Basement Stairs Question - Building & Construction - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Building & Construction

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-21-2012, 11:45 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Aurora, IL
Posts: 74
Rewards Points: 87
Default

Basement stairs question


Hello again,

As you can see from this picture, I knocked out the wall that went floor to ceiling and constructed a new handrail for the bottom section of the basement stairs. Because of the framing that I had to do on the far wall to cover the concrete foundation, I lost some space on the stairs and wanted to open this all up for aesthetic and space reasons. I have secured the rail at all possible points that come in contact with other lumber and with 3" screws. However, the rail still seems a little wobbly to me. Is this something that will decrease considerably with the extra support that the drywall will provide or are there additional measures (more studs, brackets) that I will need to take? As always, thanks for your help!


Andy

Attached Thumbnails
Basement stairs question-basement-steps.jpg  

Advertisement

andybeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2012, 12:23 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 'burbs of Detroit, MI
Posts: 467
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Basement stairs question


The space above the outside corner of the bottom step looks like a meeting place for several beams at different angles; you cut a post out of that spot? Are you sure you could/should? I would put a post back there, tie the hand rail to it. Two birds... one stone.

Advertisement

moneymgmt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2012, 12:42 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Aurora, IL
Posts: 74
Rewards Points: 87
Default

Basement stairs question


I did not take out anything that was structural. There was a stud wall there but it was only loosely attached to the josts and only spanned across three of them There was nothing attached to the joist above the last step. I want to avoid adding anything that runs floor to ceiling as that will nearly defeat the purpose of removing the wall. I am concerned with getting furniture down the stairs once this is done. Could I just put some 2x4's horizontally between the studs and attach them to the joist on the side of the stairs?

The way the wall lined up, there is about a 1/2 inch space between the framing and the stairs. This was how the old wall was and I can only assume it was to prevent from having to cut drywall to fit the stairs. Instead, a larger sheet could be slid into the gap without needing to be cut. Can someone confirm that this is how it is done?

Thanks!
andybeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2012, 04:38 PM   #4
Ole Wood Worker

 
BigJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Lookout Valley, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Posts: 7,874
Rewards Points: 2,838
Blog Entries: 1
Default

Basement stairs question


That is what the spacer is for, if the stairs had been in a more formal area they would have used a 2X4 for a spacer so sheet rock and a skirt board could be installed. If you are wanting to secure the rail you have there now, just install a 2X4 horizontally against the stringer just below the treads, nail the ends of the 2X4s into the stringer and the cripples that should steady it up pretty good.
__________________
New members: Please consider adding your location to your profile.

If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time!

Jim
BigJim is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to BigJim For This Useful Post:
oh'mike (06-21-2012)
Old 06-21-2012, 05:22 PM   #5
Old School
 
Willie T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them.
Posts: 3,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Basement stairs question


Quote:
Originally Posted by moneymgmt View Post
The space above the outside corner of the bottom step looks like a meeting place for several beams at different angles; you cut a post out of that spot? Are you sure you could/should? I would put a post back there, tie the hand rail to it. Two birds... one stone.
A post sounds like an effective idea, but there's a problem. As the stairs sit now, you have the ability to turn a longer item carried either up or down the stairs. With the introduction of a floor-to-ceiling post, you will no longer have that option.

I'd go more with the idea Jim had.
__________________
"True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is."
François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Willie T
Willie T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2012, 08:03 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Aurora, IL
Posts: 74
Rewards Points: 87
Default

Basement stairs question


Thanks everyone! I went with Jim's suggestion and it helped a lot! Seems much sturdier now than it was!

Thanks again!
andybeck is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to andybeck For This Useful Post:
BigJim (06-22-2012)
Old 06-24-2012, 01:06 AM   #7
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 10,007
Rewards Points: 2,080
Default

Basement stairs question


I will point out the wall removed was built to help support the single stair joist with the doubled joist only spanning partway to carry the load. As pointed out correctly by moneymgmt above. I sure hope the single carries through to the stair side wall and the doubler that is cantilevered- runs back the full length. Otherwise you have a scary situation there.

I use a 2' length of header (4x8, 10) stood on-end next to the end short-wall stud as a great stiffener, just nail the bottom end to the bottom plate securely. Your wall appears short of the 36-38" mark, will you add a graspable cap on top: http://www.arcways.com/pdfs/IRC2006.pdf

Gary
__________________
If any ads are present in my answer above, I do not condone/support/use the product or services listed, they are there against my permission.
Gary in WA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2012, 12:55 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Aurora, IL
Posts: 74
Rewards Points: 87
Default

Basement stairs question


Gary,

I apologize but I am not familiar with the lingo and do not understand what you are referring to in regards to the structural requirements. I did have a contractor who lives in my neighborhood look at the wall prior to removing it and he said it was not load bearing. If it helps any, the joist that runs left to right in the picture is actually a double.

Thanks again!
andybeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2012, 01:09 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Phoenix AZ
Posts: 452
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Basement stairs question


I agree with others about it being a bearing wall.. Any time you have a joist, that have joist hangers nailed to a double joist that means that double joist is carrying a the load. In your case you have 2 single joists, a double joist that is butting into the "load" bearing double joist, and not only that you have another double joist, carrying 1 joist is all I can see in the photo and I'm sure there are more, that is butting the other double joist with makes it a "load bearing joist as well. Sir. How you can say that wall was there loosely is beyond me. Heard any creaking lately?
CopperClad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2012, 02:15 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Aurora, IL
Posts: 74
Rewards Points: 87
Default

Basement stairs question


I can say "the wall was loosely attached" because I am the one that took it down. No, I have not heard any creaking lately or ever. The area directly above these joists is an entryway to the front of the house. The entryway is a two story foyer. The only weight that is directly on this area is the weight of the wood flooring. Before CopperClad makes another smart @** comment, I should make it clear that I am aware of the fact that a joist does not only carry the weight of what is directly above it.
andybeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2012, 02:35 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Phoenix AZ
Posts: 452
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Basement stairs question


Only cuz you put my name it will I reply even though 3 others have commented on the fact.. If it's non-bearing. You wouldn't have a problem tearing the whole wall out then would you?? Tear the whole wall out and post back.
CopperClad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2012, 02:49 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Aurora, IL
Posts: 74
Rewards Points: 87
Default

Basement stairs question


The whole wall is torn out! The wall to the right of the picture is perpendicular and is definitely load bearing because it supports the 90 degree turn in the stairs.

I by no means claim to be an expert at any of this stuff however, I would not remove a wall (especially one that is in a basement with two floors above it) without consulting someone that is an expert. As I mentioned, I had a very experienced contractor look at the wall prior to removal to ensure it was safe to remove and have since had him return considering the questions that have been raised in this forum.

One of the problems with these forums is the lack of information that decisons and advice are given based off of. I would not use a forum to determine whether or not a wall was load bearing. That to me is something that really needs to be seen in person. Instead I use a forum to get advice for how to stabilize a half wall which is what this thread was started for.

I truly appreciate and welcome everyones advice, I just don't care for cynicism!

Thanks again,
Andy
andybeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2012, 11:14 AM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 'burbs of Detroit, MI
Posts: 467
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Basement stairs question


3 votes for "put a post there" and 2 votes, including you, for "its easier to move furniture with no post there."

It isn't cynicism, we're telling you what we see. Just because the house didn't collapse doesn't mean it wasn't structural. You'll know if a few years if things start to sag or floors bounce. The cynicism comes in when you say how much you trust your "experienced contractor neighbor" to tell you what is or isn't structural, yet he can't tell you how to firm up a handrail. Expressing your lack of knowledge while defending your decision is nonsensical. If you have your solution, be done, leave the thread alone and let it fade away.....
moneymgmt is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to moneymgmt For This Useful Post:
CopperClad (06-27-2012)
Old 06-27-2012, 12:06 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: B.C. Canada
Posts: 2,055
Rewards Points: 1,030
Default

Basement stairs question


Has your experience carpenter come looked now with everything out?
I agree that onsite is the best (maybe only) way to truely tell.
Like others to me it looks like it could be structural.
Can you posts more pics of that area from other angles?
mae-ling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2012, 12:12 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Aurora, IL
Posts: 74
Rewards Points: 87
Default

Basement stairs question


Quote:
Originally Posted by CopperClad View Post
Tear the whole wall out and post back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CopperClad View Post
Heard any creaking lately?
Both of these comments are the definition of cynicism! Until CopperClad commented in the way that he did, I had been extremely grateful for everyone's input. It is not nonsensical to express my lack of knowledge while defending a decision I made. The contractor that I had look at the wall was obviously looking prior to my need to strengthen the half-wall. When I had him return to reassess the ceiling based on concerns raised in this thread, I had already utilized some of the outstanding advice that I had received here. A decision had to be made and no offense but I decided to listen to someone with more experience than me who was able to see the situation first hand.

Like I said, I did not start the thread to evaluate if a wall was load bearing. I believe as true professionals, none of you would determine if a wall is or is not load bearing based on a picture and I wouldn't rely on a forum to help me make that decision.

Once again, I appreciate everyone's input (even CopperClad's)! While his comments did piss me off, I realize he meant well. I did not want to get involved in a "forum fight" and I apologize for wasting everyone's time.

Thanks again for all of your help!
Andy

Advertisement

andybeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Building Code Requirements: Basement Stairs (Quantity) dutchswan0311 Building & Construction 27 09-19-2011 07:13 PM
Basement Stairs (Canada, ON code?) SFX Group Building & Construction 12 10-29-2010 05:30 PM
Basement egress stairs June Benninger Building & Construction 0 08-07-2010 02:54 AM
Need Advice on how to complete basement stairs. Bakuto Building & Construction 11 04-05-2010 10:37 PM
Basement Insulation / Vapor Barrier Question Krendler Building & Construction 0 02-24-2010 06:29 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts