I want to open a space that's closed off under my stairs. There is framing under one stringer to support existing drywall, and possibly the stairs. (The other stringer in attached to a wall)

Safe to remove the framing and have the stairs supported by a stringer?

  • 2
    Assuming your stringers are appropriately attached to the floor joists, the stringers should be able to support stairs. Picture unfinished basement steps...usually, it's just the stringers holding up the stairs.
    – Chris M.
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 18:56

3 Answers 3


Stair stringers are normally designed to be supported at the top and bottom, with no further support needed.

I can't say for sure whether the framing that is there currently is to support the stringer, but I would expect that it's just there to support the drywall.

Read up on how to tell if a stud wall is loadbearing or not, if it's not loadbearing, then the current framing is just for drywall.


right now no. the stringer off the wall will sag. you would have to beef up the stringer. so double or triple the stinger. place the stringer that are doubled and crown the wood grains. also there will need to have 3 or 4 stringers doubled. i would not do it it only 2 stringers. it can be done

  • 1
    I disagree. Stair stringers are rarely supported by walls running parallel.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 4:19

It depends. Yes, the stringers need to be supported along their length, but they can span a few feet too, depending on 1) the width of the stairs, 2) the number of stringers, and 3) size of riser board.

1) The wider the stair the more load will be transferred to the stringers.

2) More stringers can span further because they'll be carrying less load.

3) Most stairs have the stringers, on the edge, nailed to the walls that run parallel to the stair. Then, the riser board is fastened to each stringer. So, the interior stringers are actually supported by the riser board that spans from side-to-side. The thicker the rider board and the shorter distance the riser board spans, then the more load the stringer can carry and the longer it can span.

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