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Old 05-12-2013, 02:16 PM   #1
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Joist framing around L-stair opening


Have a question for you all!
How does this work?

Joists go wall to beam. Stairs are mostly perpendicular to joists, but the bottom two after the landing are parallel.

Was this framed right? I don't see what's supporting the inside corner, where the header and trimmers come together. There are no load-bearing beams or walls adding to the support.

If I was to frame it, I might picture it as a larger rectangle and have the header go clear from the top wall to the main doubled joists.

Just curious what's "correct" to do here. I can find tons of stuff online for normal rectangular openings but the L shaped opening creates a corner of very little support...




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Old 05-12-2013, 02:25 PM   #2
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Joist framing around L-stair opening


The picture is the correct waY TO FRAME IT.

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Old 05-12-2013, 02:59 PM   #3
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Joist framing around L-stair opening


So what gives that corner support? It would seem very prone to sagging since there is no through header from wall to beam or wall to header.
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:05 PM   #4
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Joist framing around L-stair opening


Here's one idea.... just for thinking about.
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:08 PM   #5
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Joist framing around L-stair opening


Often you'll see a closit built below the stairs or a wall that will support the underside.
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:38 PM   #6
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Joist framing around L-stair opening


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So what gives that corner support? It would seem very prone to sagging since there is no through header from wall to beam or wall to header.
It will sag if there is not a post under it.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:29 PM   #7
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Joist framing around L-stair opening


if the double joist was sized correctly it will be able to support 1/2 the header load. that's how I do it so you don't need a column at that point. what is the size and span of the double joists?
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:55 PM   #8
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Joist framing around L-stair opening


It's 11' from the foundation to the joist. 8' from the foundation to the stairs. 2x10's. Although they used an odd practice of notching every 2x10 about 1-1/2" to set them lower on the sill plates because above this is a tiled area, and I guess they needed the joists lowered to make the tiled floor flush w the rest of the floors. So rather than drop to 2x8's they notched the joists at both ends to set them lower. No joist hangers in use... everything end-nailed. It's an 80's house...
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:54 AM   #9
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Joist framing around L-stair opening


I'm sorry, and I hate to dispute opinions given here, but without a post, wall, or SOMETHiNG to support that 90 degree joist corner shown within the drawn circle of your drawing, this ceiling is not going to just "sag"... it's going to fall straight down to the floor.
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:06 AM   #10
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Joist framing around L-stair opening


I agree w you in theory Willie yet see lots of pix (on houzz and other sites) that involve an L or winder staircase without the inside corner supported by a post or bearing wall. My house is one such case. I'm wondering how this is structurally accomplished.

The pic you posted above seems like a good way to get around the structure issues, since you have a through double trimmer going from the header to the wall. The "tail joist" as it's labeled would be a bit of a weak area, but at least the general floor in that image would be solid. However my floor is not built that way. It's built the way I show in the pic. I'm finding stair diagrams online showing both ways, but they generally also include a bearing post.

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Old 05-13-2013, 11:11 AM   #11
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Joist framing around L-stair opening


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Originally Posted by SquishyBall View Post
I agree w you in theory Willie yet see lots of pix (on houzz and other sites) that involve an L or winder staircase without the inside corner supported by a post or bearing wall. My house is one such case. I'm wondering how this is structurally accomplished.

The pic you posted above seems like a good way to get around the structure issues, since you have a through double trimmer going from the header to the wall. The "tail joist" as it's labeled would be a bit of a weak area, but at least the general floor in that image would be solid.



I believe you have had an engineer respond in this thread that it is not necessary, but in the real world I agree with willie, you need a support .

sometimes us old carpenters over build things, at least according to some friendly engineers I know.
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:22 AM   #12
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Joist framing around L-stair opening


are your curious about the framing, or are there issues with the flooring? You said built in the 80's so its been there about 30 years ..... as willie and framer said you can always put a support under that point if you have concern. My comment was if this connection was designed properly then it's ok, but just because it was done that way does not mean it was designed properly. Someone would have had to account for 1/2 the header load being supported on the double floor joist at that point along the span of the double joist. if concerned or having floor issues put in the support column, cheap money for peace of mind.

I'm not a fan of notching floor joists (even if allowed by code), are there any splits/cracks parallel to the bottom of the joist at the notches?
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:24 AM   #13
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Joist framing around L-stair opening


I knew you would show up
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:00 PM   #14
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Joist framing around L-stair opening


No, things seem solid. The joists (altho notched) are in really good shape. I'm really just assessing my options as I'm laying out a new interior design and brainstorming where I can tweak to get some extra headroom and less of a tunnel-look to the staircase. It's is a typical basement staircase, i.e. not very inviting. There was a non-bearing partition wall under the double trimmer that was put in when the basement was finished sometime in the 90's and framed on top of floor tiles. (See Proper use of hard foam insulation for just how hokey of a job whichever diy-er did on finishing this basement). The wall above this on the 1st floor is also non-bearing... The bearing wall is on the other side of the stairs over the beam.

So I'm debating trusting that the construction is indeed properly self-supporting, or re-framing in a small wall here to add extra support to that section, or, even changing the joist layout to match Willie's diagram, which to me seems more structural. I'm leaning toward putting in the wall - it's the least amount of change, the least work, but for the least gain (does not accomplish the goal of a totally open design). It wouldn't be an official bearing wall (just on the conc floor) but it's at least what was there previously and I can redo it nicer.

I'm finding plenty of info on the web for standard staircases but when you get to two (basement and first floor) overlapping L-stair cases, naturally the complexity goes beyond the web. I may break down and buy an actual {gasp} book... on the subject.

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Old 05-13-2013, 12:36 PM   #15
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Joist framing around L-stair opening


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I may break down and buy an actual {gasp} book... on the subject.
or go to the library and check some out for free ....

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