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brd 02-21-2009 07:33 AM

stair bounce reinforce stair
We have stairs going down to finished basement that are carpeted on top but open underneath. There are 2 stringers on each side. When walking up or down the stairs they flex (bounce) a lot. I have tried screwing the risers into the treads. That helped a little. My question is what method would be best to strengthen the existing strings. Should I sister a 2x8 to the side stringers, adding a center stringer would be tough due to the carpet on the topside, or maybe some type of steel brace under the stringers running the entire length. I have to have to stairs open underneath so putting a support from the underside of stairs to floor wont work, Help.

Willie T 02-21-2009 07:54 AM

Do just the treads bounce... or the whole length of the stringers? Would it be too ugly to run hangers down from the ceiling at the midway point?

brd 02-21-2009 07:59 AM

It would be kind of ugly since I still have to put in railings. But that is a thought.

brd 02-21-2009 08:01 AM

the stringer bounces mostly in the middle.

jaros bros. 02-21-2009 08:39 AM

If the stringers are bouncing, try sistering in some dimensional lumber along the inside of the stringers from underneath. A well constructed stairs should not have this problem. Running even a 2x4 along the stringer will strengthen it. How long a length do you have for the stringers and what dimensions were they cut out of?

brd 02-21-2009 08:52 AM

thanks for responding, the dimensions of the stringers are 2 x 8 x 10' the width of the stringers are 30".

jaros bros. 02-21-2009 08:58 AM

I (almost) never build stringers out of anything but 2x12. I can't imagine you have code approved stairs. A rebuild would be the best with an added stringer in the center.

brd 02-21-2009 09:42 AM

woops I remeasured if you measure the complete width it is a 2 x 12 looks like they took a 2x8 and added the additional wedge to make it 2 x 12 I cannot add another stringer due to the topside being carpeted. In other words the stinger looks like itwas composed of the 2 x 8 and then the triangular wedges to fill from the 2x8 up to the tread.

flyboy2610 02-21-2009 10:04 AM

I would recommend having a carpet shop remove the carpet, then add a middle stringer, and recarpet the stairs. You might be able to add a middle stringer by using joist hanger horizontally instead of vertically, like they are designed for, but I don't know what your inspector would think of that idea.
If it's the treads flexing in the middle, run a piece of dimension lumber (2x6 or 2x8) vertically under the tread from one side to the other and fasten it with joist hangers.

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