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The best materials for an outdoor staircase

Last modified: 2021-05-21 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Amanda Harvey

Do you need to redo your exterior staircase soon? We’d say it’s a safe bet that you may have some doubts about the material choices. So what’s the best option for this type of project? In order to determine which material is right for you, we’re here to offer some things to think about.

Building an outdoor staircase: what are the best materials?

Define your needs

To determine the right material for you, start by thinking about your needs. Remember, there’s more than one aspect to consider. First, figure out what your budget will be. Indeed, it’s essential to answer this question from the start of your project in order to avoid setting your sights on material that’s too expensive.

Second, determine which material would best complement the style and architecture of your home. You certainly don't want to create too much stark contrast to your exterior siding!

On another note, ask yourself how often your stairs will be used. Depending on this, you may need to choose a very resistant material so that your staircase survives the next few years with dignity. Finally, keep in mind that your staircase must definitely be non-slip in order to avoid falling in the event of rain or snow.

The best materials for your outdoor staircase

Concrete

maison en hiver_Soumission Rénovation

Many choose this material as part of their outdoor staircase construction project for several reasons! At first glance, this is one of the strongest materials on the market. The latter shows great durability, despite the difficult winter weather conditions.

This material takes minimal maintenance (the occasional application of a sealer) to ensure this enviable durability. In fact, it’s not often necessary to repair a concrete staircase, which is generally appreciated.

As for its installation, be aware that it can be relatively long and tedious. In fact, you must take the time to properly put the formwork in place, pour the concrete, in addition to allowing for drying time so that the entire structure solidifies.

Moreover, it’s worth mentioning that this installation is sometimes more difficult on old construction than on new construction. So, whether you choose to build a straight, helicoidal or half-turn staircase, we’d recommend that you hire a professional for its installation.

Also, remember that removing a concrete staircase requires the use of a jackhammer, this is no small task! Finally, it should be mentioned that this material isn’t suitable for all budgets.

Are you looking for tips to protect your staircase during the winter months? See our article How to protect your outdoor staircase during the winter.

Stone

Like concrete, stone requires very little maintenance over the years and holds up quite well to harsh climatic conditions, as well as moisture and decay. Secondly, it should be noted that stone rarely cracks and also that its maintenance is minimal. On this point, it must be said that stone doesn’t need to be painted or treated as with wood.

Moreover, this material endures the freeze/thaw cycle very well, which is a big advantage for our climate! In terms of its unique style, stone goes very well with homes that have a more rustic or traditional appearance.

Wood

maison avec escalier en bois_Soumission Rénovation

This material is certainly one of the big favourites when it comes to building an outdoor staircase. Nevertheless, caution should be exercised when choosing the type of wood. Indeed, some varieties are less resistant than others. Therefore, if you plan to use the exterior staircase frequently, it’s better to use stronger wood such as oak or maple.

Remember the cost of a wooden staircase construction can vary greatly, with some types of wood being much more expensive than others. These include western cedar and white oak. In contrast, pine and white cedar are much more affordable.

Of course, wood is a material that requires maintenance in order to age beautifully. Thus, it’ll have to be painted, stained, or have oil applied to its surface. In the event of a lack of rigour in this regard, the material may deteriorate prematurely and be vulnerable to mould.

Finally, note that its warm and timeless style adapts to all types of homes, this makes it a choice that one rarely regrets.

Metal

Unlike the concrete staircase, which involves a complex and time-consuming installation process, building an exterior metal staircase is significantly less difficult. Note that its cost is also more affordable, an advantage for those with a more modest budget.

A wise choice would be going for a steel or aluminum staircase. These metals are indeed very resistant and only require simple cleaning with hot water and soap as maintenance. In terms of style, it goes without saying that metal stairs have an indisputable charm. In addition, this type of staircase has the advantage of blending in with a more classic style home as with that of a modern home.

Finally, let's mention that aluminum stairs with a wood-like finish offer the best of both worlds: the strength of aluminum with the warmth of wood!

Get 3 renovation quotes for your outdoor staircase renovation project

RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your outdoor staircase renovation, maintenance or protection. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with 3 qualified professionals. Fill out the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from trusted renovation specialists.

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives

 

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