Revamping 1980's Staircase Help

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  #1  
Old 11-05-18, 11:51 AM
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Revamping 1980's Staircase Help

Hello Everyone,

My house was built in 1986 and needs some help with the staircase. We are getting new carpet in a couple weeks so you can disregard any color matching with that. We are also in the process of replacing all of the doors, casing, and baseboard so the golden stained wood is disappearing. We're looking to modernize things a little, but our house is not terribly modern to begin with. Cost is important but the we're not afraid to spend money when necessary. We are both capable wood workers and have a plethora of tools at our disposal so we can build something if necessary.

We are struggling with design and thought maybe someone here would have suggestions. The house will ultimately be a rental property in the next 5 years or so. The stars are being carpeted as our dogs are elderly and it was the most cost effective way to keep things clean and safe for them. We were thinking something along the lines of conduit, rebar and/or all-thread. We're not sure what modifications need to be made to accommodate something like that though. Any suggestions/conversation are welcome! I have attached pictures of our staircase to help guide you.

Thanks,
Andrew
 
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Old 11-05-18, 02:26 PM
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You never really asked a question. You mentioned all thread or conduit as an option but for what?
 
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Old 11-05-18, 04:22 PM
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I'm sorry for leaving that out. We're looking for ideas on how to restructure the railing to accommodate new vertical or horizontal balusts
 
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Old 11-05-18, 04:56 PM
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Your balusters are the structural support for the handrail so removing them isn't a simple or inexpensive matter. You can add additional items like conduit or allthread between them if you wish.

Measure the gap of the open risers. If it is more than 4" a major re-doing of the stairs could force you into also closing the gap to meet code.
 
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Old 11-05-18, 05:02 PM
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We plan to completely redo it but we're unsure where to start and how to support the ends
 
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Old 11-05-18, 05:52 PM
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The same 4" rule applies to the risers. Open risers are not allowed if a 4" sphere can pass between them. Handrail ends must be returned or else terminate in a newel post. Handrails need continuity between attachment points. The perimeter size of that handrail would currently require a grasping recess according to current code. And any alterations you make will have to be to current codes.

See http://www.co.stevens.wa.us/landserv...WAYSECTION.pdf

It's a little hard to tell you how to design it... that's all up to your tastes... or how to build it... stair railings usually start with the framing, so doing one after the house and framing is finished will usually involve some demolition... since newel posts need to be tied into the floor framing.

how to restructure the railing to accommodate new vertical or horizontal balusts
safe to say it should all go away in order to start over.
 
  #7  
Old 11-05-18, 07:42 PM
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We are planning on taking the entire railing assembly out and starting over. We were thinking about making a newel, or buying one already made, and running the conduit/rebar horizontally. We're unsure of how to attach the newels, especially on the landing portion and the bottom of the stairs. We were thinking of notching a 4x4 or using staggered 2x4s to create the vertical support. Everything but the treads and their support is coming out. We were thinking of a newel design similar to the attached picture.
 
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Old 11-05-18, 08:22 PM
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That looks pretty nice and should be doable. Notching the 4x4s for the newels will be the way to go. However when it comes to notching, the notch is the weak point in the construction of the railing. See the discussion in this article that was published in deck magazine. Granted, it applies primarily to decks, but the same thing applies to a handrail / guardrail inside.

https://www.deckmagazine.com/design-...g-rail-posts_o
 
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Old 11-07-18, 07:54 AM
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Any recommendations for installing the newels? Will a couple lags on the side into the treads be enough to support everything?
 
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Old 11-07-18, 09:15 AM
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If EMT and lag screws are the look you're going for then yes, you can screw then to the stair riser. That will not be enough to support "everything" as you asked. You will also need to attach the top of the newels to the railing.

Then you will need to pick your EMT and screw sizes so the screw holes are not so large to weaken the tubing. For example, you would not want to use 3/8" lag screws to mount 1/2" EMT as the holes for the screws would almost cut the tubing in half. I would use something smaller in diameter more like a #8 or #10 screw which are available with different head styles so you might find something sorta attractive.
 
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Old 11-07-18, 09:19 AM
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Thank you. We're trying to keep it simple and are more than okay with lags showing. I think we're going to recess the ends of the EMT into the newels rather than strap them onto the surface but we'll see what we like when the time comes
 
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Old 11-07-18, 11:18 AM
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You will want bolts, not lags.
 
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Old 11-07-18, 11:32 AM
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Why bolts over lags? The current setup is installed with lags as are many other designs. I'm just curious what the reasoning is behind it.
 
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Old 11-07-18, 12:16 PM
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The house will ultimately be a rental property in the next 5 years or so
Sure seems like a lot of work to then just turn over to a rental!
 
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Old 11-07-18, 03:28 PM
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How thick is your stringer? I doubt lag bolts would resist the lateral forces that guardrails need to be able to withstand... a deck railing needs to resist a minimum 200 lbs lateral force. That force can be greater at the fastener, so a lag might strip or pull out and it can wiggle and get loose but a bolt cant possibly pull out with a washer and nut on either side.
 
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Old 11-07-18, 03:32 PM
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The stinger is likely going to be a 2x4 with lags running up the newel and in the stair riser. How many feet apart should the newels be?
 
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Old 11-07-18, 03:50 PM
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I'm talking about the existing stair jack stringer that the lags/bolts would go into.
 
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Old 11-07-18, 03:52 PM
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Oh, okay. It's a 2x12 and will be wrapped in 4/4 hardwood of some kind. My thought was to try and put labs through the stinger into a tread
 
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Old 11-08-18, 08:22 PM
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We're running into some design issues and we're wondering if anyone had any suggestions. We need to attach the newel posts on the carriage at the bottom of each flight of stairs. I was thinking about using a simpson strong tie to help attach the newel and then build a box out of the hickory to cover the straps. The box would be lagged to the newel post along with lags going into the carriage. The same idea would be adapted throughout. Any thoughts on how well foods would work?

Secondly, we need to attach the conduit to the newel posts somehow. We were thinking about some kind of bracket to hang the pipe on (like the little plastic brackets sometimes used on closet rods. Anyone know where I could find something like that or have a better idea?
 
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