Need help planning stairs to loft

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Old 07-27-17, 04:19 PM
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Need help planning stairs to loft

So a few years ago I built a storage loft in my garage, and I'd like to build some stairs to it now. In my mind, I imagined the stairs coming right down no farther than the corner wall, nice and clean. In the pic below, you can see the loft, and the wall i will put the stairs against, I didn't want the stairs to go past that wall:


However, my rise is about 8' 3" tall. And the run to that wall is only about 7' 4". And if I build the stairs to code, the run would be about 9 feet. Meaning my steps would stick past the wall about 20 inches, taking up a lot of space in the garage there.

So I'm trying to think of a way to build the stairs shorter, but stay within code. (maximum rise is 8", min tread depth is 9"). Here is a pic of underneath:


I figured of I could somehow use the top of the deck as the last step that would shave off about 9 inches, but not sure if that's possible the way I have the loft built.

Any ideas how I can shorten the run of my stairs?
 
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Old 07-27-17, 04:28 PM
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My first thought would be to LENGTHEN the run of your stair, not shorten it.

You could cut out a portion of your loft (3x3 or 3x4?) to make your run longer... and use a post to support the cut end of your doubled rim. You could even cut off the next 2 joists as long as you double the next one and then head them both off with a double.

You could also give up on the idea of building stairs and buy a prebuilt set of attic stairs or ladder.

Or just use an extension ladder.
 
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Old 07-27-17, 05:36 PM
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I doubt my attic stairs meet step codes, just build a removable ladder.
 
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Old 07-28-17, 12:31 PM
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My first thought would be to LENGTHEN the run of your stair, not shorten it.

You could cut out a portion of your loft (3x3 or 3x4?) to make your run longer... and use a post to support the cut end of your doubled rim. You could even cut off the next 2 joists as long as you double the next one and then head them both off with a double.

You could also give up on the idea of building stairs and buy a prebuilt set of attic stairs or ladder.

Or just use an extension ladder.
Hm, I'll have to think about that idea. I don't like the idea of cutting into my loft, but it's not a bad idea. I started to look at pre-built pull down ladders and whatnot, but when it came down to it, we wanted something a little sturdier and more permanent. Something we would feel comfortable holding large boxes while climbing up.
 
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Old 07-28-17, 12:34 PM
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I doubt my attic stairs meet step codes, just build a removable ladder.
Ha good point. We really kind of want more of sturdy stairs than a ladder. We've been using a ladder for a couple years now. Really want something permanent and easy. But maybe I don't really need to worry so much about making it meet code in this application.

I'm wondering if there might be a way to anchor my stringers to the second joist in on my loft to use the loft as the top step.
 
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Old 07-28-17, 12:56 PM
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I'm wondering if there might be a way to anchor my stringers to the second joist in on my loft to use the loft as the top step.
Put 3 or 4 pc of 2x12 perpendicular between your doubled rim and your first single joist, spacing them out in the area where you would like your stairs to be. They will drop about 5 1/2" below your rim joist. Then place a doubled 2x6 across the front of those 2x12s. That will create an 11" wide face where your stairs will be.

Your stair jacks will then have something to rest against and anchor to. Place a 2x4 toe board on the floor where the bottom of your stairs will be, and bolt it to the floor. Then notch your stair jacks to sit over it. This way your stairs can never slip out, and it eliminates any chance the stairs can pull away at the top.
 
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Old 08-03-17, 09:27 AM
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Put 3 or 4 pc of 2x12 perpendicular between your doubled rim and your first single joist, spacing them out in the area where you would like your stairs to be. They will drop about 5 1/2" below your rim joist. Then place a doubled 2x6 across the front of those 2x12s. That will create an 11" wide face where your stairs will be.

Your stair jacks will then have something to rest against and anchor to. Place a 2x4 toe board on the floor where the bottom of your stairs will be, and bolt it to the floor. Then notch your stair jacks to sit over it. This way your stairs can never slip out, and it eliminates any chance the stairs can pull away at the top.
Took me a bit to visualize what you were explaining, but I'm pretty sure I got it now. Thanks for the suggestion, I think that might be what I'll do to push the stairs back a bit. Just need to measure it all out and see if it will line up ok with the loft and not make the top step too steep.
 
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Old 08-03-17, 09:51 AM
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Is this basically what you were describing?
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[ATTACH=CONFIG]83767[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 08-03-17, 09:58 AM
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Exactly. But I would notch your loft back like i described earlier, so you would be doing that 2' 8" behind the existing rim. It would involve heading off a joist or two and putting a post under the double rim where you have to cut it. You could also Bob the back corners of your blocking at a 45 if you wanted.

By notching into your loft an additional 2' 8", you would have 120" of run from your corner to your landing. 12 steps (the landing is number 13 so it does not count in the run. ) That's 10" of run per step. Your 8'3" rise is 99" / 13 steps = 7 5/8".

So those are really nice numbers for your stair jacks. 7 5/8" rise, 10" run. Get yourself some Johnson brass stair gauges, tighten them onto your framing square and go to town. I like to figure the hypotenuese of that triangle and mark the front corner of each step all the way up, so that I'm not getting any incremental errors as I move the framing square. (Using the actual rise when doing the math for that side of the triangle... 99/13 = 7.615)

You would have a nice easy to climb staircase with standard 2x12 treads, and 1 1/4" nosing. Use risers if you like.

And remember that after you mark the stair jacks that you will make a level cut on the bottom step that is 7.615 - 1 1/2". Otherwise when you put the tread on it, it will be a 9" step. And on your 12th step you will just square down plumb from the back edge of that tread and cut it plumb.
 
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Old 08-03-17, 03:16 PM
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Exactly. But I would notch your loft back like i described earlier, so you would be doing that 2' 8" behind the existing rim. It would involve heading off a joist or two and putting a post under the double rim where you have to cut it. You could also Bob the back corners of your blocking at a 45 if you wanted.

By notching into your loft an additional 2' 8", you would have 120" of run from your corner to your landing. 12 steps (the landing is number 13 so it does not count in the run. ) That's 10" of run per step. Your 8'3" rise is 99" / 13 steps = 7 5/8".

So those are really nice numbers for your stair jacks. 7 5/8" rise, 10" run. Get yourself some Johnson brass stair gauges, tighten them onto your framing square and go to town. I like to figure the hypotenuese of that triangle and mark the front corner of each step all the way up, so that I'm not getting any incremental errors as I move the framing square. (Using the actual rise when doing the math for that side of the triangle... 99/13 = 7.615)

You would have a nice easy to climb staircase with standard 2x12 treads, and 1 1/4" nosing. Use risers if you like.

And remember that after you mark the stair jacks that you will make a level cut on the bottom step that is 7.615 - 1 1/2". Otherwise when you put the tread on it, it will be a 9" step. And on your 12th step you will just square down plumb from the back edge of that tread and cut it plumb.
I like the idea of having a nice long stair case, unfortunately, I really don't want to cut into my loft. I think if I just do like you suggested in my drawing, I can still make my steps to code, they will be just fine, and only stick out past my wall by about 9 inches. Much better than the 21 inches of my original plan. Thanks.
 
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Old 08-03-17, 03:56 PM
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Whatever suits you.

Dont know what code you go by out there, but... R311.5.3.2 Tread depth. The minimum tread depth shall be 10 inches (254 mm).
 
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Old 08-03-17, 04:05 PM
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Yeah minimum tread depth out here is 9".
 
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