outdoor wood?


Hi,
I'd like to build a wooden staircase outside my kitchen window (eventually will be a door).
What's the best wood for outdoors? I seem to remember reading that some woods will last well even without sealants and such they'll turn gray, but will be fine.
any advice?
I'm not super interested in recycled-plastic materials, but considering it.
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Standard construction would use Redwood. Pretty much impervious to water problems. At the other end of the spectrum is Teak which is used for boat decks, etc. Will last much longer than redwood and cost a lot more but a real Cadillac solution. White Oak is also considered a good outdoor wood (not Red Oak). Cedar is good in weather too. Finally, lots of folks are touting Ipe. It is a Teak look alike that is becoming very popular for decking. Others may be able to comment on it's cost, availability and viability.
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Ipe is a good alternative. Cost varies but its generally inexpensive. No finish is absolutely required.
Dave
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I have not found Ipe to be inexpensive at all, unless you're comparing it to teak or titanium.
Regards, John.
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In Houston Ipe goes for about the price that Oak goes for.

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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Whatever Ipe may be, it is not a _teak_ lookalike, it looks a lot more like walnut. There seems to be this notion being spread by some folks that Ipe is some kind of cheap imitation teak. Other than being a decay-resistant tropical hardwood there's little resemblance between them. Ipe is almost twice as dense, about three times as hard, about twice as strong, and has about twice the shrinkage.

It's a commonly used decking material, it's hard, strong, decay resistant, and doesn't burn without a huge amount of help. Pricing varies all over the place. It's certainly viable.
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Your local code will decide that for you.
I suspect they will call for pressure treated SYP.
Ben Gold wrote:

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Ipe. Very hard, 3 times harder than Oak, 50 year life expectancy out doors with out needing a finish and is fire rated. Very often used for decking. It should be readily available and relatively inexpensive. Once sanded it will not splinter so it will be kind to bare feet.
Predrill for screws and use carbide blades.
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I like red wood, or pressure treated
Ben Gold wrote:

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The 'classic' durable, "no-finish" woods are: redwood cypress cedar teak (if you're _really_ rich! :)
There's also "pressure treated" (e.g. 'Wolmanized") pine (and similar).
All of the above are comparatively soft, and the top-front edge of a stair tread _will_ wear, under even only fairly light traffic.
Next there is ipe. Harder to find, but durable enough it can be a bit of a pain to work with.
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Robert Bonomi wrote:

Yes but those are all a little soft for stairs.

Good enough for carrier decks, I think it'd hold up.

I'd opt for black locust if I could find it. Other hardwood commonly used for fencposts should be good too. Those include Osage Orange (aka hedge, aka bois d'arc, aka bodark) and sassafrass. If the climate is rather dry, Doug Fir or White Oak would be fine.
--
FF
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