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kujo 03-20-2013 01:49 AM

Moving a staircase
1 Attachment(s)
Currently the steps in my house are in front of the entry door, and are set 1 foot from the outside wall so they are free standing stairs. The upstairs of the house is a big open room (26x36) with only exterior walls. (downstairs measures 28x36) They are only attached at the floor joist of the second floor where the go up at and rest on the floor and are open on the backside. (cant see them but they are just to the left of where the picture cuts off at). They currently are perpindicular to the floor joist and are 3ft wide.

I want to move these to the center, middle of the house (where the pool table is) and attach to the center beam running down the house which would now make the stairs run parallel to the floor joist.

Can't I put up a temp wall about 4 foot from the exterior wall downstairs (so would leave a 3 foot space upstairs) cut out the floor to the support beam, use the floor joist i just cut out to build a brace at the end of the 4 foot section i just left from the cut and remove the temp wall, and add some floor joist to make the close off the sides of the cut hole. Attach the stairs to the center beam.

There would be one ceiling fan to move.

The brace for the four foot wall would be load bearing for a 3ft x 4ft span

The end result is the staircase in the center, midlle of the house with a 3ft wide floor between the exterior wall upstairs and to where the whole was cut on the second foor of the house with a raling around the hole on the second floor which would open up the floor since there will be no walls surrounding the steps on either floor

SquishyBall 03-20-2013 10:05 AM

From what you're describing it sounds doable... but it's a way bigger project than it seems. I think stairs are one of the most difficult construction projects one can do.

I would not reuse your cut pieces to fill in the old hole. I would sister in new full length joists that are hung off your main beam and span to the far wall. This means tearing up your ceiling, but I'd want those unbroken spans. Burying a cut and framed opening in the ceiling could be bad if someone cuts a joist later thinking it's just one but the hidden header was hanging on it instead...

Consider also you'll have new subfloor to put in and level, new tile, new carpet, carepentry work to finish off the stairs... it's just a huge project. I've thought about simply widening our stairs to make them look more grand... but the devastation involved extends to the whole house.

Blondesense 03-20-2013 10:05 AM

O.K. I admit I'm blond, but I read your post three times and am having a hard time picturing what you are planning.

A scale drawing of what you currently have along with what your are planning so people could easier understand may get you more replies.

GBrackins 03-20-2013 05:34 PM


Originally Posted by Blondesense (Post 1141440)
O.K. I admit I'm blond, but I read your post three times and am having a hard time picturing what you are planning.

A scale drawing of what you currently have along with what your are planning so people could easier understand may get you more replies.

I got a brain cramp ....

just remember new stairs must be compliant with your new building code so check with your building official to find out what your maximum riser height and minimum tread depth are. your new stairs may require more space than the existing stairs.

post a sketch and people will poke holes, I mean give you proper feedback. :thumbsup:

kujo 03-21-2013 01:18 AM

3 Attachment(s)
These are really rough drawings i did in about 5 minutes. The upstairs has no walls currently I will be adding everything. The house really is unfinished so major construction isn't much of an issue.

You can see the outside of the house at my other post and the major overhaul I have to do there

GBrackins 03-21-2013 06:35 AM

typically you would double up your floor joists where you are creating your opening for the stairs. when the opening begins towards the front of the house you would typically install a double header (running between double joists on sides of opening).

Just find out what your riser & tread requirements are, together with the minimum headroom requirement. Give your building official a call.

Just so that you can view typical code requirement check out this link. Again discuss this with your inspector.

Good luck! :thumbsup:

kujo 03-21-2013 08:13 AM

Since the steps are only attached to the floor joist at the top I was going to pry them lose and drag them over to the hole I cut, double up the floor joist on each side and attach them to the support beam running down the middle between the two support poles. The support been is two, maybe three, 2x10 doubled up running 36 foot long.

Blondesense 03-21-2013 11:32 AM

I don't have any experience regarding moving the stairs, but I would like to throw out a couple of thoughts regarding your layout.

Is the bottom drawing already in place, or what you have planned?
So currently, your stairs and entrance are in bedroom #2? I assume you going to move your exterior door to the bottom of the stairs and make the entryway there?

You might think of a way to lose that 3 foot hallway to nowhere. Either move the staircase over if possible making more of an entryway, or make it part of bedroom #3. As is, it seems totally wasted square footage.
Also, if you have the staircase against a wall it would be easy to add a handrail. I picture trying to walk up stairs with an armful of groceries and nothing to hold on to as a recipe for disaster, not to mention totally against code.

kujo 03-21-2013 11:49 AM

The bottom floor is existing and the only wall in the bottom is around the bathroom. Its a lakehouse with two big open floors.

You are correct with currently the stairs come into bedroom two.

The stairs currently have rails on both sides that go up 8 feet to where they meet the ceiling then there are no rails just the walls to hold onto.

Where I am placing the steps will be the same way on the right hand side, will meet the ceiling and the master bedroom wall. On the left hand side I will add a rail as well as around the top. I want the wasted footage to open the floors together. There will be a 10ft long 6ft wide hole in the ceiling with a three foot hallway around the steps on the side with the two bedrooms and in front of the steps leading eventually to a deck upstairs that will be built.

I'm leaving the entry door where it is and putting french doors at the base up the steps going out onto the deck I'm going to add on the bottom floor.

I had another house with a similar design and we loved it.

kujo 04-02-2013 01:29 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Stairs are moved! Went just like i thought it would. I have 3 1/2 feet from the bottom of the steps to the patio door I am going to install. Thanks everyone for your input.

kujo 04-02-2013 01:43 PM

Here is the link to the video of the ceiling being cut out

SquishyBall 04-02-2013 02:03 PM

Holy cow! I was half watching that and thinking to myself "ok when is something going to crash here"... Bam!

There wasn't a safer way? Like cut out the drywall square then the flooring then cut the joists one by one? That looked really dangerous. Plus all that weight hanging on your joists while the last few were cut...

I'm glad it worked out. :) Have some finishing work ahead of you!

It does not look like you sistered in new beams along the two full length ones closest to the new opening... and then double headers... I think you really should frame this in fully... especially where the stairs affix.

kujo 04-02-2013 02:15 PM

LOL. I'm sure there was a safer way but there is no fun in that. There is a box built around the opening. Everything was doubled up. I did not add any to the existing header since it was already doubled. I am going to build a small 1ft by 3ft box to attatch to the top side of the steps by the opening and that will reattatch the steps back like they were before I moved them. Those steps are actually more sturdier now than they were before. There was 6 nails holding them up before I cut the down. I have them nailed to one side of the box and toe nailed to the header. Already more nails than before and one more side to go

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