box Steps for Your Deck

Learn how to build a set of box platforms to act as stairs for a low deck. You don't need to cut stair stringers.

Staircases

Support Long Stringers

Long stair stringers may need extra support from installing a brace at mid-span.

Staircases

Cutting Stair Stringers

Step-by-step instructions for cutting your 2x12 deck stair stringers with a circular saw.

Next Step: Railings Articles
Deck Railing Types

Glass Rails

Installing glass rails will usually require you to build the rail frame first and take precise measurements to custom order the tempered safety glass...

Railing Codes

Installing Deck Stair Railings

Step-by-step instructions for how to install deck stair railings. Learn about the code requirements and construction tips with images.

Deck Railing Types

Low-Maintenance Composite Deck Railing Options

Composite railing systems offer a low-maintenance alternative to traditional wood railings. Learn why composite is the best railing system at Decks.com.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic