The most important thing to remember in staircase construction is that each step, weather you have 3 steps or 100 steps, all MUST be the same size (Rise and Run on each step must be the same). This is espescially true in USA and Canada, its against building and fire code for steps to vary in size.
I recommend that anyone building a staircase in there home contact a building inspector to inquire about current and applicable fire/building code. but the basics are (generally):
- All steps must be the same size (the rise and run must be the same on every step)
- Width of each step must be at least 2 feet 8 inches (normal household steps are generally 3 feet 6 inches)
- Maximum step riser hight of 7 3/8 inches
- Minumunm run length of 10 inches
- Steps 44 inches or more wide must have handrails on each side
- Fire code normally says; do not allow stairs to rise more than 12 feet without providing a landing. The length of the landing should be at least equal to the width of the stair tread.
Note: As far as I know "Open Risers" are against code due to safety reasons, I'm confident this is true in homes but check your local code to see... you might get away with it if its outside or in a garage or something.... but I'm not sure. There is some thought that "Nosing Projection" is or will be against code due to tripping hazzard... again check locally if you plan on building "Nosing Projections"
One Final note, I'm going to draw most steps or find relevant pictures online. I will be building Cliffside stairs this summer and will maybe add some pictures then or even a new instructable due to the periles involved in cliffside construction