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42 votes
Accepted

Suitable ladder for reaching stair well above corner stairs

The stair blocks the feet of the ladder, so they can't slip towards the back.
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  • 5,780
41 votes

Should I make my two steps have the same rise or keep one closer to a typical height?

Steps should always have uniform rise. In fact, codes require it (to within 3/8" maximum total variance per IIRC). Our brains expect that the step following the first will be about the same, and ...
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  • 104k
36 votes
Accepted

How do I repair my stair bannister?

Those wooden circles are plugs that will pry out of the holes in the balusters. Under that would be a pre-drilled hole for a screw (typically). I would have never used nails on this in the first ...
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  • 26.6k
36 votes
Accepted

Is this stair rise to code?

That doesn’t meet code, and is flat-out dangerous. The simplest fix is to lift the entire stringer assembly and raise the grade at the bottom. Or take it apart and do it right from the outset. I ...
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35 votes

Is is safe to use LED strips that shine onto stair risers instead of directly onto treads?

I really like the way your mock-up looks! Additionally, as one whose eyes are extra sensitive to bright light, I would significantly prefer that to having any chance of light shining directly into my ...
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  • 29.3k
29 votes
Accepted

How can I bend plywood around a stair riser?

Just about any type of plywood can be bent by cutting slots on the hidden side that leave both clearance for the bend and enough uncut wood on the front to support it. I once made some speaker ...
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  • 20.4k
27 votes

Should I make my two steps have the same rise or keep one closer to a typical height?

Make every single rise absolutely identical, period. Video of people consistently tripping on NYC subway stairs which have a single non-uniform risen step I would test to see if 2 x 5.25 inch rises ...
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23 votes

New home with gaps in stairs

Those look like temporary steps to me. For carpeting you usually see 1-1/8" bullnose particle board treads and 1x8 or 3/4" plywood risers. Rarely is two-by lumber left as a final product, as it's ...
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  • 104k
20 votes
Accepted

Interpreting stair railing code

No. It's all or nothing. Imagine a visually-impaired person (or someone in the dark) coming down your stairs and the rail ends. What's the assumption? That they've reached the bottom. That can end ...
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  • 104k
19 votes

How to support a turn in a staircase?

Dog-Leg stairs Structurally, the flights of a dog-leg stair are usually supported by the half-landing, which spans the adjoining flank walls. Image: Bill Bradley. CC by SA 3.0 In this arrangement,...
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17 votes

How can I bend plywood around a stair riser?

There are plywood products made for radius situations. Bendy plywood and Wacky Wood are a few names it goes by. Options are available from several manufacturers like Radius-bending Plywood or Flexi ...
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  • 4,122
14 votes

New home with gaps in stairs

I would also say those look like temporary stairs, but lets ignore that for the moment. You correctly observe that there are gaps on every stair between the tread and riser and the photos show that ...
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  • 839
14 votes
Accepted

Refinish or replace an old staircase

Sand and Paint Veneer or replace treads - that's a lot of work. Carpet - relatively easy - but you said you don't want that. Don't try to sand and stain - the level of sanding will be much more than ...
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13 votes

How can I bend plywood around a stair riser?

Take some 1/4 inch plywood, and, with a circular saw, cut vertical slices in the back side ~3/16 inch deep, every half or quarter inch or so in the area where the bend is. This may give you enough ...
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  • 3,959
11 votes

Why don't I see more progress when sanding my stair treads?

A vibrating or oscillating sander isn't going to be aggressive enough for that job. It's really only suitable for light finish sanding. You need something that spins, or at least something with a ...
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  • 104k
11 votes

Is is safe to use LED strips that shine onto stair risers instead of directly onto treads?

I don't see any problem with mounting them in that way. Effectively you just use them as indirect lighting. They still provide some illumination to the steps themselves, just at lower intensity. Just ...
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  • 605
11 votes

Is is safe to use LED strips that shine onto stair risers instead of directly onto treads?

It's a bit 'form over function'. It's the kind of lighting bars trying to look 'cool' use & which three drunks a night fall down, because they can't figure out where to step. Would it not be ...
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  • 4,149
11 votes

Can the bottom stair have a different height than the rest in GA?

The maximum rise of steps is 8”. The maximum difference between risers is 3/8” from smallest to largest, as @Jack says. (See ICC R311.5.3.1) A handrail is required if there are 4 or more risers. ...
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  • 3,610
10 votes

Is this stair rise to code?

Yes, it counts as a rise. You need to have the steps redone if you want to be code compliant. Looks like your top step is ~3" low. You need to make new stringers with the rise being ~3/4" ...
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  • 3,959
10 votes

How can I repair treads on an open staircase which have been cut off flush on the ends?

What appears* to have happened, is that someone removed the finish carpentry that dressed the end grain of the stair treads and also sealed up the rough joints where the spindles meet. There also ...
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  • 101
9 votes

Is is safe to use LED strips that shine onto stair risers instead of directly onto treads?

For someone who is partially sighted and doesn't have depth perception, it may easily look as though the lighted riser is the part you are supposed to step on. Do you remember those optical illusions ...
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  • 191
9 votes

Suitable ladder for reaching stair well above corner stairs

The accepted answer qualifies as "simplest" for sure. For those of us who view the hardware store as our "toy store," Get one of those combo/multiposition ladders. Extend one ...
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8 votes

Is the proposed solution to this masonry project okay?

If you had an professional engineer design the whole unit as an assembly it may be possible to have the railings and metal concrete reinforcing members in the steps and risers work as a trussed span ...
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  • 61.2k
8 votes

What's the best material to use to fill in a 1/2" gap between drywall and stairs?

Typically a riser bracket is used, it would help if the stair return was longer but a piece of lattice cut to follow the zig-zag of the stair may work too. EDIT 1-5-2016 Here is another angle....
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  • 31.2k
8 votes
Accepted

Ideas on how to fix a void at the bottom edge of my concrete steps?

That's not a hole. That's just the bottom. Steps like this are poured on the dirt, and while the dirt level probably should have been flatter and lower (for aesthetic reasons), this isn't a structural ...
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  • 104k
8 votes

Is is safe to use LED strips that shine onto stair risers instead of directly onto treads?

This is not an uncommon configuration. Case in point: there's a home renovation tv programme in The Netherlands, that is sponsored by a staircase renovation company. It has become a joke by now that ...
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  • 475
7 votes

How can I fix railings that lack newel posts?

With the limited space on the right side. Here's a couple ideas that may help you. Buy or build yourself a pair of stair posts. If you choose to purchase, they come in all sorts of different sizes ...
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  • 191
7 votes
Accepted

Why does the riser go before tread when installing hardwood on stairs?

The riser is installed first for the reason that you want a nice tight fit along the top of the riser to the tread above it. There is always the possibility that there is a small variation in the ...
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  • 61.2k
7 votes

Is it a problem to have gaps in the drywall hidden by molding?

If you can no longer see the openings in the drywall your contractor did a good job, molding is there to cover the ends at the floor and edges at openings so there is no need to go back it will not ...
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  • 95.6k
7 votes

US residential stair railing code: What is the requirement for terminating an open railing?

That handrail does not meet code, because it is not continuous from top to bottom of stairway and the ends do not terminate correctly at the bottom. The Code (ICC R311.7.7) requires handrails: 1) ...
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  • 22.5k

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