building new rot-proof outside stairs!


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Old 10-23-22, 02:30 PM
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building new rot-proof outside stairs!

and looking for advice. the old stuff rotted out. I'm planning on treated stringers, PVC stringer and riser wrap so it should be good there. as for treads, I want to use the 11"X1" southern yellow pine treads I used last time (and have elsewhere on the house to good effect), but thinking of leaving a gap at the rear to allow for drainage where it joins the riser. and a 1" overhang on the front with the bullnose. is the gap at the back a good idea? this is where the rot was last time. it accumulated with nowhere to go. I figure if it can drain down and drip off the bottom of the PVC riser there will be no issues. does this make sense? thanks as always.
 
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Old 10-24-22, 06:50 AM
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I used pressure treated 2X lumber for my deck stair treads over 30 years ago. I demo'd them last week and the wood was still in perfect shape.

On edit - I am replacing my stair treads with doubled composite deck boards.
 

Last edited by cwbuff; 10-24-22 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 10-24-22, 08:31 AM
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thank you -- doing some research over the weekend and saw folks doubling the composite deck boards and considering as well.

are you leaving a gap between for drainage?
 
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Old 10-24-22, 08:58 AM
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You dont need to double them up just install sufficient stringers to keep them at their nominal 16" spacing.

If you want that deck to last get rid of as much wood as possible, composite is the only long term material that will save you money (sanding, staining, replacing) in the long term.
 
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Old 10-24-22, 10:09 AM
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You can also look into your choice of treated lumber. Most 2"x lumber is only treated for above ground contact while most 4" or 6" timbers are treated for ground contact. If it is not stocked in your area more heavily treated lumber can be ordered. In coastal areas many lumber yard carry wood that is heavily treated for docks in saltwater and that can last a considerable time especially if used inland.
 
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Old 10-24-22, 12:06 PM
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again thank you! A question if I use Trex or similar product -- I believe these are 5-1/2" wider, so two pieces for a 11" tread. I'm not a deck builder so do you leave a gap between (and in the back?) and how wide?
 
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Old 10-24-22, 02:16 PM
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The tread width will be 11" plus the thickness of the riser.

If you use hidden fasteners the gap is set at 3/16" by the fastener. I am doubling the deck boards because my steps are 7' wide with 5 stringers spaced 16" OC. and I want the steps to be stiff. If your stringers are spaced 12" OC you are probably OK with one board. If they are 16" OC I would consider doubling them.
 
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Old 10-24-22, 03:24 PM
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My deck & steps are all 16" and there is no deflection. It's Timbertech so maybe the cheap stuff flexes but not this.

There will be face screws, no way to avoid it!




 
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Old 10-28-22, 02:01 PM
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can I ask what the best fasteners are for composite boards? Also can they be ripped down to a different width or does that compromise the material? I see some have a grooved edge and other not I think I'd go for the non for a cleaner look on a step? thx again.....
 
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Old 10-28-22, 04:26 PM
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Stainless steel hardware is the best, as they say, stainless is forever.

Yes they can be cut, just like any board, but as you probably suspect the thinner the weaker.

Yes, the groves are for main decking, when I did my deck I didn't realize that one sided grooved boards were available for step applications as shown, my bad. A lesson learned, but to date nobody has dropped their drink in shock so not too worried about i!
 
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Old 10-28-22, 04:37 PM
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I was surprised that in the photo the installer didn't bother to rip the groove from the treads. I'm using existing stringers but I plan to use hidden fasteners (starters and field) for most connections. I have access behind the steeps so I will probably use clips for the risers, at least the part not hidden by treads. My treads will be secured with Trex hidden fasteners as much as possible. GRK fasteners have a smaller head and I may end up using them for the last tread board that has been ripped and eased to eliminate the unsightly groove. If I do I'll plug the screw holes.
 
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Old 10-29-22, 06:48 AM
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thank again all. so I spoke to my local yard and they said they had non-grooved for the deck peremeter which seems to be the way to go for a clean tread w/o groove too?
 
 

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