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Old 02-04-2018, 07:59 AM   #1
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Stairwell with Different Heights At Each End? Which to Design Stairs For?


Morning Everyone. I am in the midst of designing a 1/4 turn stair way for my log home...new build. The problem is that the stairwell opening on the main level to the basement has a different height at each end, due to the slope of the concrete below.

The stairwell is 129.5" long
At one end its 100.25" in height
And the other end is 102.5 in height..

which height do I use to design?

Many Thanks
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:19 AM   #2
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Re: Stairwell with Different Heights At Each End? Which to Design Stairs For?


I think the proper thing to do would be to use floor leveler to give yourself a level 3x3 landing pad at the bottom... (at 100.25") and make any slope occur outside the landing area.

By code, no step on a staircase can vary in height by any other step (on the entire staircase) by more than 3/8".

If grinding the high spots would help that is an option too.
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Last edited by XSleeper; 02-04-2018 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:25 AM   #3
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Re: Stairwell with Different Heights At Each End? Which to Design Stairs For?


I would pick the mid point between of the two and adjust the bottom step accordingly. One side short 1-1/8. One side long 1-1/8.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:43 AM   #4
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Re: Stairwell with Different Heights At Each End? Which to Design Stairs For?


Not quite sure I follow you. I assume you don't mean that you have 2 1/4" from one side of the last tread to the other side!

You measure the total rise from the point on the upper floor where the stairs start to point on the lower floor where the stairs will end. Nothing else really matters. I usually do a ballpark calculation of riser height to get a count of the treads, then I can measure where the last tread will land, and then I measure my total rise from there using a laser or a spirit level.

If you do have a difference in height from one side of the step to the other, you'll want to make sure that nowhere is the last riser higher than allowed by code. Makes sense to use the middle of the tread because that's where people walk, but I got busted once by a building inspector because I calculated the rise from the center of the tread, but i just went over on one side because the floor had a wicked slope.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:57 AM   #5
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Re: Stairwell with Different Heights At Each End? Which to Design Stairs For?


What about pouring a flat concrete landing? Could make it whatever thickness
that leaves good step heights.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:57 AM   #6
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Re: Stairwell with Different Heights At Each End? Which to Design Stairs For?


Quote:
Not quite sure I follow you. I assume you don't mean that you have 2 1/4" from one side of the last tread to the other side!
Well if the height on one side is 100.25 inches and height on the other side is 102.5 inches then YES you have 2-1/4 difference between the two sides.
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:05 AM   #7
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Re: Stairwell with Different Heights At Each End? Which to Design Stairs For?


The measurement for the total rise needs to consider the elevation change from where the stairs start to where the stairs actually land. Calculate the rise based on this measurement. It does not matter if the floor under the stairs is up or down, only the point where the stairs land is critical.
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:17 AM   #8
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Re: Stairwell with Different Heights At Each End? Which to Design Stairs For?


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Originally Posted by joed View Post
Well if the height on one side is 100.25 inches and height on the other side is 102.5 inches then YES you have 2-1/4 difference between the two sides.
The OP said "end" not "side".
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:59 AM   #9
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Re: Stairwell with Different Heights At Each End? Which to Design Stairs For?


Well if the side to side measure at the end of the steps is equal then just use that measurement for the step calculations.
The other option is to build a level platform at the bottom and build the steps to that.

I guess we need some clarification.
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Old 02-04-2018, 12:26 PM   #10
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Re: Stairwell with Different Heights At Each End? Which to Design Stairs For?


I am reading something like this.... maybe OP will clarify though.
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Old 02-04-2018, 03:04 PM   #11
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Re: Stairwell with Different Heights At Each End? Which to Design Stairs For?


@Gregsoldtruck79 yes...like that. So I should just use the dimensions of where the stairs will land.


I have been thinking most of the day about this...I think I might build the landing first... then i just need to worry about two sets of straight steps, based on the landing height.
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Old 02-04-2018, 03:44 PM   #12
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Re: Stairwell with Different Heights At Each End? Which to Design Stairs For?


You still need to consider the overall height to calculate the placement of the landing.
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Old 02-04-2018, 06:18 PM   #13
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Re: Stairwell with Different Heights At Each End? Which to Design Stairs For?


Just a thought that may not be needed but,
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:12 PM   #14
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Re: Stairwell with Different Heights At Each End? Which to Design Stairs For?


You can loose or gain 1/4 inch per step so you could adjust one side 9 risers.
Or just do the math individual for each stringer. Then if you need a third stringer trace them both and cut a line centered between the two lines.
Hopefully you have 9 steps to the landing. If you can't get it all in 1/4" for each leave any extra error on the high side on the bottom.
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:31 AM   #15
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Re: Stairwell with Different Heights At Each End? Which to Design Stairs For?


If I'm understanding this correctly
You have a 2.5" height difference in just 36"

If so, your problem is more then just the steps.?
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