Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I recently bought a house where the staircase running down into the garage has gaps between the treads and the edges. They look as if they are about to fall. It would make sense to me that this could happen if the right edge (the edge away from the wall) were loose... but that doesn't appear to be the case. In the pictures you can see that some of the stairs have a space on the left, one has it on the right.

wide view

stair view

(click for full size)

How do I go about fixing this?

share|improve this question
Pictures are missing. – bib Aug 5 '12 at 21:18
Welcome Ken. Since you're new, upload your pictures to imgur.com and post a link. We'll add them to your post. – BMitch Aug 5 '12 at 22:52
Hi, I posted two images: gridd.com/xfer/img1.jpg and gridd.com/xfer/img2.jpg – Ken F Aug 6 '12 at 4:54

When you pull apart the two sides of your staircase, either side can come loose. It looks like the left side is tight against the wall, so I'd hammer the right side back in (use a piece of scrap wood so you don't leave a bunch of hammer marks).

I'd then find a way to secure the bottom tread with screws into both sides or secure the right side to the floor by running a tapcon screw through it and into the concrete.

share|improve this answer

underneath the current stair treads is a piece of wood that looks to be something like a "1X2".

I'd replace it with a "2X2". Using 2.5" "all purpose" screws. (Basically coarse-thread drywall screws) the 2x2 is first screwed into the stringers horizontally, and then you screw down through the treads into it (vertically). The weight of the treads is supported by the 2x2's and your stair stringers can't spread apart.

It's fast, cheap, and will last as long as the rest of the stairs.

share|improve this answer
Don't use drywall screws for anything but drywall, they don't have much shear strength. Instead, use a standard wood screw. – BMitch Aug 7 '12 at 18:06

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.