Getting drywall down tight stairs

Closed Thread

  #1  
Old 10-14-04, 11:53 AM
sid_freeman
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Getting drywall down tight stairs

Here's my problem. I want to finish my basement with metal studs and drywall (not uncommon) however, I cannot fit a piece of drywall down the stairs.

The stairs go halfway down stop at a landing make a 180 degree turn then go down the rest of the way to the basement floor. Obviously I could cut the 4'x8' pieces of drywall in half and they would all fit perfectly but this would mean a lot more taping.

A suggestion was made to me by a friend to score one side of the drywall (the bad side you want facing the stud), turn it over and fold it over on itself. So I'd then have a double thick 4'x4' piece of drywall. When I get it downstairs fold it back open put the broken/scored side facing the studs and screw it to the wall.

Theoretically there'd be no need to tape the crack since the paper is still together, but I don't know if it would be recommended. Anybody see any potential problems with this? Would it work? More importantly does anybody have any experiece with getting drywall down a narrow stairwell?

FYI, since some will ask. There is a window in the basement not nearly large enough for the drywall to fit. And I cannot remove any existing walls to make the drywall fit either. Removing the stairs completely would be an option but I'd sooner cut the drywall in half and deal with the extra taping.

Thanks in advance.
Sid
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-14-04, 02:50 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 215
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Opposite problem

Hopefully a drywall expert will comment on the scoring/folding method. Seems like the only option. I had to chuckle because I have the opposite problem. The previous owner of my house finished off a loft into a storage attic, and left several leftover sheets of 4x8 drywall in the attic. Only problem is that she framed in the access door, and it's too small for the sheets to fit thru. They're still up there.
 
  #3  
Old 10-14-04, 03:15 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Wink

A suggestion was made to me by a friend to score one side of the drywall (the bad side you want facing the stud), turn it over and fold it over on itself. So I'd then have a double thick 4'x4' piece of drywall. When I get it downstairs fold it back open put the broken/scored side facing the studs and screw it to the wall.
You got it right here. Its done that way all the time. How do you think they get the drywall in some closet.

ED
 
  #4  
Old 10-15-04, 04:58 AM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 463
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
All habitable basements need emergency egress and rescue openings.

This means that your basement must have at least 1 window or door to the outside that meets mimimum size requirements or your basement is illegal and cannot be safely occupied.

If your basement has at least an emergency egress window of minimum size, you will be able to bring in full drywall sheets thru it without having to cut or otherwise bend them.

Make sure you have an emergency egress and rescue opening to your basement or all your work is for nought.
 
  #5  
Old 10-15-04, 06:19 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 215
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by homebild
All habitable basements need emergency egress and rescue openings.

This means that your basement must have at least 1 window or door to the outside that meets mimimum size requirements or your basement is illegal and cannot be safely occupied.
Problem is, most older homes with basements do not meet this requirement. Yet many homeowners finish them off anyhow. It's just not recommended the space be converted to a bedroom, and should not be included as square footage of living space.
 
  #6  
Old 10-16-04, 06:45 AM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 463
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Actually, No.

"Problem is, most older homes with basements do not meet this requirement. Yet many homeowners finish them off anyhow. It's just not recommended the space be converted to a bedroom, and should not be included as square footage of living space."



While it is true that homeowners finish off their basements illegaly and dangerously, it is NOT true that all that is recommended is that these spaces are okay providing they do not contain bedroom space.

The emergency opening and egress requirement applies to ALL basement living space and not just to basement bedrooms.

Even if an older home is being renovated to accomodate a finished basement living area, the emergency egress opening is still a mandatory requirement.

For code purposes, ALL finished spaces are considered 'living areas' regardless of location.

Failure to provide proper emergency egress and rescue openings can be deadly, cause one's insurance to be cancelled, have the residence declared unfit for human habitation by code officials, and in the worst case scenario have the homeowner held criminally liable for any injuries sustained by improper adherance to the codes.

So finishing any basement not in compliance to all codes is a very risky propostion both for life, limb, and legally.
 
  #7  
Old 10-16-04, 09:07 PM
sid_freeman
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Yeah that's another thing I was afraid of. I'm not putting a bedroom down there and the room I'd like to finish would only be used for watching tv/movies. I don't suppose that matters? We do have smoke detectors on each floor (including the basement) that are powered by, and wired directly to a monitored home alarm system. Do you suppose that might eliminate the need for a second exit from the basement? I'll have to check the fire code for my area (Ottawa, Canada).

The costs of putting a larger window in would pretty much cancel any plans of finishing a room down there. How ****ty.

Thanks for the feedback.
Sid
 
  #8  
Old 10-16-04, 09:34 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Contact building inspector re: permits and plans to change structure. This is important when it comes time of resale because everything must meet codes.
 
  #9  
Old 10-17-04, 11:36 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 463
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yeah. It DOES Matter

"Yeah that's another thing I was afraid of. I'm not putting a bedroom down there and the room I'd like to finish would only be used for watching tv/movies. I don't suppose that matters? We do have smoke detectors on each floor (including the basement) that are powered by, and wired directly to a monitored home alarm system. Do you suppose that might eliminate the need for a second exit from the basement? I'll have to check the fire code for my area"

Yeah.
It DOES Matter.
At least here in the states.

It is not legal to finish ANY basement space in the US without at least one single emergency egress and rescue opening for any habitable space below ground (even if that does not include a bedroom) ....and without at least two means of egress altogether.

It does NOT appear that your plan meets minimum US code and would not be approved by code here..

But as far as Canadian requirements: you do need to consult your local Canadian Code Office to be sure.
 
  #10  
Old 10-18-04, 06:22 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 246
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
that is interesting - i have been talking to contractors to finish a portion of my basement...... can you imagine if something terrible was to happen and they were sued as well - no one has mentioned these codes to me.... common sense tells me not to let anyone sleep in a basement w/o a second escape route, but i did not realize it was against code.

well if kerry/edwards do not get elected they may have planty of business in my area. . .
 
  #11  
Old 10-18-04, 07:06 AM
sid_freeman
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I spoke with a guy at the city of Ottawa building code unit today. He said that he is not aware of any egress window requirements for a finished basement recreation room. He told me that where there is a bedroom and/or apartment planned for a basement that this is an entirely different story. He didn't know the specifics of the code off hand though, so he is going to be emailing me the information I need in the next couple of days.

I'll post the response I get for any Canadian members (likely only applies to my corner of the country)

Thanks for the replies gentlemen.
Sid
 
  #12  
Old 10-18-04, 08:09 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: PA, USA
Posts: 748
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
you are in, Sid!

In response to your original question, before it took a turn for the codes, just make sure you score that sheetrock where it will contact a stud. Then, unfold it and spread some drywall adhesive on the stud and you should be good to go. Worked for me.
 
  #13  
Old 10-19-04, 07:35 AM
sid_freeman
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Great point Markiz. Thanks for the tip.

As promised for those living in Ontario here is the response I got from the city of Ottawa on the code question.

"Per Table 9.7.1.2 of the 1997 Ontario Building Code, windows are not required in basements with electric lighting. If, however, there is a bedroom in the basement, an openable window with a minimum area of 0.35 sqare metres with no dimension less than 380 mm (15') and a maximum sill height of 1 metre (3' 3")is required (per 9.7.1.3)".

Great news for me. Homebild, you had me worried there for a minute. I guess it's good to live in Canada. We're free to die of smoke inhalation, trapped in our basements, if we so choose and the still collect on insurance $$ I can even completely cover the window that's there. The home theatre will have complete light control. Excellent.

Thanks for the advice all.
Sid
 
  #14  
Old 10-19-04, 05:28 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Contact a few foundation companies. A number of them specialize in cutting openings for larger basement windows and do it every day. It's not cheap, but it's not too bad either. One or more larger windows, whether required by code or not, will increase safety and add natural light which will make your basement more pleasant. Once you get the larger opening, it'll be perfect for bringing in the drywall. At least check it out.

I've also heard of people cutting a slit in the ground-level floor, slipping all the drywall down through it, and then patching the floor. It's probably not very hard to do this.
 
  #15  
Old 10-20-04, 08:09 AM
sid_freeman
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanks John. I've decided cutting the drywall would be the most cost effective way to get it down the stairs. Not necessarily the easiest method but I like a good challenge.

On the windows...I'm actually building the room as a home theatre with a HD front projector, so I'd actually prefer the room with as few windows as possible. Natural light and lots of windows are the enemy of projectors. I want to be able to get the room completely dark.

Sid
 
  #16  
Old 10-20-04, 06:02 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 463
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
And Yet..

And yet no one has opted to contact their local code office.

They have just opened their chops with absolutley NO knowledge as to whether they were correct or had any clue as to what they talked about.

In the States, it is ILLEGAL to finish a basement WITHOUT a fully functional basement egress/emergency rescue window or door or opening DESPITE whether the space is a bedroom or a living room.

You MUST have an emergency egress/rescue opening no matter WHERE in any basement the living space is located.

So get with it people.

If you do not know, then SHUT UP!
 
  #17  
Old 10-21-04, 11:01 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 215
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by homebild
And yet no one has opted to contact their local code office.
I did.

"Basements - UBC sec. 310.4 stipulates that all basements and every sleeping room below the fourth story shall be provided with a means of emergency escape or rescue.
Exception 1: Emergency escape or rescue is not required when there is a code complying exit directly to the outside and there are no sleeping rooms in the basement.
Exception 2: Emergency escape or rescue is not required in a basement when the "usable space” in the basement is less than 70 square feet."

As I said, most older homes with basements are not in compliance with this, finished or not.

Yet, "finishing" the basement pulls in a number of other code requirements besides just the egress one.

Point taken, homebild.
 
  #18  
Old 10-21-04, 05:26 PM
razinghell
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Ummm, thats funny I am finishing my basement and I have a friend who is a city inspector who said it is fine as long as their isnt a bedroom in the basement. Oh, and by the way the building inspector (not my friend) just went through my basement and told me the same thing and gave me approval on my rough inspection. Strange.
 
  #19  
Old 10-24-04, 06:40 AM
pmunley
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
no exit needed

Just FYI for all those living in the US and wondering about emergency exit doors/windows. Our basement has been inspected and passed. It does not have an emergency exit. We looked into it. A door would have cost us $6500.00. In our county, as long as you don't have a bedroom down there it is ok. If you have a bedroom you will need a window or door.

THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO EVERY COUNTY. THE COUNTY NEXT TO US REQUIRES AN EMERGENCY EXIT WHETHER YOU HAVE A BEDROOM OR NOT.

Therefore my suggestion would be for anyone out there to check with your local inspector. Ideally if you can afford it, I think it is worthwhile.

Hope this helps!!
 
  #20  
Old 10-26-04, 06:21 AM
Chris S27
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Homebild....talk about BEATING A DEAD HORSE. Geez, everyone gets the fooking point man. Point well taken, thanks for the warning...we're all forever indebted to you. I've seen so many threads take turns like this, and let me guess...you're a contractor....or maybe an inspector? Hmmm, possible motives?

You stated your position MULTIPLE TIMES now. Let the thread starter decide what he will do from here. Allow him to get the advice he was seeking, and leave it at that. Maybe he wishes to finish the basement, so it looks nice for storage purposes...
 
  #21  
Old 11-03-04, 12:46 PM
NAVIGATOR
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
The basement stairs are the first emergency exit, sufficient for a rec room.
a second emergency exit is required (window or door to the outside) if there is a bedroom in the basement.
 
  #22  
Old 11-08-04, 09:00 AM
caleyg's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 327
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I know this is a horse long dead, but I did want to make the pont that a legally acceptable egress window or door could have the exact same problem for drywall acess as the current one--the drywall can't make the turn. Thats the exact situation in my basement. Got an egress window, but there's no way you could get a full sheet of drywall into the window well and then into the basement.

Also anyone who thinks that BOCA applies in every state, county and municipality in this country just doesn't know as much as he thinks he does. Apart from the ADA there is no federal jurisdiction on building code--it's a state and local matter.
 
  #23  
Old 11-09-04, 11:05 AM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 463
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
BOCA is Long Gone

And if anyone thinks BOCA is still the rule of the land, they are even more wrong.

BOCA is long gone having merged with other US National Model Codes and is now the International Codes Council IRC (International Residential Code) and under THAT code drywall sheets should fit down into a basement quite easily thru any required egress openings.

That Sid resides in Canada and may observe different national standards expains some of the discrepancies.
 
  #24  
Old 11-09-04, 01:09 PM
Sharp Advice's Avatar
Admin Emeritus
Join Date: Feb 1998
Location: The Shake and Bake State USA
Posts: 10,440
Upvotes: 0
Received 5 Votes on 4 Posts
Exclamation Excuse Me Gents

The member asked a question pertaining to getting dry wall down into a basement when stair access was limited and or not possible. Which ever the case may be.

Some how and in some way, the entire discussion has shifted away from the original question asked by the member. Question now has become an issue over codes.

Worse yet, a discussion which is now turned into a conflict as to what codes apply and to where. Furthermore, a discussion as to who knows what about codes and who does not know about codes, etc etc etc.

Sorry gents. Such is not allowed within the public viewing forums. Kindly take the discussion to the chats and whines forum topic or discuss who is right and or wrong on whatever the issue is not directly related to the original question.

***All diputes, conflicts, disagreements, debates, arguements, etc are not allowed within any public viewable forum topics. Kindly resolve those issue in PM's and or personal emails.***

***Failure to comply to the request is discourteous to the member asking the question. Shows a lack of professionalism of professionals to the public. Which also reflects poorly on the do it yourself web site. Once again, not allowed within the question and answer forum topics.***

Sid:
Kindly excuse all the none related discussions within your post.
If you're still around, hope you got the sheetrock down the stairs however it was possible and are presently working on the project....

I suspect Sid is long gone anyway.
He had complained about this once prior.
2 complaints is enough.
Discussion is over.
Topic closed as a result.

Web Site Host & Forums Monitor.
 

Last edited by Sharp Advice; 11-09-04 at 01:29 PM.
Closed Thread

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: