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8
votes
5answers
110k views

Is there a standard height and depth for stairs?

Is there a standard (or a standard range for) the height and depth of each step in a flight of stairs? If your answer refers to your building code, please say where you live.
8
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I baby-proof open stairs?

I'm trying to baby-proof my staircase, but the stairs have no risers. (See image below.) I am in a rental, so I don't want to spend the money on cutting, staining, and nailing up plywood. I am ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How should I add a rail on a carpeted stairway that's open on one side?

I'm buying a house with carpeted stairs leading into the basement. Attached is a picture of it. I have very little skill when it comes to home improvement. What's the easiest and most economical ...
7
votes
2answers
16k views

How can I build a custom stair case in a small space?

In my continuing pursuit of gutting this house and trying to better it; the snow has finally broken and its time to get back to work. We really, REALLY, want to use the attic space as storage / den / ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Any US building codes about a door opening into a hallway near a stairway?

A while ago I changed a door out from my tiny bathroom so that it opens outside of the bathroom and into the hallway. It looks attractive and provides a great deal more room in the bathroom making it ...
7
votes
3answers
430 views

Options for fixing outside cement staircase?

We have a below-grade basement and a exit door. There are concrete steps to the door, parallel to the house (so on your right is the house) and on the left is a brick wall. The steps appear to have ...
7
votes
1answer
530 views

Broken step on staircase

We have a broken step on our carpeted staircase. How can I remove then refit the carpet without damaging it? When the carpet has been removed, I will have to repair the step if possible, then refit ...
6
votes
1answer
493 views

What is this stair trim part called?

I was wondering what this part of stair trim that the arrow points to is referred to as. It is like a faceplate on the side of stairs, inverse of a baseboard.
6
votes
5answers
358 views

Which floor should be done first when updating a multi-family residence?

I'd like to renovate a 3 family rental property but don't know which floor is best to start on. The house was built in 1896. The electrical was recently updated prior to purchasing it in 2008. The ...
6
votes
2answers
8k views

How can I set up a removable stair railing?

I need to install a handrail on a set of interior stairs. I also need to be able to remove the handrail and balusters so that furniture can be taken up those stairs because of limited clearance. how ...
6
votes
1answer
186 views

Is there any reason I shouldn't make my own stair treads?

Our main stair case is carpeted. Underneath is (at best) construction-grade plywood. We'd like to replace this with wood overlays. Probably maple (to match other floors). I've found prices for ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I attach a carpet runner down a staircase with a turn in it?

I need to install a carpet runner down a staircase. This is a typical installation with the brass bars in the corner between the tread and riser to hold it down. The difficulty is that the staircase ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I install a handrail for stairs?

The staircase to my basement has a metal handrail that I was able to pull out of the wall because the brackets take a single screw and those single screws were only 1/2" long. I would like to replace ...
5
votes
3answers
351 views

Can I use a single cable for cable rails?

I'm looking at redoing our stair railing and going with a more modern look with cable rails. 'Proper' cable rails, however, seem to all come from perhaps one factory. All the options I can find look ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Should I choose MDF or plywood for my false stair treads?

I'm looking to install false stair treads and risers on my basement stairs. Generally, we're talking about a kit like this: Which is installed with adhesive and finishing nails like this: The ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What can be done to fix a squeak in stairs?

This might be better suited as a community wiki, what do you think? My parents house has very squeaky stairs. The house is over 100 years old, so it's to be expected. What can be done to fix a squeak ...
5
votes
1answer
685 views

What kind of contractor would I need to service or replace pull down attic stairs?

I have attic loft with pull down stairs access to it and I need it either serviced or replaced with a new rope system. Can you advice what kind of contractor I'd need for this? As you can see on the ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

How to fix a through hole in a concrete step?

Here're two photos of a through hole in a step in an enforced concrete staircase in an apartment building. The step is about one inch thick, the hole is about three inches wide and appeared many years ...
5
votes
1answer
590 views

Replacing a split tread on an old staircase

We have an old staircase (1900s) and after removing the carpet, before we get the new one fitted, we noticed that one of the corner steps has a lengthways split right down the middle: How easy ...
5
votes
1answer
939 views

“Attic stairs” equivelent in an attic “hatch” size hole?

The new place I'm moving into has a hatch size hole for the attic. It is roughly square and has no stairs or anything, its just a hatch that can be accessed by ladder. I'd really like to make more ...
4
votes
2answers
971 views

How do I silence a creaking wooden spiral staircase?

We have a spiral staircase with 14 closed wooden steps. Most steps creak when you put your weight on them (or take it off). The noise intensity depends on where exactly on the step you stand. How ...
4
votes
2answers
672 views

How to re-anchor banister to plaster wall?

So the banister holders are in plaster, and it's pretty crumbly. We removed the wooden rail, but the anchors are in no way attached to the wall soundly. How can I make this secure again?
4
votes
1answer
974 views

At what height should a stair handrail be?

I am almost replacing the steps to my front porch. It is 5 steps so I definitly need a handrail, but I don't know exactly how high to make it. I have some posts that should be plenty tall but I can ...
4
votes
1answer
436 views

Can Laminate flooring be installed on Steps?

Can Laminate flooring be installed on steps? I've seen that many laminate flooring manufacturers offer stair nose pieces like this. It would seem that you would fasten (with finish nails) the thick ...
4
votes
1answer
155 views

Are spindles strong enough on a balcony to keep a toddler safe?

How do I reinforce (or cover) the spindles on my balcony stairs) to prevent a toddler from pushing against them and possibly having them collapse? I also want to discourage swinging from top rail. ...
4
votes
3answers
9k views

Should a skirt board on a stair case be installed over the treads?

I am working on a project to replace my stair treads. The current treads show an ugly gap between the end of the tread and the existing skirt board. The current skirt board was installed before the ...
4
votes
1answer
927 views

What is the best way to drywall a basement staircase?

We're going to be finishing our basement and one issue I have is how we will drywall the staircase. Unfortunately the stairs are right against the concrete wall. Should I simply put furring strips ...
4
votes
2answers
617 views

How to go about staircase drawers and drawers below stairs

I would like to utilize empty space in my house and there are two areas I would like to add extra drawers for my family. First area would be the actual staircase. It would be optimal to cut out a ...
4
votes
1answer
824 views

adhesive for gluing rubber to wood

I am replacing rubber tread covers on an old wooden staircase. As far as I can tell, the old ones were simply glued on. They lasted about ten years before they started slipping and cracking where they ...
4
votes
1answer
610 views

A/C escaping down the staircase

I live on the second floor of a century-old house that doesn't have central air. We have a large window A/C unit in the main hall but our front door is at the bottom of the stairs rather than the top. ...
4
votes
1answer
304 views

How do I form and pour long concrete steps for an exterior staircase?

I want to replace some concrete blocks with proper stairs in front of my house. They are wobbly and dangerous. Attached is a photo of what is currently there. I have been unable to find anything ...
4
votes
2answers
862 views

How can I build deck stairs flush with the end of the deck?

I have a deck design where I want stairs coming down perpendicular to the joist starting at the end of the joist. You can see the picture as a generic not to scale drawing of what I mean. I had ...
3
votes
2answers
14k views

How can I create a platform on my stairs strong enough to support a ladder?

I live in a two-story condo and need to reach a spot on the wall high above my staircase to do some handy work. A ladder is the only way I can do this (I am stating this explicitly in order to avoid ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I use a stairwell ceiling fan to save energy?

We have a two story house, with a small ceiling fan mounted above the main stairway. The house has separate thermostats for heating/cooling the upstairs and downstairs. During the day, we spend 90% ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

How can I make wooden stairs slip-proof?

My wife loves the idea of removing our stair carpet and putting bold/bright wallpaper on the vertical faces (risers)... ...but we're concerned that the horizontal parts (treads) would be much more ...
3
votes
2answers
363 views

How do I fix the stairs to the garage where the treads look like they are about to fall?

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
662 views

How can I build a support onto a stud in order to support a handrail?

I need to repair a stair handrail that has come out of my plaster wall. One end of the rail was not connected to a stud, so has come lose. It is a nice railing, so I would prefer not to buy a new ...
3
votes
1answer
370 views

Can I have a handrail on only one side of the stairs?

Is it legal to have a handrail on only one side of the stairs if it's not continuous? (As shown in the picture below) Or should I remove that small handrail and put a long one all the way down on the ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

How can I repair cracked stairs treads?

I have a ~100 year old stairway that has a couple treads cracked down the middle. One of them has a little give to it when stepping on it. They would be difficult to replace entirely, and I am ...
3
votes
1answer
287 views

How can you attach those stair steps to cement blocks?

My wife asked me if these kind of stairs could be done in our new house: The house I'm building is made of concrete blocks (which would be left unfinished in the first floor). Now, is there a safe ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How to repair a closed-stringer staircase?

I need to replace the treads on my closed-stringer staircase. They are 100-year-old softwood with unsightly, disintegrating rubber covers glued on. One stringer is against the outer wall of the house, ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I install concrete blocks to support deck stairs?

I just had a deck constructed and it failed inspection, partly because of missing concrete blocks where the steps meet the ground (see also my related question Deck handrail bracket). How would I go ...
3
votes
2answers
395 views

How do I make exposed wood stairs less squeaky?

I was wondering if it is possible to make exposed wood stairs less squeaky with a layer of foamy/rubbery material between the stringers/frame and stair treads. Or is there a different solution?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I secure wooden balusters to an exterior stair railing?

I'm building an exterior railing for my front porch & stairs. I will be using pressure treated lumber. My balusters will be turned like these: To secure the baluster to the bottom rail I was ...
3
votes
2answers
862 views

How to build a small set of steps/stairs

I just had a paver patio installed and had the builder re-install the old wooden steps that he removed to do the work. We did this as a cost savings measure since stone steps would've doubled the ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

The carpet on my stairs is worn. Should I repair it or just remove it?

In our house the second floor and the stairs to them have carpet over top of old hardwood floors (installed by previous owner). The carpet is wearing out, particularly on the stairs where it has come ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Deck handrail bracket

I just had a deck built and it failed inspection, partly because of the lack of a graspbable handrail (see also my related question Concrete blocks supporting deck stairs) . The current rail is a ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

How to remove nails from 6 x 8 lumber

My townhouse has some outdoor stairs built out of 6" x 8" lumber (i.e., the first step is comprised of two pieces of lumber (with no "nosing")). A couple of the steps are rotten and I need to change ...
2
votes
2answers
491 views

Should I continue my basement subfloor under the stairs?

As part of finishing my basement I'll need to rebuild these stairs to account for the higher floor level. The back of this stair case is currently open to the lower basement, but that will be getting ...
2
votes
2answers
436 views

How to fix broken brick staircase?

Short form question: Replacing bricks of a brick stair-case (leading to house), what kind of concrete to use? Full story: The staircase leading to my house (from outside) had some broken bricks. The ...