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Old 07-10-2014, 05:15 PM   #1
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How to fix stairs, missing rail


Our stairs from the 1st to second floor are dangerous for young kids, you can literally walk from the steps off a closet.. pictures are attached..

We have no continuous or even a single hand rail from the top balcony to the 1st landing.

Stairs are already at the minimum width... 36"

How would you go about fixing this? I'm looking for all options and ideas.
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How to fix stairs, missing rail-dsc_8490.jpg   How to fix stairs, missing rail-dsc_8492.jpg   How to fix stairs, missing rail-dsc_8493.jpg  

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Old 07-10-2014, 05:18 PM   #2
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How to fix stairs, missing rail


another note: we are already planning on replacing all the rails, balusters, treads and risers and converting to hard wood steps. right now the balusters are 6" apart, code requires max 4" here... so there is a lot of stuff already planned to be fixed so big changes aren't an issue, except if they are outrageously expensive ontop of the existing replacement costs *lol*

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Old 07-10-2014, 05:32 PM   #3
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How to fix stairs, missing rail


I look at those pictures and all I can see is what an eyesore that closet is (imo). Any chances of getting rid of it as part of the stair remodel?
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:37 PM   #4
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How to fix stairs, missing rail


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I look at those pictures and all I can see is what an eyesore that closet is (imo). Any chances of getting rid of it as part of the stair remodel?
It's being considered... not sure why they designed the house this way, the stairs to the basement on the original plan had the same dumb closet but they never built it out down there

at the very least the closet needs rebuilt.. it's not even square! on the side with the thermostat / bell the bottom littearly bows out where the steps to the basement is to the far end of that wall there is a 3" curve to the wall on the bottom plate of the wall
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:43 PM   #5
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How to fix stairs, missing rail


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Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
I look at those pictures and all I can see is what an eyesore that closet is (imo). Any chances of getting rid of it as part of the stair remodel?
+1 on getting rid of the closet, it looks totally out of place, it is the focal point as soon as you enter the room.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:13 AM   #6
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How to fix stairs, missing rail


even if I get rid of the closet though, it's a huge task..

the switch there is a 3-way and it's wires run in the floor joists 18ft away to the other switch and the ceiling in the basement was dry-walled and you'd need to either put a junction box somewhere to extend the line or rerun the line... the thermostat not such a big deal as the wire runs the opposite way so moving it back would actually give me more wire... and there is a few feet extra in the wall thinking that could happen someday... the door bell is in the same situation extra wire.

even if the closet went, I'd have to extend the stairs out a few inches to meet code for the rail so I don't encroach on the 36" minimum width... any ideas on how to do that? don't exactly want to have to reengineer the entire stair case since it's an L shape, moving it out would make odd issues with the platform landing area...
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:43 AM   #7
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How to fix stairs, missing rail


These stairs are not to code, the inspector must have been asleep that day.

If the closet was removed you would just continue the rail system as it is at the bottom of the stairs. The framing for the closet against the stairs could be modified to be the structure for the rail system. It is really simple just a lot of work. As for the electrical, if you decide to remove the closet, you might make a new thread in the electrical forum.

Let us know which direction you wish to go and we will go from there.

Edit* There would be no problem with the mid landing by continuing the rail system as it is at the bottom of the stairs. I would suggest changing the rails at the top to side mount newels instead of top mounted so the rail and balusters would flow instead of jutting to the side.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:48 AM   #8
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How to fix stairs, missing rail


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If the closet was removed you would just continue the rail system as it is at the bottom of the stairs. The framing for the closet against the stairs could be modified to be the structure for the rail system. It is really simple just a lot of work. As for the electrical, if you decide to remove the closet, you might make a new thread in the electrical forum.

Let us know which direction you wish to go and we will go from there.
ah, you mean like move the framing out from under the risers of the steps to be infront of the steps so I could create an angled wall and follow it down that way?
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:34 AM   #9
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How to fix stairs, missing rail


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ah, you mean like move the framing out from under the risers of the steps to be infront of the steps so I could create an angled wall and follow it down that way?
Actually you wouldn't remove the framing at all, you would just modify the wall of the closet next to the stairs. If you were to remove the trim work on the very bottom rail system you would find 2X4s cut on an angle with a 2X4 nailed flat down on top of the angle. If you had the wood removed on the bottom rail system you could pop a line up the closet wall and cut the studs to that angle, then add the top 2X4 and continue from there.

As you get on toward the top of the closet at the top of the steps you will see the wall does not extend up high enough so you would need to add 2X4s to bring the wall up to where it would need to be.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:04 AM   #10
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How to fix stairs, missing rail


Do you have any extra flooring?
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:09 PM   #11
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How to fix stairs, missing rail


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Do you have any extra flooring?
flooring is getting replaced, despite looking OK in the picture, it's engineered hardwood that the top layer is delaminating off of in a bunch of locations... so that's not a concern

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