Robert Lamoureux | Cover wood frame, overlay with Trex

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Question No. 1  

Hi Robert,  

Our outdoor steps and balcony railings are showing dry rot. My husband has replaced a few of the stair treads but now the railing is shaky, and the balcony railing is also affected. We know we have to replace the steps and rails but are wondering what the best way is to go. We have looked at Trex products, but they don’t make long support beams or stair treads. We like the look of the cable railings but aren’t sure how to put it all together. Would we use wood stairs and try to weatherproof them? We would like it to be low maintenance. Any ideas? Thanks,  

— Joan D.  

Answer No. 1  

Joan,  

Thank you for writing in. A lot of people use standard lumber such as Douglas fir. If you have the budget go to either redwood or cedar for the framing and overlay it with the Trex for the decking surface. The Douglas fir is not as resilient to water as the redwood or cedar so for longevity I recommend the latter. I hope this answers your questions, but if you need additional information just get back to me and I’ll do my best to help. Best of luck. 

— Robert 

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected]. 

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