The Universal Building Code specifies a maximum of 9 inches for rise and 8 inches for tread for residential application. Commercial requires 7 1/2 rise and 11 inch tread. Even for residential use I always follow commercial regs because the residential specs make for too steep a stairway for most people. Especially older folks.
Bear in mind your local code may be different. A phone call will answer that!
Building code? Local code? We have no codes, inspections or permits to worry about.
I'm wanting to build the most user friendly set of steps I can and also have them look good. I've talked to brick masons and gotten many different opinions. Some build the rise 7 3/4" and others 6 3/4". Some build the tread 12" while others say 16". I have walked up some steps on houses and buildings that were actually a hazard because the risers were at uncomfortable sizes for a normal stepping pace.
Beeman: If you have the room, make them 12 inches and shorten the rise for older folks. I did that for our deck and my 84 year old mom says, "aww, you made them for me". I almost put in a ramp but it would take up to much room. I have some friends steps and, my oh my, good thing I am long legged.
11" is a good tred if you use 1x6's or 2x6's for you height, take the height and divide by 3 (or more or less, depening) aim for 6.5 to 7.5, I think inside stairs are usually 7/10, a little wider for outside would be good, for when its wet or snowy or icy. Thats what I would do anyways...
I appreciate the responses. This will be all brick steps. A brick laid horizontally and then a rollack course on top will give you 6 3/4" + or - depending on the joints. I am thinking this is what I will go with. 12" tread is a definite.
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