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-   -   Is it safe to screw into bottom of stair stringer? (

barlav 02-24-2011 01:07 PM

Is it safe to screw into bottom of stair stringer?
I am finishing an area underneath my basement stairs. I plan on drywalling the slanted ceiling in the space. There are 3 stringers altogether. One on each side and one in the middle. The one in the middle sticks down further than the ones on the side. The stairwell is 42" wide. If I add a 2X4 to the bottom of the side stringers it evens it up enough with the center stringer to be able to add the drywall. My current plan is to add these 2X4s to the bottom of the stringers by screwing them right into the bottoms of the stringers using 2 1/2" screws. And then the drywall screws will go into these 2X4's on the sides and also into the bottom of the center stringer.

So my question is: Will screwing into the bottoms of the stair stringers compromise their integrity at all? It certainly is the easiest way to attach to but if it is unsafe then I would rather come up with another plan.

Thanks for your help!

Willie T 02-24-2011 01:19 PM

When the undersides of stairways are drywalled, the stringers are screwed into dozens of times. In effect, will you not be adding additional support for the stairs by way of the wall beneath? (meaning, anchor those side 2x4's into the side walls..... those two outside stringers are already probably laterally attached to the side walls.)

I can't see a problem, except to check on local codes about creating a storage space under those stairs. Often it is prohibited. (if that is your intention.)

Mudman 02-24-2011 02:31 PM

Give her! There is nothing wrong with doing this. It's the quick way of furring out stud walls and in your case- under the stairs. I always laugh when, in new construction, I see guys try to accommodate hvac or plumbing by replacing studs with larger studs ripped on table saws etc.

One other method is to measure the gap you need on the other stringers and then glue on a strip of the appropriate size plywood/osb.

barlav 02-24-2011 03:20 PM

Thanks for the replies! That makes sense. I guess I should've looked up at the drywall when walking up the basement stairs and figured the drywall was attached to the stringers. I am a little slow sometimes. Thanks again!

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