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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a 2 level condo. There is a very squeaky staircase between floors. The stairs squeak individually a bit, but the big sound is the wall on one side which creaks and groans when walking. I believe the treads and risers could use some construction caulking and shims, but the bigger issue seems to relate to the stringer on the noisy side.

Quick note, the top of the stairs is carpeted and I'd prefer not to pull up the carpet. The underside of the stairs is exposed.

I'm not sure if the stringer (wood) is attached to the wall studs (metal) since the stringer touches the drywall which covers the studs. Youtube videos imply my best DIY approach would be to buy screws and try to attach the stringers to studs by drilling the screws into the studs. Given the drywall, I can't see the studs but could use a stud finder and just go for it.

It also sounds like I should use construction caulk on all gaps between treads and risers to eliminate individual stair squeaks.

Few Questions:

1. Does this sound like a good plan?
2. If I "blindly" drill screws through the stringers into the drywall and studs, can this cause unintended harm? What is the risk of trying this?
3. What kind of screws are best for wood/drywall/metal studs? Drywall is 5/8 "

Welcome any other input.

Thanks
 

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What do you have below the stairs? I would try first to install some 1x4 vertical supports for the outer stringers, screwed to the metal studs on the other side of the drywall, and shimmed tight against the stringers. That would get the load off the metal studs.
 

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I'm not sure if the stringer (wood) is attached to the wall studs (metal) since the stringer touches the drywall which covers the studs.

Welcome any other input.

Thanks
I'm possibly not understanding the construction but if the stringer is attached to metal studs I would think there would be a O C ( on center ) fastening pattern and self drilling / taping screws would have been used therefore these heads would be visible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to all for the responses. Quick update here. It is hard to get a decent picture given how tight the area is so I am going to try to explain. Standing under the stairs and looking at the existing construction from the stringer to the wall, there is a 2 inch thick stringer, a half inch board attached to the stringer (opposite side of the treads/risers), a small gap (width varies from 0" to 0.5"), and then drywall. The stringers do not appear to be attached to the studs in the drywall anywhere (but it is too narrow to see/tell for sure).

I tried an easy solution, and shoved several shims into the small gap between the drywall and the board attached to the stringer (explained above). It appears the gap was causing movement and the majority of the noise. 90% of the noise is now gone with the shims. While this is a great outcome, I have a new question:

Is it ok to leave shims jammed in the gap? I don't see any risk to doing this but wonder how long this will last. Is there a better solution? Perhaps Great Stuff (or alternate brand) expanding foam? I think it would take $100 worth of construction caulk to fill the entire gap so that doesn't seem like the best solution.

Thanks
 

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Thanks to all for the responses. Quick update here. It is hard to get a decent picture given how tight the area is so I am going to try to explain. Standing under the stairs and looking at the existing construction from the stringer to the wall, there is a 2 inch thick stringer, a half inch board attached to the stringer (opposite side of the treads/risers), a small gap (width varies from 0" to 0.5"), and then drywall. The stringers do not appear to be attached to the studs in the drywall anywhere (but it is too narrow to see/tell for sure).

I tried an easy solution, and shoved several shims into the small gap between the drywall and the board attached to the stringer (explained above). It appears the gap was causing movement and the majority of the noise. 90% of the noise is now gone with the shims. While this is a great outcome, I have a new question:

Is it ok to leave shims jammed in the gap? I don't see any risk to doing this but wonder how long this will last. Is there a better solution? Perhaps Great Stuff (or alternate brand) expanding foam? I think it would take $100 worth of construction caulk to fill the entire gap so that doesn't seem like the best solution.

Thanks
With wood constructed wall it is normal ti first apply a 2x4 to the studs and then the stringer, that leaves room to slide the drywall in later and the wall adds support.

Screws into metal studs would only add support for a time.

I think I would just build a 2x4 wall on the flat below the stairs and get positive support.

See the orange in my picture.
 

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