You are nearing the completion of your deck and its time to put in some stairs. Steps can be built a number of different ways depending on your aesthetic preference, however most municipalities have specific codes that must be taken into consideration. There are many options in design of your stairs. The key is to design steps that suit your style. To understand this tutorial, note the main illustration and the following terms: Vertical rise - distance between 2 steps. Usually 6" to 7“. Run - depth of each tread. Can range from 11" to 16“. Vertical drop - height of stairs from the ground to the deck surface. Span - distance the stairs cover from the deck to the foot of the stairs.