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Old 01-31-2012, 08:10 AM   #1
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I've got some uncomfortable stairs down to the basement.
There isn't much I can do about the space and stringer layout ...
but I do think how the tread and riser boards are set can be adjusted.

Here's what I have:
1) The stringers are cut with 9" of run against 8" of rise...
2) The 8" riser face board is 3/4" wide at base (with a nice taper at top)
3) The tread boards are 1 1/8" x 11 1/4".
4) That nosing overhangs the riser by 2 3/4"
(See the picture below)

Any ideas? Thanks.
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Last edited by TarheelTerp; 01-31-2012 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:15 AM   #2
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These stairs are unsafe and would never meet and codes I've ever heard of. They need to come out and be redone.
http://www.blocklayer.com/stairs/stairseng.aspx

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Old 01-31-2012, 08:31 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
These stairs are unsafe and would never meet and codes I've ever heard of.
Thank you for your comment.
(you should see some of the other stuff here)

They need to come out and be redone.
OK; pretend for a moment this might actually happen...

The floor opening (inside of headers) is 98" long.
From the floor to the top of the joists is 97 1/2" high (99" to floor).
What can fit into that space?
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:38 AM   #4
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Just because the opening is 98" doesn't mean the stairs can't be a little longer as long as you have (I believe) 7' of headroom straight up from that step to the bottom of the header (floor).
Cut new stringers.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by titanoman View Post
...as long as you have (I believe) 7' of headroom straight up from that step to the bottom of the header
That right there is the problem: this is a basement with an 881/2" rough height.
Finished ceiling will be lower; no more than 87" (less flooring).

To avoid the height clearance issue would mean open the floor up...
and moving the header about 21-24" and relocating a duct run too.

ETA: I *could* expand the opening as much as 20"...
(I'll explore this but I still don't want to open that can of worms)


Assuming I remain stubborn: How can I (best) trim and/or reset the treads and riser boards to make this "better". Thanks.

Last edited by TarheelTerp; 01-31-2012 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:34 AM   #6
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I have an old car with a broken frame, bald tires, and almost no brakes left. What brand of wax should I polish the car with to make it safer?
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:04 AM   #7
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Ok, since it's obvious you aren't going to do this right, let me at least explain why there is not much you can do.

The rise and run of stringers (foot lift and tread depth) has to be initially figured and cut correctly to get the stringer angle and tread platforms to fall within safe and comfortable parameters. This was not done here. And there is not a thing in the world you can do to change the cuts once they are made because it is an angle and tilt thing that is now a part of the cut pattern.

Secondly, the piece of lumber chosen for the stringers was too narrow. There is not enough solid (uncut) wood left in your stringers to offer adequate support. This CAN be helped by "sistering" in another piece alongside the stringers, thouroughly fastening the two pieces together.

But that is about all you can do. No alteration in the world is going to change the inadequate tread depths. Any nosing overhang you try to cheat with will be offset and negated as soon as the next tread is installed.

You need a bigger hole in the floor, bigger lumber in the stringers, a newly calculated riser/run cut, and much thicker treads with legal nosing overhangs. Then you'll need some railings.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:12 AM   #8
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BTW, if you do nothing else, you really should consider the "sistering" of the stringers. Think about it. Those stringers are ALL that is supporting your weight and the additional weight of anything you carry up or down those stairs. If a stringer breaks, you can easily be seriously hurt or even killed.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
Ok, since it's obvious you aren't going to do this right, let me at least explain why there is not much you can do.
I get all that... Thanks.

Quote:
You need a bigger hole in the floor, bigger lumber in the stringers, a newly calculated riser/run cut, and much thicker treads with legal nosing overhangs.
Below is a (cell phone pic) hand sketch of what I came up with.
The 98" opening expanded to 118"
the floor to the top of the joists is still 97 1/2" high (99" to floor).
I'm showing a stringer using 83/4" run, 7" rise and about 1 1/4" nose.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TarheelTerp
I get all that... Thanks.

Below is a (cell phone pic) hand sketch of what I came up with.
The 98" opening expanded to 118"
the floor to the top of the joists is still 97 1/2" high (99" to floor).
I'm showing a stringer using 83/4" run, 7" rise and about 1 1/4" nose.
So your tread is 10" total?
Makes you closer to legal.
I think you're doing the right thing even if it is a little more work than you were hoping.
At least they will be safe.

Last edited by titanoman; 01-31-2012 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:46 AM   #11
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Can you make a 90 degree turn halfway up, building a landing there?
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
Can you make a 90 degree turn halfway up, building a landing there?
This was my thought if you can't make the stair all on one plane do to the restrictions you mentioned.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:38 PM   #13
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Here are three shots. All are using 7-5/8" x 10". If you use 3/4" risers, (on top of the treads), this setup will give you 1-5/8" nosing overhangs.

"A" is as it would sit with proper stringers and no floor opening change. (Obviously a pain, and no good for headroom.)

"B" shows the floor opening 20" longer. (The headroom gets better, but is still not to code.)

"C" and "D" are with a landing. The landing is undersized for code, so you might have to deal with that issue. (ie: 7-5/8" higher on the landing, and add a tread to the bottom run. Also you would still have to open the flooring hole... but it might be easier in this 90 degree location. Maybe?

Anyway, you have something accurate to look at.

If you can open a SKP file (SketchUp), here it is in full views (at the bottom of this post).
Attached Thumbnails
Stairology-stair-question-1-31-2012-.jpg   Stairology-stair-question-1-31-2012-b.jpg   Stairology-stair-question-1-31-2012-c.jpg   Stairology-stair-question-1-31-2012-d.jpg  
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File Type: skp Stair Question 1-31-2012.skp (69.2 KB, 36 views)
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:43 PM   #14
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Willie T, thank you for your time that you spend doing some of your drawings, I've seen it on many threads and appreciate the time spent. And I'm not even the OP.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by <*(((>< View Post
Willie T, thank you for your time that you spend doing some of your drawings, I've seen it on many threads and appreciate the time spent. And I'm not even the OP.
Absolutely agree.
Unfortunately... none of those layouts will work (fit).
The problem here is that I'm NOT starting with a blank page.

I can expand the opening to 9'10" (118") but the height remains 99" floor to floor with no more than 87" finished clearance. Using these parameters is how I came up with what I'm showing on my drawing which may not be ideal but is far better than what I have now.

Perfect is the enemy of good enough.
c'est la vie.

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