|Forum topic by crampon||posted 07-07-2014 08:04 PM||2270 views||0 times favorited||18 replies|
07-07-2014 08:04 PM
Hi folks, this is a little bit off-topic, but this is the best place I know of to ask wood-related questions, so I’m hoping you’ll indulge me.
I live in Portland, OR, and I’m looking for some advice on the best material to use to replace my front steps, which see a LOT of rain. PT pine 2×12, cedar 2×6x, cedar 2×6s glued up to a 2×12 or ???
See below for the gory details:
The stairs were built approx 15 years ago (my best guess), and the space under the stairs is enclosed—that is, the house siding wraps all the way around the sides of the steps, with no vents / latticework.
I’m attaching a picture of the steps: this is what they looked like until yesterday, when I started taking out the treads and risers. The paint takes a beating during the winter here, and I wanted to replace it with something I could stain, which I thought would be easier to maintain—too many layers of paint on the existing treads. (Also, you can see that one tread is rotting out where the paint failed.) My plan was to replace the treads and riser and re-use the existing stringers.
So, here’s the question: what kind of wood should I use for the new treads / risers? To tell the truth, I got a little bit overexcited and bought a bunch of cedar 2×6s that I thought I would use for this, but as I demo’d the existing treads, I started to reconsider.
The existing treads are treated pine 2×12s, with treated pine 2×6s for the risers. The installers caulked the seams between treads and risers, and it looks like the space under the stairs stays pretty dry: the footings and stringers are in good shape. Obviously, using cedar 2×6s for the treads would let some rain in through the gap between boards, and it looks like this would cause some issues. For instance, some water would get in between the siding on the outside of the stairs and the stringers, which seems guaranteed to cause problems long term.
So, what are my options? Use the cedar for something else and replace with treated pine 2×12s to keep that space under the stairs dry? Mess around with gluing up the cedar 2×6s? Install the 2×6s and cross my fingers? Or ???