Questions on exterior stair construction


Hello,
I'm rebuilding my wooden porch stairs, which aren't covered, so I'm thinking about the details for proper shedding of rain water. A couple questions:
Is there any problem with sloping the stair treads 1% downward from back to front? I'm wondering if that would be a safety issue, as far as people slipping off the stairs. Sloping side to side doesn't work for me, as stairs are captive between a knee wall and the house.
Second, what's the best way to handle the tread/riser intersection to avoid trapping water? I've been thinking of running each riser behind the tread in front of it, and then leaving an 1/8" horizontal gap between the tread and the riser. Not sure if this is a good idea.
Here's a couple more details, in case they are important. Beneath the porch and stairs is a ventilated crawl space interconnected with the house crawl space. The porch is surrounded by knee walls and the house on three sides, so the porch deck is sloped 1% towards the stairs for drainage.
Thanks, Wayne
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 18 Apr 2007 17:42:52 GMT, Wayne Whitney

Any slope of less than 1:50 (which is 2%) is considered level. a 1% outward tilt should be fine.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What you using for material?
Nothing wrong w/ the riser behind the tread as long as you leave adequate room for the step width. Using thinner material there is fine, too.
One way to help w/ water accumulation is to not use wide material for the treads -- instead of a single tread or 2x6-size material, use 2x4 and leave gap between them. If using 2x or 5/4 decking material, be sure to orient individual boards so end grain direction is downward. This will ensure what cupping does occur will be such as to not be upward but downward, also helping to shed water.
For traction, do not use glossy-finish paint or similar finishes. Depending on how wet your area is, may need to do something to the surface to prevent buildup of moss, etc., as sounds like the area may be shaded a great deal of the time.
There's always the ultimate possibility of going w/ one of the abrasive tread products and inlaying or applying it. In the extreme, there's the preformed extruded metal grate step or similar if it's a real problem.
I've never used the material and as far as I'm aware I have no acquaintances who have used it for decks so I don't have a clue how good/bad the Trex, etc., manmade materials are for slickness...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Redwood.
True, but that strikes me as too informal for a front porch, better for a rear deck.

I've heard that, too, but I believe it's a myth. See http://www.umass.edu/bmatwt/publications/articles/decking_bark%20side%20up_bark%20side%20down.html
Cheers, Wayne
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.