Your deck stairs are custom designed to suit your properties exterior grade, current decking system, building aesthetics as well as your personal budgets. Stairs can be made with various designs including, platformed, straight, spiral and more. Vinyl, wood, aluminum and composite materials can all be used to craft stairs that are both durable and attractive. There are many parts of custom staircases that can be customised to suit your preferences. Understating each of these deck stair components can help keep you informed during the design and installation processes as well as can spark a variety of deck stair design ideas.

Tread & Riser

The tread is the portion of a stair that is stepped on. Deck stair treads need to be aesthetic while promoting safe usage. This can be done with vinyl and lacquer coverings that decrease splinters and heat absorption while improving the grip felt on each tread piece. Tread depth is the distance from the outer edge of the tread piece the interior riser. Tread width is the distance from each horizontal tread edge. Stair risers are the vertical portions of the step that attach each piece of tread. In a stringer or open stair design, there are no rise pieces, which provides a floating appearance for the stairs. Collectively, the tread and riser in a staircase are referred to as a single ÒstepÓ.


The portion of individual treads that protrude of each vertical rises beneath are referred to as the tread ÒnoseÓ or ÒnosingÓ. A large tread nose can promote a more luxurious feel and can be ideal for distinguishing between the tread and riser materials and colours. A flush nose can look more modern, simple and sleek.

Starting Step or Bullnose

The step that faces the ground is commonly called the bullnose. These steps can open wider and can offer a larger nosepiece. Wider bullnoses not only look more upscale, they also provide more stable hand railing base. Stringer style stairs do not commonly utilise larger starter steps.

Stringer, Stringer Board or String

These pieces run along the base of the risers and treads, providing structural support. Stringer boards are often on both sides of the staircase on closed-systems. While on open-system or stringer style stairs, a single stringer board tends to run along the centre of the staircaseÕs base.


Winders are found on all staircases that are not either straight or that do not offer a platformed L-shape design. Winders are stairs that have smaller treads. These are used to initiate curvature in a bending staircase. A spiral staircase actually utilises solely winder steps. Even steps that turn at a 90-degree ÒLÓ shape may need winder steps if the run does not use a platform or landing. These 90-degree winder systems are commonly crafted from three angled steps and the middle is referred to as a Òkite winderÓ, for its classic kite-shaped appearance.


Any safe and complete deck staircase will include a well-constructed handrail. A handrail can help complete a stair design as well as help make stairs more usable and deplete the chances of falling off the stairs. Handrails can be made of the same of very different materials than your stairs. The top part of a handrail is called a bannister. The pieces inside the rail are called pickets or posts. The deck railings is a key portion of any deck stair system.