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Discussion Starter #1
I have carpeted stairs in my house. Underneath the pad and carpet, the rough treads and risers do not go all the way to the finished stringers. There is about a half inch gap there. Is this normal? I only noticed this because built up dust has started to surface at places where the carpet does not form a tight seal.

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The stringers are the framing members that the treads sit on and the risers are nailed to. The skirt boards are the boards on the sides against the wall that run from top to bottom of the stairs. My guess is that the gap you are talking about is behind the tread where the riser should be nailed to the tread or at the ends of the tread at the skirt boards.

Depending how thick the treads are will determine if the structural striength is compromised if the above is the case.
 

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No it is not normal. It sounds like either the builder just left the temporary stair treads on and added some scrap risers before carpet or they used leftover material to build the treads/risers. No reason that the risers and treats shouldn't meet on another.

Do you have access from underneath?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Clarification

The stringers are the framing members that the treads sit on and the risers are nailed to. The skirt boards are the boards on the sides against the wall that run from top to bottom of the stairs. My guess is that the gap you are talking about is behind the tread where the riser should be nailed to the tread or at the ends of the tread at the skirt boards.

Depending how thick the treads are will determine if the structural striength is compromised if the above is the case.
I think I should clarify, there is a half inch gap between the treads and the wall boards on the left and the right. There is the same gap between the risers and the wall boards on each side.

I do not have access to the underside of the stairs. I am asking because I am wondering if I should seal the gap somehow for AC efficiency. I also plan on replacing the carpet with most likely engineered hardwood and wondered if the treads and risers would need to be replaced because of this.
 
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