What's the best wood to use for building exterior stairs?

I'm building a deck in my backyard and I'm trying to find the best wood to use for building the stairs. Does anyone have any suggestions or experience in this area.
Thanks,
Walt B.
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Ipe. For a sample web page see: http://ipe-wood.com/faq.html
There are many more pages on it. See: http://www.google.com/search?q=ipe+wood
Don <www.donwiss.com> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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What do you mean by "best"?
Best cost, appearance, longevity, stainable, paintable, natural, ?????
Pressure treated will give you 20+ years of use with no special care. Ipe will give you 50+. I like the look of Spanish cedar. Plain old framing lumber will give you 50 years if painted and maintained on a regular basis.
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For strength, structural integrity and price, pressure treated is the way to go. For my stairs being 5 feet wide, I used 3-2X12 stringers and 2- 2X6's for the treads. The treads can span a maximum of 24", which is why I was able to use only 3 stringers ( 2 on each side, 1 in the middle). You can stain it any color you want.
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use plastic wood or some other synthetic will last much longer is is maintenance free
webnba wrote:

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Thanks for the advice guys! I think I'm going to build my stairs with Spanish cedar.
The stairs are going to be 6ft. wide and the landing is 4ft. high. Do I have to cut 3 stringers or will it be strong enough with only 2 stringers?
Thanks,
Walt B.
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If the outer stringers are at or near the outside edges, yeah, you need a center one. Some people like to inset the stringers and cantilever the outer thirds of the treads, but I think that tends to make the stairs feel bouncy, even if the treads are extra thick. It also makes the railings hard to attach, and (IMHO) makes the treads come loose sooner, since it puts additional stress on the fasteners due to lever action.
aem sends....
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You are going to need 4 stringers for a 6 foot wide stairs. 3 is not enough, even if you cantilever the outer treads 10". The maximum span for 2X6 treads is 24".
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