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-   -   What is this beam under my stairway? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f19/what-beam-under-my-stairway-153524/)

bigdaddydavy 08-13-2012 12:02 PM

What is this beam under my stairway?
 
Under the stairs leading from the 1st to 2nd floor are a stringer on each side, and then this beam that runs along the middle. The backside of the steps are about 4 inches away from the beam, so it is not a stringer (at least as I understand it).

The beam is connected at the very bottom of the stairs and at the very top, and at each of those is some extra wood to support the top and bottom steps, but no other steps are supported.

There is a cross beam going across at about 5 feet up, that anchors the beam to either side of the stairwell.

I have included some dark, poorly shot photos. What is this thing, and can I remove it? Is it providing any support? Why is it only connected to the top and bottom steps (and anchored in the middle)? It does move slightly if I give it a good wiggle.

The stairwell originally had a plaster and lath ceiling. Perhaps this beam was only to provide support for the lath?

I would like to remove it to provide better access to storage under the steps. Can I take it completely out?

http://img607.imageshack.us/img607/9...2123800.th.jpg
http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/270...2123702.th.jpg

joecaption 08-13-2012 12:07 PM

The pictures would not come up on my computer.

bigdaddydavy 08-13-2012 12:36 PM

Ok, I changed the images to a different host.

tony.g 08-13-2012 01:08 PM

The photos are a bit dark, and it would be helpful to see the fixings at the top and bottom, but from what you say, it does seem as though it was just a central support for a plaster soffit.

Millertyme 08-14-2012 02:26 PM

My guess would be that it was holding up some sort of ceiling. They supported it half way so it wouldn't sag in the middle.

bigdaddydavy 08-14-2012 02:44 PM

My thoughts indeed... I took it out this morning and am enjoying the new found free space!

ddawg16 08-14-2012 02:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigdaddydavy (Post 988496)
My thoughts indeed... I took it out this morning and am enjoying the new found free space!


Hmmmmmm.....

Per my plans...I have to have type X 5/8" drywall under my stairs.....maybe it's a local thing....

bigdaddydavy 08-14-2012 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ddawg16 (Post 988507)
Hmmmmmm.....

Per my plans...I have to have type X 5/8" drywall under my stairs.....maybe it's a local thing....

I looked under my city code and couldn't find anything referencing not being able to use under the stairs as storage, or requiring any type of ceiling, etc.

joecaption 08-14-2012 03:20 PM

It's not a real ceiling, it to seal off the bottom of the stairs so in case of a fire there the last to burn so you can get out.
It's done on all floors of the house if the stairs are open and the area is used for storage.


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