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Old 12-11-2012, 04:15 PM   #1
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staircase remodel: removing riser


Hi all, I'm looking to remodel my staircase. One thing I wanted to do is to is a "floating" look. I've attached 3 images, 2 of them is my existing staircase, and the other is the look I want to create. To do this, I'm hoping to remove the riser of the stairs and remove the drywall on the backside. Can this be done? Or this is much more complicated than it appears? Will this affect the structural integrity of the stairs? Thanks!
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staircase remodel: removing riser-018-staircase.jpg   staircase remodel: removing riser-34957c6cf1c74a962c2aa50931f295bf.jpg   staircase remodel: removing riser-3e33e0d2137cd2d954acb652cb6a02a1.jpg  

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Old 12-11-2012, 05:54 PM   #2
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Moved to carpentry forum.

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Old 12-11-2012, 06:17 PM   #3
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staircase remodel: removing riser


I'm not a stair master---however--riser-less stairs are no longer allowed by code in the US and Canada
So tempered glass rises will be needed---or something to restrict the size to less than 4"

The insides of your risers will be 'utility grade' looking---raw plywood--glue runs--glue blocks and exposed screws---

Also exposed tread wedges might be unsightly---

A new staircase built for that treatment might be a better choice.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:23 PM   #4
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staircase remodel: removing riser


You have to find out what the structure of the existing stairs is -
meaning - bust into the under-side of the stairs.
Check with your local code enforcement authority - to see if open "risers"
will "fly".
In some places - you can't have open "risers".
Better find someone that knows "structure".
See what they say.
To put a set of stairs in there - many thousands!!

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Last edited by rossfingal; 12-11-2012 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:35 PM   #5
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staircase remodel: removing riser


The carriages of those two stairs are totally different. This for sure is not a DIY project as it would be really involved, unless your skill level is pretty high, even then it is iffy. Even if code allowed the open risers which it won't. Chances are once the sheet rock is removed you will see the carriage or stringers will not be dressed and several different types of fasteners and bolts will be exposed that would have to be covered, not to mention the holes in the back of the treads where the riser is fastened as well as glue. The scotia mold will leave nail holes on the underside of the front part of the tread also.The front edge of the stringers will have to be dressed someway as well.

Another thing to think of is removing and replacing all of the treads as there will be a 3/4 inch gap behind each tread by the removal of the risers.

Chances are the stairs will be more bouncy once the risers are removed also. You will have to address the exposed edge of the skirts, and if the stairs are mortised in on the wall side, you will have to cover or fill the area where the risers are mortised into the stringer. Even if they aren't mortised in, the skirts will have to be modified and refinished. You will not be able to get that complete open look with the design of the existing stairs.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:40 PM   #6
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staircase remodel: removing riser


Not sure how it works in your area but here the bottom of the exposed stairs needs to be covered with 5/8 sheetrock to meet fire code.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:23 PM   #7
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staircase remodel: removing riser


Jessh!
You got a really, nice set of stairs (existing) -
Why mess with something that ain't broke!?!
Don't understand!?!
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:49 PM   #8
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staircase remodel: removing riser


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Jessh!
You got a really, nice set of stairs (existing) -
Why mess with something that ain't broke!?!
Don't understand!?!
Maybe because “cooler” is better than just “cool”.

Anything’s possible for a few more shillings.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:53 PM   #9
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Do not proceed, this is far outside the task a DIY'er should consider taking on. In addition to the things already mentioned removing the risers will greatly effect the beam load capacity of the inside stringer. Esthetics aside you would need a structural engineer to sign off on it. My recommendation would be to contact a stair shop in your area. They could make the stair then bring it to your house as a completed stair. You would have a stair built correctly and the peace of mind knowing a structural engineer certified it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:04 PM   #10
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staircase remodel: removing riser


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Do not proceed, this is far outside the task a DIY'er should consider taking on. In addition to the things already mentioned removing the risers will greatly effect the beam load capacity of the inside stringer. Esthetics aside you would need a structural engineer to sign off on it. My recommendation would be to contact a stair shop in your area. They could make the stair then bring it to your house as a completed stair. You would have a stair built correctly and the peace of mind knowing a structural engineer certified it.
Beautiful work buddy.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:14 PM   #11
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staircase remodel: removing riser


Thanks for all the responses! I guess I'll stop dreaming about this then. It was something I thought of but was never able to find the answers. Now I got the answers, I'll remove this thought from my DYI brain. Thanks!
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:24 PM   #12
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staircase remodel: removing riser


Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Mathewson View Post
Do not proceed, this is far outside the task a DIY'er should consider taking on. In addition to the things already mentioned removing the risers will greatly effect the beam load capacity of the inside stringer. Esthetics aside you would need a structural engineer to sign off on it. My recommendation would be to contact a stair shop in your area. They could make the stair then bring it to your house as a completed stair. You would have a stair built correctly and the peace of mind knowing a structural engineer certified it.
Nice stairs!
You're a 16th off over there, though!!

Happy Holidays!

(Thanks for stopping by!)

NICE!! Stairs! Holy Moly!

Last edited by rossfingal; 12-11-2012 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:59 PM   #13
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staircase remodel: removing riser


Full disclosure, I didn't build those stairs but helped a fellow stairbuilder install the curved glass balustrade. If I remember the story right when the house was built the builder intended to install it himself and hired a local stair-parts company, now out of business, to make the stair. At some point it was felt, I think by the homeowner, that he wasn't up to it and hired my friend to finish it and he asked me to help.
Drilling 2" holes on that inside stringer was a real pain.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:51 PM   #14
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staircase remodel: removing riser


Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Mathewson View Post
Full disclosure, I didn't build those stairs but helped a fellow stairbuilder install the curved glass balustrade. If I remember the story right when the house was built the builder intended to install it himself and hired a local stair-parts company, now out of business, to make the stair. At some point it was felt, I think by the homeowner, that he wasn't up to it and hired my friend to finish it and he asked me to help.
Drilling 2" holes on that inside stringer was a real pain.
Seeing several of your stairs built similar, I just took for granted that this was yours also.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:39 PM   #15
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Jim,
I should have said something in the first post. Funny thing I just got a set of blueprints a couple of days ago for a job so it looks like I'll be building a stair much like it, only in white oak in about 9 months.

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