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Old 08-03-2012, 04:47 PM   #1
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Framing Basement Stairs


I'm getting ready to start framing part of my basement but am confused how to frame along the stairs. The wall I just tore out was a 2x2 from the floor to the joist from the bottom step, then another 2x2 along the joist with paneling tacked to the side of the stairs and the 2x2's. I've done alot of searching and everything i've seen has a stringer on the side of the steps. As you can see my treads overhang. (Please pay no mind to the mess) So how do I frame along the steps? Or do I need to add a 2x8 or 2x10 to the side then frame against that? Input is appreciated!


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Old 08-03-2012, 05:09 PM   #2
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Framing Basement Stairs


is that a solid stringer on the side with a triangular block on top for the riser and tread?

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Old 08-03-2012, 11:11 PM   #3
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Framing Basement Stairs


It took me a minute to figure out what you were asking but no it isnt, i can see how the shadow gives that effect. I notice now my pic sucks for detail for what i'm asking, i'll take bsome better ones and post them up!
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:19 PM   #4
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Framing Basement Stairs


Depends on what look your going for.
Open stairs or enclosed.

Do you plan on leaving those rough treads in place?
If you Googled stair case pictures lot's of ideas will come up so you can come up with a plan on how you want it to look then we can help.
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:43 PM   #5
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Framing Basement Stairs


The stairs will eventually be covered in linoleum or carpet. I've done some searching and did some poor drawings of what I want. The first pic is the ideal setup. The half wall will open up at the 5th tread and go from there. I would like to have the switches in the area that I circled. Are half walls like this generally tall enough to put the switches there? On either the inside or outside of that wall is fine too. If not, I'm not totally against doing a post at the bottom step like the second pic, but this is not preferred. My biggest question though is how the framing and drywall fits in with no skirt on the side of the treads. I can't find anything online or in any books that cover this. EVERYthing I find has stringers flush on the side of the staircase. I'm sure it's something very simple, but i am a rookie when it comes to framing! Anyways what are your thoughts, ideas and recommendations? Thank You!

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Old 08-04-2012, 05:55 PM   #6
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Framing Basement Stairs


Most often a 2 X 4 is attached the stringer just below where the two cuts were made the full length, the wall gets built about 5" above where the tip of the tread will land.
The wall gets sheetrocked on both sides and finished, ready to paint. A skirt board goes in on the stair side, then the treads and risers get installed.

Not going to work with those treads and risers in the way.
There has to be a 3 way light switch at the top and bottom of the stairs.
(I've been installing sconch lights on the wall instead of the ceiling so I can change the bulbs without my special ladder.)
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:03 PM   #7
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Framing Basement Stairs


Like Joe mentioned --Add some blocking along the bottom face of the stair stringer--enough to push your new wall 1 1'4 inch from the edger if the tread--

I don't know how wide that overhang is---but add that depth to your 1 1'4 inches and you will have your number--

You new wall need to be far enough away from the edge of the tread to allow for 1//2" drywall and 3/4" skirtboard.
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:08 PM   #8
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The problum I can see with doing it like Mike suggest is all the treads and risers would have to be all the same length if there off there's going to be gaps againt the skirt is.
May want to check, a simple piece of string pulled tight would give you an idea.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:00 PM   #9
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Build your 2x4 wall about 5/8" away from the edge of the stairs, so you can slip drywall in there.
Then block a few points between your stairs and the wall so you can fasten your wall to the stairs. Or add appropriate thickness all the way along, say a 2x4 with plywood strip to be the same thickness as the overhang.

If you want the skirt board look add it to the side of the overhang, say a 1x10 running all the way up.

At the bottom stud make a L shaped metal bracket. 3.25" wide and about 12" on each leg. Put this on top of the bottom plate and on the inside of the stud, screw it on. This will really help to stiffen the wall at the bottom of the stairs with no post to the ceiling.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:10 PM   #10
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I think you’re all missing the root question here.

I think OP is asking how to frame a skirt wall “preferably” without a post at the end of the wall from floor to ceiling to stabilize the end of the wall.

If this is the case and assuming the basement floor is concrete I’d cut a hole in the slab and set a end post into concrete like a fence post (i know post in the ground are taboo here) to frame the skirt wall too.
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:06 AM   #11
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I understood same as you. My method with the metal L is plenty strong, used it a few times.
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mae-ling View Post
I understood same as you. My method with the metal L is plenty strong, used it a few times.
Sorry...guess I stopped one paragraph short in reading the thread.

That would stiffen things up.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:26 PM   #13
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Framing Basement Stairs


Thanks for the replies! Joe it sounds like you are saying to tear out the treads and risers?? I'm also confused by the comment of building the wall 5" above the tread tip, I see my drawing makes it look pretty low but I want it to be more like hand rail height. Please forgive my lack of knowledge concerning this! Mae-ling, overall it sounds like I should tack a 2x4 along the side of the stringer the length of the staircase, then run a 1x10 down the side, then build the wall 1/2" away from that for drywall clearance? I checked and a 2x4 sits flush with the side of the treads and risers when mocked up. To be honest I hadn't even thought about needing to stiffen the lower wall Thanks for the insight on the L bracket. Joe, as for the switches, I planned on adding the 3way for the stairway light at the bottom as there has never been one. The switch at the top of the stairs is on the same side as where I want to put this one. It's a pretty straight shot. Planned on running it up the wall cavity through the ceiling like this diagram (which is pretty much what I want to do). How high should I build the half wall to have the switch box where I noted in this pic?


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Old 08-05-2012, 04:37 PM   #14
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Framing Basement Stairs


I've seen many electricians put the bottom of the switch box at 50" from the floor.

The 1x10 skirt board is up to you, the treads & risers could be just up against the drywall. Depends on the look you want.
Although the skirt board can take more abuse then the drywall, but people shouldn't be kicking there.

Here is sort of what I was meaning with a skirt board, you would need a wider spacer though.


If you go with a skirt board plan how it will meet the baseboard at the top and bottom.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:15 AM   #15
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Just install a rake-cut (tight-fit) on top 4x4 post next to the second stud in from the last one. Nail to the plate well, bolt to the stringer with a recessed head, very strong.

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