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Old 03-09-2012, 01:38 PM   #1
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Replacing Stair Kneewall Studs?


Good afternoon all, I have a medium effort project ahead of me that is confusing me a bit.

The kneewall of my stairs (which back to an understair closet) has been damaged or poorly designed at some point, and has a significant bow to it (2.5 + inches in and out in some places). Due to some other construction im doing around, I need that wall to be straight.

In order to determine why it was bowed, I first supported the stairs internally with a structural I-beam made out of 4x4s bolted into every place possible in order to secure the stairs from shifting at all. While they are level, and in good condition, I didnt want to risk them shifting when i took out the kneewall, even though it shouldnt be bearing any load at all.

Here's a photo of the stair wall on the right:



Upon taking apart the outside of the wall (which i hated to do, as its beautiful original plaster under the wallpaper, albeit quite cracked from the bowing), i found a situation that confused me.

The stringer in on the outside of the wall studs, and they are securely fastened with a lot of 10-penny nails to said stringer. If i didnt know better, id thing the studs were supporting the stringer with how securely they attached them. Two of the studs are broken, and one is just poorly installed, set back almost an inch and a half behind the others. This one creates the majority of the bow in the wall.

My best attempt at 3d drawings of the situation:






Blue are studs, with the sections in red being rotten/cracked/bad
Green are load bearing house timbers
red is the stringers.

Since i need to replace that wall, and have the stairs very securely supported with the bolted in I-beam structure, even though the stringer should stand on its own without that, Am I safe to remove that wall so that i may rebuild it?

Ifso, what is the best way to do it without torquing the stringer that it is so securely attached to.

A side note, is that the stringer is rough hewn, so the bottom isnt flat. Thus, no attaching studs to the bottom of the stringer.

Last edited by jbrukardt; 03-09-2012 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:40 PM   #2
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Replacing Stair Kneewall Studs?


Let me know if the images dont work, a lot of image hosting sites are blocked here at my work, and its hard to tell
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:08 PM   #3
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Replacing Stair Kneewall Studs?


The pictures didn't come through.
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:17 PM   #4
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Replacing Stair Kneewall Studs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
The pictures didn't come through.
thanks a bunch, no wonder I wasnt getting any responses. Uploaded again with a different host, hope that helps
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:23 AM   #5
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Replacing Stair Kneewall Studs?


The 4x4 beam you installed might work fine as long as it is secure to the top, pitch cut to the load bearing wall at the top of the stairs, and sitting on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. Does the stringer itself have a bow in it or is it just the wall.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:27 AM   #6
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Replacing Stair Kneewall Studs?


After looking at that first pic again, I t looks like the wall is built on the outside of the stringer. Your models show it on the inside of the stringer, are there two walls?
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:08 AM   #7
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Replacing Stair Kneewall Studs?


The studs are definitely inside the stringer, however they had an inch to inch and a half of plaster and lathe on them, making them even with the stringer edge, which only has a very thin piece of trim on it.
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:30 AM   #8
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Replacing Stair Kneewall Studs?


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Originally Posted by Millertyme View Post
The 4x4 beam you installed might work fine as long as it is secure to the top, pitch cut to the load bearing wall at the top of the stairs, and sitting on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. Does the stringer itself have a bow in it or is it just the wall.
the 4x4 structure is just a temporary support to hold up the stairs exactly where they are for safety and structural support while i fix the wall, it doesnt solve the problem, and cant stay there, as it takes up my entire closet


Rough drawing of it:



it consists of a I shape on the floor, bolted to the large support joists of the house, with two pillars coming off it, which go up to meet the central stair stringer (nonstructural stringer, not pinned at either end. The shape of the top of the support pillars is such that it meets the angle of the stringer, as well as extends on both side of it and hits the tread

As for the stringer being bowed, its hard to tell thus far, but I dont think so
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