If you want to build wood stairs on your property don't take this task for granted. It's not as easy as it seems to do the job correctly, safely and so that the stairs will stay safe and sound for years to come. If you have construction or wood working experience then you may want to tackle this project on your own. If you don't have the skill, hire a contractor or a friend with lots of experience to help you finish the job.
To build wood stairs, even if it's just a short staircase, is not a simple task. Measurements need to be precise and calculations need to be exact. If you ask an experienced contractor or wood worker they may tell you, that from a technical standpoint, to build wood stairs is not particularly difficult. Anyone with basic carpentry skills can make the right cuts and put together the parts. Others will say that for do-it-yourselfers this may be one of the most challenging projects they'll take on.
Keep in mind that stairs must comply with strict building codes to ensure safety and durability. Since there are strict rules to meet building stairs means there has to be a carefully thought through layout and exact calculations. Know the building codes before your start by calling the office and looking into the guidelines.
Essentially there are 3 main components to a staircase; stringers, treads and risers:
Stringers: These are the sloped boards which support the other parts of the stairs. They take the stress of the weight put on each stair. They are usually made of one solid piece of wood depending on the length of the staircase.
Treads: These are the actual stair surface where your foot is placed to move up to the next stair. Treads should have a well treated surface to protect them from the wear and tear they will receive throughout the years.
Risers: These are the component that is directly under the front edge of the tread. Sometimes you see stairways without risers. However, it's not an element you want to eliminate when you build wood stairs.
The problem with building a wood staircase without risers is that the end of the stringers will be exposed. This leaves the wood vulnerable to the weather. Ultimately, without the installation of risers, the stringers will split, crack and become damaged much sooner and need replacing. The bottom line is if you don't have the skill to do this job properly, call someone in who does. There's too much riding on it not to.