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Old 05-21-2013, 05:02 AM   #1
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Installing Stair trim


Hello!

My current stairs has no trim down the sides at all and I am wondering how I would go about adding it. My first thought was to pull all the treads off and saw the width of the board I'm going to use for trim (X2). Then install the board and put the treads back in.

So am I thinking the right way or is there a better way of doing this?

Thanks for you time and help!

Cheers!
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:55 AM   #2
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Installing Stair trim


I've done a little reading on this cuz I'll be doing a similar thing shortly...

You can't just shave the treads if that will make them not sit on the stringers. Shaving 3/4" from each side would only leave you 3/4" of connection. Generally what I've read is that your stringers should be set 1-1/2" in from the rough wall to allow for 1/2" drywall and 3/4" hard board to tuck in behind them. It's done w a 2x4 spacer aligned w the bottom of the stringer. Then you install the drywall and trim, then the treads and they'll go right to the edge of the stringer or slightly over and butt up to the trim.

Since my stringers are at the edges of the treads now, and I want trim as well, I'm going to take them down and rebuild.

You could also sister another stringer to the existing ones or add a center one.

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Old 05-21-2013, 09:35 AM   #3
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Installing Stair trim


When did so many people get locked-in to the idea that "stringers" have to be sawn and notched, zig-zag like they usually are.

Most people do that ... very seriously weakening the load bearing capacity of each hacked-out stringer... THEN they go and cover up that open design with solid trim boards.

I can see it if you are solidly hooked the "open side" look, and don't cover it up......... But people build stringers that will be totally buried inside walls this same very labor intensive, and structurally inferior way.

Just doesn't make sense at all.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:43 AM   #4
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When did so many people get locked-in to the idea that "stringers" have to be sawn and notched, zig-zag like they usually are.

Most people do that ... very seriously weakening the load bearing capacity of each hacked-out stringer... THEN they go and cover up that open design with solid trim boards.

I can see it if you are solidly hooked the "open side" look, and don't cover it up......... But people build stringers that will be totally buried inside walls this same very labor intensive, and structurally inferior way.

Just doesn't make sense at all.
Can you suggest better ways instead of ranting about inferior ways?

Note our upper floor does not use a stringer - it fixes to the wall on both sides... but most basements I've seen use stringers. Walls that frame in basement stairs were typically added long after the stairs were in place.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:55 AM   #5
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Can you suggest better ways instead of ranting about inferior ways?

Note our upper floor does not use a stringer - it fixes to the wall on both sides... but most basements I've seen use stringers. Walls that frame in basement stairs were typically added long after the stairs were in place.
Obviously, you already know at least one way.

Google "Boxed Stair Stringers" or "Boxed Stairway Stringers" for many more.

But, truthfully, it should be obvious to anyone looking at a chopped-up stringer that there is almost NO continuous wood left to support the weight of the people and the material used to build the stairs (let alone the piano they might be trying to carry up those stairs).... usually there is hardly more than three or four inches that hasn't been cut away. (Code requires at least 3.5", BTW) You would never dream of installing such flimsy rafters on your roof.

CORRECTIONAL EDIT: One of our more astute members has pointed out to me that the CODE MINIMUMS are more often 5"....... rather than the 3.5" I posted above. By all means, go with the larger number if you choose not to contact your local Building Department....... Something you really always SHOULD do.

And even IF the Authority Having Jurisdiction in your area grants permission to go with a thinner stringer, PLEASE consider NOT doing it. Remember, codes are only bare minimums in just about all cases. Isn't your family's safety worth more than the "bare minimum '?
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:04 AM   #6
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I've done hundreds of deck stairs for kid's diving/slide platforms, forts, "lookouts" etc. And this is the most stable stair I've found yet.

Unfortunately, if this idea is used for interior stairs, you usually have to begin the route notch from the rear, not the front. That's pretty strong, too, but not as strong as this way.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:12 AM   #7
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Thanks... didn't know they were "boxed" design. That is exactly what we have. This doc last page details them out nicely...

http://www.wm-coffman.com/literature...section_01.pdf

I was wondering how they worked w the wedges in there...

Would be ideal for the OP.
-mike
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:14 AM   #8
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Thanks... didn't know they were "boxed" design. That is exactly what we have. This doc last page details them out nicely...

http://www.wm-coffman.com/literature...section_01.pdf

I was wondering how they worked w the wedges in there...

Would be ideal for the OP.
-mike
The wedges are really "first class". They almost completely eliminate any squeaks. You glue them in place.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:44 PM   #9
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Installing Stair trim


I should have shown these dimensions earlier. Sorry.

The treads are shown a little short in depth of the material you will buy to allow for rounding trimming. You might even want to round 3/4" of the ends of the back edges of the treads also, since the routed notches won't really be square like I've drawn them. It'll look nicer.

Kids will be barefooted, and in a hurry, so round over the bottom edges of the treads, too, so that they won't scrape up the tops of their feet.

Of course that 6-1/16" measurement will change depending upon the stringer angle you choose. I usually use around 35 degrees.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:09 PM   #10
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Here's one of the stairs installed. This one has no handrails yet (don't forget them), and it is a bit steeper than I like to do them. But that wasn't my choice.

Didn't have to put the 2x4 brace at the bottom of the stringers because this part of the deck was high enough I could go underneath, and run screws up from under there into the bottoms of the stringers..... just one more thing the kids may not stub their toes on.
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:14 PM   #11
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Installing Stair trim


regarding `boxes stairs`.. their more commonly known as a housed stringer. their typically built in a shop using a jig and a router. it does create a very strong stair but cutting stringers can still be strong as well as long as the stringer notches arent over cut. proper fastening is used along with construction adhesive. it just depends on the region more often than not as to which method is used. locally 90% of stairs are built on site with stringers.. in Ontario Canada only about 5% of interior stairs are built on site, the majority of them are shop built

regarding the trim board its called a skirt board.. when the stairs are framed the stringer against the wall is spaced out from the wall by 1 1/2" by attachijng a 2x4 to the wall first. this allows for drywall to drop down in and then the skirt board. from there the risers and treads are fitted to the skirt board..
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Installing Stair trim-2013-05-09-13.54.08.jpg   Installing Stair trim-72786_219443818196712_703740813_n.jpg   Installing Stair trim-photo1089.jpg  
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:31 PM   #12
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Installing Stair trim


I've been reading this...
http://www.bayerbuilt.com/Resources/...d%20Risers.pdf
It describes precisely what you (Stevish) originally described. Trimming your treads and dropping the skirt in on top of the stringers. Don't have to move your stringers at all. It's very detailed.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SquishyBall View Post
I've been reading this...
http://www.bayerbuilt.com/Resources/...d%20Risers.pdf
It describes precisely what you (Stevish) originally described. Trimming your treads and dropping the skirt in on top of the stringers. Don't have to move your stringers at all. It's very detailed.
Yep, looks like a cakewalk to me.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:26 PM   #14
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Installing Stair trim


Quote:
Originally Posted by SquishyBall View Post
I've been reading this...
http://www.bayerbuilt.com/Resources/...d%20Risers.pdf
It describes precisely what you (Stevish) originally described. Trimming your treads and dropping the skirt in on top of the stringers. Don't have to move your stringers at all. It's very detailed.
Thanks guys you have been a ton of help and I'm glad I found a place I can come and talk this stuff over before destroying my home

Thanks again and maybe talk again soon

Cheers!
stephen
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:52 PM   #15
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Installing Stair trim


huh i am going to be opposite to most of you by saying i was taught to scribe the skirt boards in after treads
http://www.thisiscarpentry.com/2008/...board-toolbox/

for housed stringers i will refere to a fellow members youtube channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/SeattleFineWoodwork

also i have built saw tooth stringers 23 feet high 34 inches wide free standing on the third floor of a 1905 building with a special dance floor that i could not put a hole in and we carried up it 450 pound beams with 6 guys on the stairs. to do structural repairs to the beam trusses. i wish i would have save pics on cd to post but i lost them when last work computer fried.

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