Varying tread run along a two step change in deck level

by Thomas Hardy
(University City, Missouri, USA)

I am designing a deck for our back yard and would like to avoid railings as much as possible to avoid obstructing the view from the deck.

With a total rise that would entail six risers, I have decided on three levels, each with a two step change in level thus avoiding code that requires railing for level changes of more than two steps.

Now, things get complicated. I would like to vary the length of run over the single tread that separates the two levels. Is this legal? Thanks for any help that you can lend me.



Editor's Comments

Your idea of changing the tread run or width sounds great.

Just one thing to start off however and I have to double check but my recollection was that at least one stair rail is required when there are four rises, not two.

But that is a minor point and just for the benefit of readers to this post to double check whether it is two or four treads.

The thing is you are on the right track.

By staging the stairs down in more or less sequential levels you can really open up that deck and make something very visually appealing.

There are maximum rise and minimum tread widths. I do not believe there are any minimums that apply in the situation you are describing.

How large are the surfaces between each set of two rises? That would help provide a clearer idea of what you are up to.

But if there is any builder reading this who has recent personal experience and differs on this then please add your comments to help develop this topic more.

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