How Much Does it Cost to Build Deck Stairs?
$440 – $1,350
The cost to have deck stairs professionally installed is $440 to $1,350 for a set of three to nine stairs with or without railing. This comes to about $115 to $210 per stair based on the materials used and cost factors discussed below.
Average Cost of Deck Stairs Installation
The most common cost of wood deck stairs is $115 to $210 per stair when professionally installed, or $440 to $1,350 for the most common deck stair projects.
When decorative aluminum stringers or fiberglass or composite treads are used on decks, cost rises closer to $170 to $250 per stair.
Railing costs are discussed in the Costimates Deck Railing Cost Guide. Wood railing starts at about $30 per linear foot. The How Much website suggests that railings account for about 33% of the total cost, if they’re included, and our research shows that to be pretty accurate. Cost goes up significantly for cable and glass railing.
Last Updated: Thursday, October 15, 2020
Overview of Deck Stair Installation Cost
Deck repair cost is mostly based on materials, number of steps/stairs, and who does the work.
If you are planning a new deck, it will be helpful to know the cost of deck stairs – they cost more for the space they take up than the cost of the deck itself. This is due to the labor-intensive nature of installing stairs on decks.
If you’re tackling your outdoors projects, then perhaps deck repair caused by rotten wood treads or stringers are high on the list. This guide includes pricing for new stairs and repair costs that include removing old deck stairs and replacing them.
How much does it cost to build deck stairs? There are quite a few cost factors discussed shortly that affect pricing. In addition to the factors, you will find a list of retail prices that will help you put together your DIY budget or to understand the material side of a professional deck stairs cost estimate.
Note: When this deck stairs cost guide talks about “stairs,” it refers to the combination of stringers (stair sides) and treads.
Product and Installation Supplies Cost Details
Deck Stair Cost Factors
Deck stairs cost between $380 for three to six wood steps and more than $1,000 when more steps are required or costlier materials are used.
Inch Calculator puts the cost range at $1,000 to $2,000 with an average cost of $1,500, but frankly, it is easy to show why this cost range is too high and a little bit arbitrary for all but the most costly projects. Materials and labor estimates for most deck stair repair and replace jobs come in quite a bit lower.
Here are deck stair price factors related to materials and to installation labor.
- Stringer Material – Stringers are the staircase sides. Pressure treated stringers are the most affordable. Cost goes up a little with Douglas fir and cedar. Aluminum stringers add style at a cost two to five times higher than various wood types.
- Tread Material – Most wood deck stairs are built with wood stringers and treads. You’ve got several wood tread options, as with stringers, and cost varies just a little bit. When you consider fiberglass and composite treads, cost rises. Detailed prices are listed next.
- The Number of Steps – Whatever material you choose, the more steps there are, the higher your material and labor cost will be. However, cost per stair sometimes goes down a little as the number of stairs goes up. This is because the crew is already onsite, and the contractor’s travel and overhead expenses are spread over a greater number of stairs.
- Tread Width – This is a minor cost factor. Deck stair width must be at least 36 inches to meet code. Widths up to 48 inches are common too. Wider stairs give you convenience at little extra cost, so are worth considering if room allows.
- Who Does the Work – Obviously the biggest installation cost factor is whether you install the stairs or you hire a contractor. If you’re handy, consider DIY. With prefab wood and aluminum stringers and treads that are easy to cut and fasten to stringers, the work really isn’t that hard. See the DIY or Not section below for a few more details.
- Staircase Design – Most deck stairs are straight. Perhaps your yard’s landscape lends itself to a turn in a longer staircase, maybe with a landing and a bench. These features will raise both material and labor cost but might also add style and utility to your deck.
- Wood Repairs – When deck repair for rotten wood or other repair costs are part of the project, cost might be higher.
- Time of Year – Deck repair and deck stair installation costs are higher from mid-spring to late fall, depending on your climate, than when decks are used less often in cold weather.
- Where You Live – Deck repair, repair costs and deck stair cost varies with the cost of living where you live. Costs are higher on the Coasts and Northwest/Northeast parts of the country than they are in large cities in other regions and rural sections of the country.
Cost of Deck Stair Supplies
This list of deck stairs materials prices will assist you in budgeting for your project. Installation labor costs and sample project costs follow.
- $14 – $30 | Treated Pine Stringers – These are the most affordable deck stair stringers, as you can see from these 3-step stringers from Lowes show. Keep in mind that you need two stringers for stair cases up to 48 inches wide. You’ll need a third stringer to supply support for wider stairs.
- $22 – $36 | Cedar, Douglas Fir and Redwood Stringers – The appearance of these is a step up from treated pine. Longevity is about the same.
- $60 – $350 | Aluminum Deck Stair Stringers – Aluminum deck stair stringer cost rises with the number of steps included. They are available in sizes from three steps to ten steps. Cost per step is approximately $28 – $40 per step according to the options sold on The Deck Store Online.
- $15 – $40 | Wood Stair Treads Up to 48” – These tread prices cover all wood treads, with treated pine being the most affordable. If you build a deck of ipe or other exotic wood, costs will be 25% to 100% higher.
- $80 – $120 | Composite and Fiberglass Deck Stair Treads – If you have a composite or PVC deck, these treads might be a better match. Most are 48 inches wide and can be cut to fit.
- $12 – $18 per step | Accessories – Tread hanger brackets and bolts or screws to fasten the treads to the stringers.
- $2.00 – $3.75 per square foot | Stair Landing – Code requires that deck stairs have a solid 3 foot by 3 foot landing area. These are your costs using concrete pavers.
Deck Stairs Sample Costs
Here are deck stair cost estimates for common stair projects. Keep in mind that stairs with more than three steps will need railing on at least one side.
Wood Stringers and Treads (no railing):
- 3 stairs: $345 – $460
- 6 stairs: $615 – $790
- 9 stairs: $890 – $1,200
Wood Stairs and Wood Railings on One Side:
- 3 stairs: $460 – $590
- 6 stairs: $810 – $1,240
- 9 stairs: $1,175 – $1,795
Wood Stringers and Composite Treads (no railing):
- 3 stairs: $515 – $680
- 6 stairs: $780 – $1,400
- 9 stairs: $1,260 – $1,975
Wood Stairs and Aluminum Railings on One Side:
- 3 stairs: $675 – $970
- 6 stairs: $1,125 – $1,780
- 9 stairs: $1,600 – $2,185
Wood Stairs and Cable Railings on One Side:
- 3 stairs: $680 – $1,140
- 6 stairs: $1,170 – $1,750
- 9 stairs: $1,715 – $2,450
Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time
Permits and Inspection Cost
- $50 – $100 | The cost of inspecting deck stairs and railings is part of the overall deck permit cost. The cost range shown is for adding stairs to an existing deck
Most deck contractors estimate by the job. They consider time and materials in their estimate. This is what a deck contractor makes when considering the cost of deck stairs on an hourly rate.
- $35 – $85 per hour | Deck Stair Installation. If a licensed carpenter is doing the work with a laborer/helper, each might be billed at a different rate.
Here are typical time frames for common jobs.
- Up to 1 Day| Installing deck stairs only, 3-9 steps, or 3 steps and railing.
- 1 – 1.5 Days | Installing deck stairs and railings, 6-9 stairs.
DIY or Hire a Pro?
Pre-fab stringers make installing deck stairs an easy-to-moderate DIY project. The steps are few:
- Dig out soil and level the area for placing your 3-foot by 3-foot landing area.
- Install your pavers or patio squares to produce the landing spot.
- Fit and fasten the stringers to the deck.
- Fasten the treads to the stringers.
- Attach pre-assembled railing panels to the stringers and deck (or see the Costimates railing material guides for in-depth installation notes for wood deck railing, cable deck railing and more).