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Old 09-23-2009, 11:27 PM   #1
 
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What do you think of my stairs so far?


I'm a DIY'er. First flight of stairs for me. Actually I dont really do a lot of DIY construction because this is my first time owning a house. I actually posted her a bit ago asking about building some stairs. Well,... here it is! I only have the one pic right now. But I can get some more.

What you see is only the sub-stairs. I'm going to install hardwood to the tread and risers. Skirtboards too. Im in the process of building walls right now. Wont be ready for hardwood on the staris until Im putting in hardwood floors upstairs.

I built the whole thing as a unit in my garage and then hoisted it up and nailed/ screwed it in. I first figured everything out with a 3D drawing on my computer. I just followed my plans and it fit right in with no real problems. The treads have zero slope. everything is straight and true. perfect.
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:43 PM   #2
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I would ask the local Building Department for a variance. Code requires max. riser height 7-3/4", including the bottom one after the hardwood to concrete. 10" minimum tread depth. A 3' deep landing at the bottom from last step's nosing to drywall. Three stringers are not required, but recommended. I realize the confined area for them already existed, hence the variance.
Be safe, Gary
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:38 AM   #3
 
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Ehhh well,... there is no way for me to build stairs within code in this very spot. The original stairs wasn't to code so I basically recreated the original stairs. Except my stairs has a larger tread. The original treads were way to small. All in all both stairs were not to code. But my stairs are safer than the original. My stringers even though I have only 2,... they are 2.25" thick cut from a 11" wide piece of wood. I could easily throw in a 3 stringer. But the stairs are pretty sturdy already. Plus once the stairs is mounted to the walls it will definitely be fine. I have to rebuild another flight of stairs and im afraid the second set isnt to code either. but I will do my best to get them as close as possible. I'll definitely use a 3rd stringer for the other flight because I think is has a slightly larger total rise.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:51 AM   #4
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Code issues notwithstanding, looks like you did a great job. I once replaced a set of steps to the basement in a old house that were way more not to code due to space restrictions.
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:46 AM   #5
 
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Exactly. I did what I cold to get them as close as possible but like I said,... there was no way to get them to code. oh well. I hope the stairs upstairs is more forgiving. Thanks for you compliment. These are good stairs. especially for my first flight. the second flight will be even better.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:31 AM   #6
 
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well Gary


Id say you did a great job also. You should have seen my first stairs I built, and there still in use. I didn't really have enough run as there was a bathroom entry at the very bottom of my stairs. But any way GREAT JOB, but Im not a carpenter HE HE.
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:16 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter7789 View Post
but Im not a carpenter HE HE.
Neither am I. LOL. I like to make stuff but for computers. Cases cnc machines etc. Carpentry is new to me. I am liking it through. There is room for error. I try not to make any errors but if you are off by a bit,... it will still workout just fine. It's relaxed. I cant wait to get home to continue my walls. I have to create 5 rooms down in my basement. avoiding all these obstacles. it's fun. thanks for the compliment
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:34 AM   #8
 
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Here's an older pic when all that was left was adding the sub-treads.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:11 AM   #9
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There is a way for you to get the three feet you need. You need to build a landing. It looks like you forgot to account for your hardwood and forgot to shorten the bottom rise. G already addressed the tread and riser issues though max riser height does vary somewhat by locality. Here we are required to have one stringer per foot of width of the carriage. It also looks like you forgot to install a kicker on the bottom. Treads must have a nosing on them no less than 3/4" no more than 1 1/4". You can have no more than 3/8" variance on risers and nosing. That's just what I got after a quick glance. Nice first attempt but keep trying.I don't see this having any chance passing inspection (the bare minimum safety standards).
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:07 AM   #10
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Once you demolish something you are required to meet today's code or obtain a variance
If it's impossible/hard to meet code it's usually just a formality
Friends house they refused the variance & had them build a landing & the stairs turned at the bottom
They had the headroom so were required to do this
If you go to sell the hosue & the stairs are "new" & do not meet code you may have an issue
And more of an issue of they then find out no permit was pulled or Inspection completed

I also would add the 3rd stringer

I wanted to rebuild my 2nd floor stairs but can't, I do not have enough headroom



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Old 09-24-2009, 08:22 AM   #11
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Is that LVL or paralam? I think I would also have added another stringer or two. Are the treads and risers glued and screwed to all surfaces?
I wouldn't be a bad idea to add a cleat to the basement floor.
I think I would have opted for a landing at the bottom and then 1 more step down to the left.

GBR, I don't know where the OP lives but he might have a local code for tread and risers.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:39 AM   #12
 
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LOL. First I did acount for everything. All my risers are the same except for the upmost riser which is a tad smaller than the rest.

I can't add a landing because there isnt enough headroom. The final ceiling height is 84". it was orignally 82" but I can squeeze another 2" to make it 84. If I have a landing of even one step,... theres not enough head room. As said before there is no way for a flight of stairs to be there to code. And there was no way i was going to friggin settle for the crappy stairs he had there that was falling apart. Maybe I'll throw in a 3rd stringer but thats about it. I dont even think it needs a 3rd stringer because its going to be supported on both sides by walls. the treads and risers are going to be 1.5" thick. I could drive my truck down them without having to worry about them giving way.

Everything is glued, screwed and nailed.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:57 AM   #13
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Tough crowd, huh? I see your dilemma... a friend has the same problem in that he cannot meet code for the basement stairs unless he wants to change the main stairs directly above and that's not going to happen. Either the landing is compromised or the headroom because the joists are in the way. I built my main staircase so that the basement stairs would work but unless you're doing a major housewide renovation...
When I was first designing my stairs I spoke with the building inspector about not being able to meet code with the basement, he was OK with it but he wanted to stop by before passing the plans. I eventually did work out a way so that all would fall within code. Fortunately in Massachusetts, the code is 8 1/4 x 9, which makes for a much more compact staircase.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:39 AM   #14
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My stairs do not meet code either, & I can't rebuild them to meet code
Same problem, - head room - even w/MA codes on stairs
The basement stairs do not have the 3' landing either

Sorry we jumped on you...stairs I think are an issue that more people are critical as to the design due to the hazards that can exist



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Old 09-24-2009, 12:33 PM   #15
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I hope I didn't sound as if I was beating you up. The carpentry looks good! I was bringing to your attention they don't meet minimum code, yet to be legal you could possibly get a variance. Then your insurance company would pay if any claim arose.
I agree with ARI, the bottom step could turn into a landing easily. And you need to add the exact tread thickness to the floor, keeping all the steps within 3/8" difference. I won't even mention you need a second means of egress (escape) from the basement as the remainder of the space is unseen. And minimum window light to habitable rooms. Hint: slip some tar paper under the stringers/concrete. I'm glad to not see any fiberglass insulation or vapor barrier on the concrete walls, so many wrongly start that way. Don't forget the 1x4 or 2x4 on the sides of stringers for drywall/skirt trim board.
I'm sorry again if we sound like picking on you, this is our way of sharing our experience with a final outcome of being safe and well built.
Be safe, Gary
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