A Guide to Outdoor Stairs
A guide to outdoor wooden stairs. Learn to select and maintain the best wood for your deck stairs.
Whether you decide to add outdoor wooden stairs to the existing deck or plan to build a new patio with steps, it is essential to understand that there is no good or lousy wood for the purpose. Your choice will depend on many factors starting from your budget and ending with the local climate. After all, what works in South California may turn out a disaster in Colorado.
That is why it is crucial to make comprehensive research and address for consultation from several local experts no matter whether you are planning a DIY project or want to hire a contractor to build your outdoor wooden stairs.
In this article, we provide the essential tips that will help you make an informed decision and chose the wood that will work best for your future patio stairs.
Which wood works best outdoors?
There are two types of wood, which are commonly considered to be the best choice for outdoor wooden stairs:
However, once you find a proper sealant and are ready to invest some time and effort into maintenance, you can choose from a much more comprehensive range of woods.
However, cedar and redwood have several undeniable advantages over other available variants:
• They are naturally resistant to the whole range of possible weather damage;
• They are easy to work with and can help you bring the most daring projects to life;
• They are incredibly long-lasting and low maintenance at the same time.
All those features make redwood and cedar most attractive for homeowners all over the United States. However, it is essential to understand that no matter how naturally durable the wood is, your patio stairs won`t serve you long enough if you neglect maintenance entirely. All wooden outdoor stairs need staining or painting from time to time.
Maintenance of your patio stairs
Each wood is naturally resistant to weather impact one way or another. However, no matter which material you choose for your outdoor wooden stairs, you will significantly increase their lifespan, safety, and performance with proper treatment.
Here are the basic principles of protecting your investment into patio stairs:
• Pressure-treated wood is always much more water-resistant;
• Regular staining will not only prevent water damage but protect your outdoor wooden stairs from UV Light;
• To protect your patio stairs from UV damage, think of shading options or simply make sure to color them.
The choice of wood for outdoor stairs mostly depends on your willingness and ability to invest your time, effort, and money into further maintenance. It is crucial not only for the aesthetics of your deck stairs but also for their safety. Once neglected, outdoor wooden stairs may crack, cause injuries and splinters or simply collapse one day. Even the most durable wood species will require your attention and specific investment at least once a year.
As we have already mentioned, there is no such thing as bad or good wood to use for your outdoor wooden stairs. Most people think that the choice will mostly depend on the local climate. It is not entirely true.
The weather impact will, of course, determine how much you will have to invest in the maintenance of your deck stairs. However, there are numerous other things to consider while investing in limber for your outdoor wooden stairs.
Most professionals claim that the choice of wood mostly depends on the project. Some people go for a standard, pretty minimalistic patio stairs design that doesn`t require any special features and qualities from wood. But sometimes, people seek unique original solutions, including bent construction, oversized patio stairs, installation of deck stair lighting, or any other peculiarities.
Such projects may require more flexible wood or simply much more material. Therefore, before shopping for lumber for your outdoor wooden stairs, make sure to show your project to a professional who will point out all the pitfalls and peculiarities that can affect your choice of wood.
Technically, you can conduct comprehensive research on the internet and quickly learn about all peculiarities of every type of wood. However, it is always important to ask for an opinion from several local professionals. Contactors who have experience building outdoor wooden stairs in your area will instantly tell what kind of wood is the most available and the easiest to work in your particular case.
You may also want to address the opinion of several staining service providers. They usually have a complete understanding of which patio stairs are the easiest to maintain and how much the maintenance will eventually cost you, whether you will want to address professional help or decide to take care of your patio stairs yourself.
It is simply impossible to purchase wood that won`t work for outdoor constructions. Wood grows outdoors. Therefore it has natural protective mechanisms against weather impact, UV light, and physical damage.
However, once we talk about patio stairs and decks, you should keep in mind that you are looking for a durable material that won`t just sustain weather impact but will be strong enough to carry the weight of people walking over it, deck accessories, and landscape peculiarities of your property.
Choosing proper wood for your outdoor wooden stairs is a matter of safety and wellbeing for you and your family, investment in your property`s value, and a chance to get the most out of your private outdoors. That is why even planning a DIY project; it is essential to ask a professional`s opinion and assistance and think about your investment thoroughly to avoid costly and potentially dangerous mistakes