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Old 04-15-2014, 07:58 AM   #1
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Dilemma beneath new stairs


Hi there folks,

I have just had new stairs put in my home. The home is approximately 50 years old and is a 1.5 storey structure.

These stairs that lead upstairs from the main level. the underside The stairs leading down to the basement, our entertainment area, look up at the underside.

What are my options in finishing the underside of the new staircase without losing too much headroom (I'm over 6' :-)

What I have considered:

1-An old piece of primed panel was there prior to stair install. Use that? Attach to wall joists with L-brackets on inside corners?

2- Drywall with a dropped ceiling? How would I go about this if furring strips cannot be installed due to the "unevenness"?

3- Is there a way to attach 3 - 4 furring strips to wall joists in any way? I would then support them in the middle of each strip with blocks of wood attached to underside of stairs in order to prevent the panels sagging? Like a really thick shim.

4- Steel* furring strips with L-Brackets affixed to wall joists? Strong enough to prevent sagging? Can you even do this?

Thanks for taking the time to review. Please let me know if any clarification is needed.

Happy Easter!

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Old 04-15-2014, 08:10 AM   #2
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Dilemma beneath new stairs


A picture would sure help.
If these stairs where built to code there should be a min. of 6'8" of head room.
Most areas call for 5/8 fire code sheetrock under stairs or be fully enclosed.

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Old 04-15-2014, 10:38 AM   #3
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Dilemma beneath new stairs


Dilemma beneath new stairs-steps.png
This is what I vision. Nail or screw 1x3 or 1x4 or 2x3 or2x4 or what ever you want so it doesn't sag, to the hidden side of whatever you want to show(see attachment). Then mark all the studs in the wall with pencil. You will have to find them. If you can't see them look for indication like nails in the wall or bang on the wall to see if you can feel them. If that doesn't work you will have to hammer a nail or something into the wall, close to the stairs, to find something solid to nail or screw to. Then get someone to help you hold it in place and put some nails or screws on an angle through it and into the wall so it doesn't slide (this step can be omitted if it is hitting something on the lower side that will keep it from sliding). While it is in place, place a 1x2 or 1x3 or1x4 under it and attach to wall with nails or screws above where you have your marks. Erase marks or paint wall.
Happy Easter and Good Passover!

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Old 04-17-2014, 01:31 PM   #4
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Dilemma beneath new stairs


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Attachment 83810
This is what I vision. Nail or screw 1x3 or 1x4 or 2x3 or2x4 or what ever you want so it doesn't sag, to the hidden side of whatever you want to show(see attachment). Then mark all the studs in the wall with pencil. You will have to find them. If you can't see them look for indication like nails in the wall or bang on the wall to see if you can feel them. If that doesn't work you will have to hammer a nail or something into the wall, close to the stairs, to find something solid to nail or screw to. Then get someone to help you hold it in place and put some nails or screws on an angle through it and into the wall so it doesn't slide (this step can be omitted if it is hitting something on the lower side that will keep it from sliding). While it is in place, place a 1x2 or 1x3 or1x4 under it and attach to wall with nails or screws above where you have your marks. Erase marks or paint wall.
Happy Easter and Good Passover!
Great and I appreciate the detail! My only question is once the 1x4's are affixed to the board how do I attach it to the wall cleanly. The walls are finished and painted and I would like to create a clean inside corner where the wall and new ceiling meet. If I'm understanding your picture we have furring strips running across the hidden side to prevent sagging which is great - but how to attach those to the 2 existing walls?
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:15 PM   #5
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Dilemma beneath new stairs


This is what I vision. Nail or screw 1x3 or 1x4 or 2x3 or2x4 or what ever you want so it doesn't sag, to the hidden side of whatever you want to show(see attachment). Then mark all the studs in the wall with pencil. You will have to find them. If you can't see them look for indication like nails in the wall or bang on the wall to see if you can feel them. If that doesn't work you will have to hammer a nail or something into the wall, close to the stairs, to find something solid to nail or screw to. Then get someone to help you hold it in place and put some nails or screws on an angle through it and into the wall so it doesn't slide (this step can be omitted if it is hitting something on the lower side that will keep it from sliding). While it is in place, place a 1x2 or 1x3 or1x4 under it and attach to wall with nails or screws above where you have your marks. Erase marks or paint wall. It might be easier to find something to nail to than I think but you might have to find the studs behind the sheet rock. If I remember correctly you called wall joists or I might be thinking of another post.
The one-by is the 2 red lines in pic. You could use any kind of nice trim.
Easter and Good Passover!

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Old 04-17-2014, 09:53 PM   #6
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:19 PM   #7
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Dilemma beneath new stairs


Here is the pics that were requested - I also circled the cleats that are making things uneven by sticking out. I will read the previous post after my shift - just off to work. Once again great help and thanks! Happy holidays
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Old 04-18-2014, 05:32 PM   #8
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Dilemma beneath new stairs


I'm not seeing anything sticking out below the skirts that would be in the way.
How wide are those skirts? 3/4"?
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:21 PM   #9
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I'm not seeing anything sticking out below the skirts that would be in the way.
How wide are those skirts? 3/4"?

Those skirts are 3/4". Some of the "cleats" are actually going past the height of the skirts - it is those that are sticking out
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Old 04-19-2014, 01:10 PM   #10
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Dilemma beneath new stairs


Dilemma beneath new stairs-skirt.jpg
Your stairs don't look too wide so I would only use a few furring strips maybe every 2 or 3 steps. I would use small nails to nail the panel to the blue lines in pic.
I used 1"x3" for pix but you could use whatever would match your trim in your house. I would paint or stain it after they are cut . Then I would nail them to where the green line is with 8 penny finish nails. Set nails with nail set and putty or caulk holes and touch up.
The trim would have to be cut on an angle. The piece on top in pic is for ceiling where you come up the stairs and the piece on bottom is for sides. I can't see the top of stairs but I guess just a straight piece there.

As for the cleats they can be cut off where they hang down with small sharp saw.

Last edited by Robpo; 04-19-2014 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 04-19-2014, 02:53 PM   #11
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Dilemma beneath new stairs


Okay the cleats that stuck out was my concern...could I cut them was my concern
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Old 04-19-2014, 03:11 PM   #12
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Yea, I went back too far. You can cut them but if one falls out you can glue it back in place. Just make sure it is in tight or the stairs might creak.

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