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Two Questions about Stair Construction


Pete112's Avatar
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04-11-11, 09:04 AM   #1  
Two Questions about Stair Construction

Hi Everyone,

I'm building a garage that has a second story loft. I do have the proper permits pulled so this does have to be inspected by the local building inspector. My town is not too bad about being ridiculously strict as some stories I've read but obviously it has to be done correctly to pass.

Question 1 - I've read that I should hang the stringers on 3/4" plywood if they can not attach directly to a wall. When I do this, which directly should I hang the plywood? I know you run plywood perpendicular to floor joists but hanging a stringer is quite different. And actually I was thinking of doubling up the 3/4" plywood to make it stronger and maybe running them opposite each other?

Question 2 - There is a wall to the left of my stairs and open garage to the right. I know code is to have 1 railing. Can I put the railing on the wall side and leave open stairs to the right? I'd prefer this because a) it will save me money and time by attaching the railing directly to the wall and b) it will make it easier to move supplies up and down the stairs. I realize it's not quite as safe but is it legal?

Thanks for your help!

 
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Wirepuller38's Avatar
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04-11-11, 10:07 AM   #2  
Stairs

You will find the posters on this web site emphasize safety before convenience or economy.

Why not attach the top of the stringers to framing members? There are brackets available for this purpose.

Install the outside rail for safety reasons.

Do you have enough space horizontally to build the stairs with the proper rise and run dimensions?

Others will follow.

 
Pete112's Avatar
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04-11-11, 10:33 AM   #3  
Yes, there's enough space. I did 8 1/8" rise with 9 1/2" treads. These both meet the minimums in my area - I double checked with the inspector.

I can't attach directly to the framing because they're 2x8 joists. The top of the stringer doesn't quite reach the top of the joist which is why I supposed most of the instructions I read say to use plywood. I haven't really seem hangers that would work perfectly for this although I'm sure they exist. Seems the wood connection would be just as good if not better though since I was even planning on a ledger board at the bottom of the stringer.

 
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04-11-11, 10:49 AM   #4  
Ken had it all right. Not surprising. Add this to your repertoire. LSC Adjustable Stair-Stringer Connector
It will take the place of your plywood and will give superior support to the stringer against the framing.

 
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04-11-11, 11:13 AM   #5  
Would that even work in my situation? It says it's only for 2x10 or 2x12 joists. And thinking about it, my stringer misses the joist entirely by about 1/4" (by the time I added subfloor height and the treads, that's where it came out). Can this hanger be used in that situation? I would worry about the force of the stairs pushing backwards against the metal but maybe that's normal and I'm fine. Directly from the site info:

- "Suitable for most installations on 2x10 or 2x12 header/rim joist"

 
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04-11-11, 01:51 PM   #6  
Stringers

The top step on the stringer should come out level with attic floor. Are you dropping the top of the stringer down one riser height due to space restrictions?

 
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04-11-11, 02:05 PM   #7  
The top step is the attic floor and therefore the top of the stringer is 8 1/8" lower. I think this is normal, right? Certainly in my house it is like this and even in the picture for the straps that chandler is talking about. See the pic in this link: LSC Adjustable Stair-Stringer Connector

The top of the stringer ends one step below the 2nd floor.

I hope that's right/ok at least unless I just cost myself a day's work and $100 in lumber!

 
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04-11-11, 02:10 PM   #8  
The top of the stringer should be 1" + or -below the TOP of the finished floor to which you will attach it. You're short by one step.

 
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04-12-11, 10:59 AM   #9  
Well that's frustrating. I do see countless pictures online of the stringer done both ways. For instance, this calculator even mentions both ways as part of the formula. EZ Stairs Calculator

But I also don't see any instances where it misses the rim joist completely. I guess if I had 2x12's, it wouldn't really an issue but with 2x8's, it misses.

I really don't want to cut the stringers again, not to mention spend the money again! Maybe I'll just add a platform at the bottom. I have to add pressure treated at the bottom anyway since it hits concrete. I was just going to lay a board across the bottom but could build a platform instead. Is there anything wrong with that plan provided I obviously make sure the treads and risers are the same height/depth?

 
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04-18-11, 11:52 AM   #10  
In case anyone is reading this and cares, I ended up buying/cutting new stringers to make sure the final step ends at the finished floor. At the end of the day, it costs me about $70 and 4 hours. When I started thinking about all of the ways around this, there was no easy answer so I figured just bite the bullet and get it done.

 
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04-18-11, 01:29 PM   #11  
I know it is difficult, but doing it right even makes you feel better. Now your stairs are right and you don't have to guess at putting them together any more. Great.

 
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05-04-13, 01:45 PM   #12  
Hi folks
Came across this old thread by chance as was searching for something similar.
Just a thought to the original question.Is the one step short not the 8x2 joist trimmer.Could the poster not have fixed 4x2 doubled up to the bottom of joists to increase to 12 x2 and maybe bolt through the back of trimmer joists a couple of timbers for added stability.Any thoughts

 
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