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Old 08-13-2012, 01:02 PM   #1
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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?



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Last edited by bigdaddydavy; 08-13-2012 at 01:41 PM. Reason: Fixing image url's
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:07 PM   #2
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What is this beam under my stairway?


The pictures would not come up on my computer.

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Old 08-13-2012, 01:36 PM   #3
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What is this beam under my stairway?


Ok, I changed the images to a different host.

Last edited by bigdaddydavy; 08-13-2012 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:08 PM   #4
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What is this beam under my stairway?


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.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:26 PM   #5
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What is this beam under my stairway?


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.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:44 PM   #6
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What is this beam under my stairway?


My thoughts indeed... I took it out this morning and am enjoying the new found free space!
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:54 PM   #7
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What is this beam under my stairway?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddydavy View Post
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....
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:16 PM   #8
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What is this beam under my stairway?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
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.
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:20 PM   #9
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What is this beam under my stairway?


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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