Does this look okay? I was thinking one of these posts would be at the end of the run coming down but carpenter did it this way. I guess he wanted all the post on the landing to be same height but it looks funny to me. What do you think?
I always do that!!
I can't say I like the way that looks either but, given the newel posts you have, it is probably correctly located.
Attached is a link to the only image I could find online with stairs that turn like yours do. (Not sure why I can't find pictures of that style stair because one sees floorplans with similar stair designs all the time.) Anyway, as you can see, they've used more substantial box newels (and replaced the newel at the corner of the landing with a floor to ceiling support post). But the newel closest to the bottom step of the flight up IS butted right up against the bottom step, not set 6 to 8 inches away.
The difference is that with these larger, more decorative box newels, the railing going up the steps can be attached higher on the newel post than the railing that protects the landing itself. (i.e., the two railings are offset from one another.) Then, if that corner ceiling support post were another box newel, it could be cut at the same height as the other two newel posts and the railing would be attached about 10 inches below the top of the post. This would look fine because of the decorative top that these box newels have.
With your less massive, plainer newel posts, the corner newel post would probably look awful if it stuck up 8 to 10 inches above the point where the railings attached. So your carpenter made the decision to uses shorter posts.
But, as you correctly surmised, in order for the all posts on the landing to be cut at the same height, that one post has to be pulled away from the bottom step. If it were located butted up against the bottom step, it would need to be several inches taller in order to have a place to attach the railing that goes up the steps.
Personally, if it were me, I'd replace that one post with a taller one and butt it up against the step. But if you want to keep the posts you have, then your carpenter has put them in the right place.
Hope this helps
Here is a link that might be useful: