If you’re new to building outdoor wood steps, this guide will walk you through the process. Cedar is a popular choice, but there are other woods to consider, as well. Pine is inexpensive and easy to work with. For best results, use cedar or pine. In this article, I’ll go over how to estimate the steps’ size and thickness. This way, you can avoid any unnecessary mistakes during construction.
Stair runners reduce noise
When building outdoor wood steps, consider installing stair runners. These flooring strips are designed to reduce noise while adding a softer feel underfoot. They are also a good option for baby’s hands and knees. Stair runners are typically installed over carpeting, and they can also protect the carpet from wear and tear. Many people choose to use a runner made of broadloom and cut it to size before installing it. Make sure the edges of the runner are bound before installing it on the steps.
For an authentic look, consider using wooden stairs. While they are easier to maintain and clean, wooden steps pose a serious safety risk. They can also be slippery, which can cause slips. An ideal solution is an acoustic underlay, which will add extra insulation and reduce noise while walking on old wooden steps. Whether you build new outdoor wood steps or refurbish an existing wooden set, installing stair runners will help you enjoy your newly refurbished space without worry of noise.
Another way to decrease noise is to cover the stairs. A good lubricant can be applied to the tread of a staircase, which will muffle noise. This can be in the form of talcum powder or powdered graphite. Avoid oil-based products, as these can saturate the wood and make it slippery. To apply the lubricant, first wedge a piece of paper against the back of a tread, and then rub the powder into the crack between the tread and the riser.
If you are planning to install a runner, you can also add a runner rod to your step. A metal rod is installed behind the runner where the riser and tread meet. This rod serves as a decorative element. In most cases, the rod is adorned with decorative finials on its ends. Adding a stair runner is easy and inexpensive. It only takes a few minutes to install one.
Cedar is cheaper
If you’re building a new set of steps, you may be wondering whether to use cedar or treated wood. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so you should consider the appearance and functionality of the steps before you choose the material. Cedar is usually cheaper and works well with oil-based paints. But what if you’d like to use a more upscale, refined wood? In this case, consider using smooth cedar. It has a smoother appearance and can last longer than treated wood. Smooth cedar is also considered to be the superior choice, as it has a beautiful red tint to it and a more refined grain. Cedar requires treated screws, so you’ll want to use those that will help prevent staining. Cedar is also better with oil-based paints and doesn’t work as well with stain-resistant wood.
One major disadvantage of pressure-treated wood is its cost. While it’s cheaper than treated lumber, it’s not terribly durable. Cedar is also more expensive than pressure-treated pine. Pressure-treated wood usually comes from different types of wood, but in general, the chemicals are harder and more resistant to decay. Cedar is softer and more flexible, making it easier to work with. In addition, it’s eco-friendly.
Although pressure-treated lumber is more durable, cedar will last for a long time outdoors. It can withstand moisture, and will weather into a silvery gray color. The downside of pressure-treated wood is that it needs regular maintenance to keep it looking new. Cedar is also easier to maintain than pressure-treated wood. And with proper care, cedar can last for years. Just remember to maintain the wood on a regular basis.
Pine is easy to work with
When building outdoor wood steps, pine is a popular choice. This type of wood is relatively easy to work with and is ideal for building simple outdoor stairs and stair treads. However, if you are looking for a more elaborate look, you should consider using an exotic hardwood. IPE is a hardwood that is 8 times harder than California redwood, is rot resistant, and is completely free of preservatives. You can use Southern pine for the base and top of the steps and then use the IPE for the sides and top.
There are several varieties of pine, but all of them make excellent furniture. The majority of pine varieties are relatively soft, which makes them easy to carve and stain. There are a few exceptions, including the Ponderosa variety, which oozes sap. Fortunately, most home centers carry lesser-grade pine and it’s easy to work with. This type of wood is also easy to find at a local lumber yard.
Pine is an excellent choice for indoor and outdoor wood stairs because it is dense and durable. It can withstand harsh climates and temperatures, but it isn’t nearly as durable as hardwoods. Dogs can scratch and damage pine wood steps, but yellow pine is dense and strong, making it an excellent choice for indoor wood stairs. If you’re looking for a more affordable choice, consider a more exotic hardwood such as ebony or cypress.
Besides being lightweight and durable, pine is also an attractive choice for woodworkers because it is easy to carve, absorbs stain and paint, and looks great as furniture. Because pine has such high workability, it is a great choice for beginners and experienced woodworkers. There are many different types of pine. If you are building a DIY wood project and are looking for a low-maintenance and cheap option, pine is a good choice.
Estimating step dimensions
Before you begin your outdoor wood step project, you’ll need to figure out how to estimate step dimensions. In most cases, the first step will be a bit taller than the next, and you’ll want to make sure that the tread on the lowest step is less than the rest of the steps. To do this, you need to measure the distance between the finished floor and the bottom of the first step, and then divide that distance by 7.5 to arrive at the exact dimensions of each tread. To find this measurement, you can use the stair calculator.
To estimate step width, you’ll want to determine the overall length of your stair. The total run length should be at least eight feet. This will ensure that the stairway will have landings at the top and bottom. Remember to measure the length of the stringers that will make up the stairway, and make sure that they’re plumb and level. To make sure the measurements are accurate, you can use a reference figure.
Once you have determined the number of steps you need, you’ll want to cut the stringers to the correct length. For instance, if you’re building two-story wood steps, you’ll need four-foot risers that are four feet apart. You’ll also need two-foot-long treads. Remember, the treads should have enough overhang to accommodate the risers. Once the steps are complete, you’ll want to paint or stain them.
One of the most challenging aspects of building outdoor wood stairs is estimating step height. In general, you should aim for a height of seven to seven 3/4 inches for each step. However, if you are planning on building outdoor stairs, check local building codes for requirements. The riser height is eight-and-a-half inches in Canada. As with any construction project, you’ll want to consider the comfort of your users.
Cutting stair stringers
When building outdoor wood steps, the first step is to cut stair stringers. The stringers are the backbone of a staircase and should be 2x12s with high-quality pressure-treated wood. If you can, cut the boards with the crown side on the cut side. After you’ve cut them, level them on the ground. Then, cut the rest of the stringer on the cut side.
To cut the stair stringers, use 2×12 framing lumber that is graded #1 and free of knots. Use a framing square to lay them out. The first stringer should be cut parallel to the previous angled cut, but leave a few inches longer at the top. Use this first cut as a pattern for the rest of the stringers. This will eliminate the risk of miscutting a stair tread later.
To cut the stair stringers, start by cutting one stringer at a time. Place a stair gauge flush against the edge of the board. Then, slide a framing square along the board and align the mark with the previous mark. Repeat the process for the other stringer and riser cuts. You’ll be able to see the exact height of each step after completing this step.
You may want to consider using pressure-treated or engineered wood for your stair stringers. Pressure-treated wood prevents rot and insect infestation. You can also choose engineered wood, which is an artificially hard-surface product made from a thin layer of hardwood bonded to a high-quality ply-wood core. This material is more durable and resistant to water and heat than solid hardwood. Generally, engineered wood is less expensive and easier to install than solid hardwood. It may be a better choice for your outdoor wood steps, but solid hardwood can add value to your home.