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Old 05-18-2007, 12:34 PM   #1
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Building a staircase


Right now I've got a pull down staircase on the first floor into my bonus room (the room is more like an attic now). I want to build a full, straight, staircase in the same spot; I've heard this is about the hardest thing to correctly build in a house. The hole in the ceiling would have to be opened up and reinforced, none of which I'm worried about. What I've heard is that cutting the stringers is insanely difficult and codes are rediculous on step height and depth and a few other points.... its not as easy as measuring your rise and run and dividing by the number of steps.

Any feedback? A contractor quoted me $1000 and I'm inclined to let him do the dirty work (actually that quote includes tearing out a cinder block chiimney in the middle of my house too).

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Old 05-18-2007, 12:54 PM   #2
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Building a staircase


You nkow it is hard, but with good reason...you'd be well-advised to check out the building code books and do some reading...it's not difficult once you start to understand the dimensions, what they mean and where they're important.

As a primer...look at the code check "book" from Taunton, it has all the specifics...and will get you started. I don't have mine available at the moment, or I would post the dimensions for you...

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Old 05-18-2007, 10:37 PM   #3
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Building a staircase


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Right now I've got a pull down staircase on the first floor into my bonus room (the room is more like an attic now). I want to build a full, straight, staircase in the same spot; I've heard this is about the hardest thing to correctly build in a house. The hole in the ceiling would have to be opened up and reinforced, none of which I'm worried about. What I've heard is that cutting the stringers is insanely difficult and codes are rediculous on step height and depth and a few other points.... its not as easy as measuring your rise and run and dividing by the number of steps.

Any feedback? A contractor quoted me $1000 and I'm inclined to let him do the dirty work (actually that quote includes tearing out a cinder block chiimney in the middle of my house too).
I would not classify it as "insanely difficult" But there are lots of details that could go wrong for a DIY project. That does not seem overly expensive to prepare the new rough opening and build a staircase. Just be sure that the guy you are hiring has experience on stairs, so that he can correctly allow for finished floor heights when cutting the top and bottom of the stringers. And tear out an old fireplace too?...I think I'd call him before he changes his mind.
You are right in that the codes are pretty stringent on the tolerances for stairs, as sudden descrepencises create a safety issue, and most inspectors will cast a little closer look at them.

Last edited by troubleseeker; 05-18-2007 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 05-19-2007, 08:56 AM   #4
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Building a staircase


He's not "tearing out a fireplace", he would be removing the cinder block chimney in the middle of my house that vents the furnace and hot water heater.... no fireplace unfortunately.
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Old 05-19-2007, 10:01 AM   #5
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Building a staircase


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.....
Any feedback? A contractor quoted me $1000 and I'm inclined to let him do the dirty work (actually that quote includes tearing out a cinder block chiimney in the middle of my house too).

You don't mention the details, so I would assume that the price you got was for the demolition and rough framing (not finished) stairs..... I would say his price is right. As Troubleseeker suggested; This is not a job for the average DIY. You might want to consider hiring him if his contract, references, license and insurance check out.

I have seen newly framed stairs messed up by guys who even claim to be ''carpenters'' (Not framers)....
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Old 11-09-2013, 12:03 PM   #6
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Building a staircase


It's by no means an impossible job for a DIYer. I replaced a crumbling housed stringer staircase in my mothers house. I used LVLs for the stringers. If you can get one right, pattern it to the other. I built the frame on the porch then set it in place and laid oak treads and pine risers.

If you can use sketchup, the whole thing gets much easier. Work out your measurements and offsets for finished floors in the sketch, then just measure and cut.
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Old 11-09-2013, 12:40 PM   #7
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??? Thanks.... I finished the staircase 6 years ago
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Old 11-09-2013, 12:42 PM   #8
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Building a staircase


Lol must've got lost browsing old threads.
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Old 11-09-2013, 01:12 PM   #9
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Building a staircase


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??? Thanks.... I finished the staircase 6 years ago
Got pictures, how did they turn out?
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:08 AM   #10
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Building a staircase


What stairs are you building are those wooden ones or steels, the charges may depend upon any of these both if its normal staircase made of cement then the price is good .
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:11 PM   #11
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Building a staircase


This reminds me of something like that I did in 2007. I was insanely busy and got a call from a "contractor" that needed two flights of stairs roughed in for carpet. He told me it was an old house and the floors were wildly out of level. Also that he had been at it for 2 or 3 days, couldn't get it right and would I rip it out and rebuild. I told he I could only do it on a Saturday, have all materials on site and it was $500 labor per flight. I arrived about 9am, demo by 10am. Took my laser and shot the height from the landing locations. Cut the stringers and applied the redi-step treads and pine risers and was packing up my tools by 2pm. The guy cut me a check and couldn't thank me enough.
The floors were wildly out but I guess it depends on your knowledge and experience.

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