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Staircase problems!

Posted by hunter41162 (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 2, 09 at 5:13

I have been working on framing and insulating my basement. I am now starting on the wall with the old staircase. I am planning on ripping the old one out and replacing this including stringers. The problem I have is
1.The staircase is right next to the block foundation wall. Seems simple, except I have 35 1/2 inch wide opening up top(width of head room). Measured from block to kitchen floor joist. The bottom is 36in wide. So pulling away from the wall even just for 1/2in insulation and 1/2in sheet rock I am losing at the very very least an inch in width.If the block is square.(doubtful). So as far as codes go I am not sure what to do.?
2. The current vertical headroom measured straight up from second to last step is 66 1/2inches. Floor joist running perpendicular up above. I guess my thought on that is maybe a metal beam half the size. This I would have someone take a look at eventually. Still wouldnt be code but slightly better I guess.
3.Rough measurements are total run 5 ft, total rise 6ft, 1 in thick treads, rise 8in first being 8 1/2in, tread not sure? Its inverted, do I measure vertically from nosing down 7in? Otherwise its a 9 in tread? Am I forgetting any other measurements?
4. Obviously this is an older home. Hard if not impossible to make some things "current". Not a whole lot of play in any direction. Any thoughts on how some of you would tackle this one? Sacrafice width of steps for insulation? Cheat, and keep stairs same width but have some of it underneath parallel floor joist?
Kind of long winded questions and hard to answer over internet, but any suggestions would be great. Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Staircase problems!

To better insulate perhaps 4 sq. ft. of uninsulated wall I wouldn't go to heroic lengths. I'd slip in a 1/2" of XPS between the stringer and block if I could and call it a day.


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RE: Staircase problems!

Thats an idea, but it affects a large portion of the wall, I would say closer to 8 x 5 40sq. ft. Since xps 1/2" has to be covered thats at the very least another 1/2" for drywall. Another 1/2" with a skirt board but I suppose I could live without that.I suppose I would have to use PT furring strips and drill into the concrete which I have been avoiding at all costs.


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RE: Staircase problems!

The stringer is against the wall. So all you're insulating is the area of the stringer. The stringer is all the firestop you need. Any drywall you put above and below the stringer covers the top and bottom of the XPS.

On the rest of the wall, you can place the XPS and drywall over the top of the stringer.


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RE: Staircase problems!

So you are saying dont worry about the 36" width of the stairs? Underneath the stairs I will have room for 2x3s or 2x2s so it wont be a problem. Above it might end up being 34" wide stairs.


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RE: Staircase problems!

Maybe I'm missing something. But you said you have a 35 1/2" wide opening at the top of the stairwell.

Presuming you will use a closed stringer along the wall, you're "losing" the width of that stringer anyway. So just drop the drywall and insulation on top of the stringer. Then on the side to the room, maximize the amount of space by using, say an open stringer. In any case, 34" wide basement stairs are more than adequate. What you're putting under the stairs doesn't affect the usable width of the stairs.


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