exterior stair problems
I'm sure this has already been discussed and I'm also sure I'm not using the correct search terms for GW's wonky search engine, so I apologize if this has been "done to death". So... I'm having a slight disagreement with my carpenter about repairs to the wraparound porch on my ca.1900 vernacular cottage in southeastern NH, which was a much-neglected rental for 30-odd years before falling into the hands of a half-@$$ed flipper and then on to us. The two sets of stairs from porch to ground must be completely replaced due to poor construction - whacked together in the 70s of junky materials - combined with completely nonexistent maintenance. They're outright dangerous.
The real difficulty is the stairs and the accompanying railings, newel posts, etc. (which will need to be made up from scratch - thankfully they are quite simple, no turnings or anything fancy like that - because city building codes are getting a bit nutso). The stair treads, like the porch floor, are to be painted the classic New England "battleship gray" with a slight nonskid texture, while the risers, banister and suchlike will be white to match the columns and other porch trim (we're a bit limited in choices thanks to the evil PO's vinyl siding sins, for which we hope to atone if we ever come up with enough money). Although he'll do whatever I tell him to, the carpenter wants to use the standard pressure-treated pine for everything... Hideous stuff IMO, and IME it doesn't take or hold paint for doodly-squat. I'm perfectly in favor of it for unseen stuff like the stringers. I pretty much ran screaming from one of the two halfway-decent non-chain lumberyards in my area because they tried to bully me into either a horrible prefabricated composite stuff that looked about as natural as Tupperware (and cost the earth) or the only thing that could get uglier than that on a house like mine, precast concrete with those skinny twisty metal railings. *shudder* The other one was a madhouse and no one really had time to deal with a relative novice's dumb questions. Budget is most definitely an issue, since the whole porch has had its own "mushroom effect"! (Thankfully except for those steps it's structurally sound. Knock on wood! It's just that every surface has gone completely to Hades.)
Most recent reasonable photo I have: