Hot answers tagged

41

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 it's guaranteed to cause stumbling and worse if you do it lop-sided. Splitting the height puts you square in the range given by accessibility guidelines. Be ...


36

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 place. The correct fix is going to be to remove the nails and replace them with screws that fit into the existing holes snugly. If there is really just a nail ...


35

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 eyes. Even if the edge of this step isn't perfectly lit by the light above it, it's location would be intuitively obvious to all but the youngest child by the ...


29

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 cabinets that had a "horn" output similar to this: Your bend is sharper than the one I did, it looks to be 90 degrees, so you'll need to make more cuts to ...


27

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 feel more natural or 3 x 3.5 According to https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards?catid=0&id=314: Stair riser heights shall be 7 inches (178 mm)...


23

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 heavier-duty than necessary and creates very thick and squarish nosings when carpeted. We'd commonly do something like that, or doubled scrap plywood, until after ...


20

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 badly.


19

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, the stringers are joined to a newel post. The lower landing is also partly supported by the newel post. The upper by only the flanking walls and, I guess, ...


17

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 Ply. The layers are oriented in one direction making it easy to bend around pretty tight radius like yours.


15

If it's structural (the tread/risers are supported by it), it's called a stringer. If it's not structural, it's called skirting (or simply a skirt). Source (PDF)


14

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 the gaps are even. Now having well made stairs is very important in that uneven or other badly made stairs are a safety risk. gaps are often a pointer to uneven ...


14

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 for painting and I suspect in the end you will find so much old paint that staining won't work well. Which leaves Sand and Paint as the best option. No matter ...


13

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 flexibility to bend the plywood around the curve. Try it with some scrap wood first, and maybe use a gallon paint can to form the wood.


11

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 random orbit (more movement). 80 grit is probably a good choice for working through the varnish on your steps but you need the moves only a different type of sander ...


11

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 make sure your aluminum bracket doesn't make electrical contact with the LED strip. (I would put a layer of water-proof insulation tape on the inside of the ...


11

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 simpler [& probably far easier to see the stairs] to run the strip light [blue line] up the side of the staircase, angled down in a similar manner so it can't be ...


10

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 and pictures where stairs will suddenly invert? I'm not saying not to do it at all, but please be careful in your implementation & try looking at it in low-...


8

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....


8

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 flaw. Attempting to patch it will make things worse, visually speaking. Put some mulch over the bottom edge or raise the soil level a bit and be happy.


8

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 each and every time, it just so happens that the staircase needs a renovation. The last couple of seasons has nothing but this design. So if professionals do it, ...


7

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 structure that was only supported at the bottom step and at the top step. This is definitely not a project for any local neighborhood handyman, general masonry ...


7

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 and designs. Example Build a half wall or full wall on both sides. Lots of ideas bouncing around the Internet. Be creative.


7

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 width of the riser boards or the height of the notches cut in the stair jacks. The back edge of the tread can then be slid right up to the riser for a nice tight ...


7

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 change anything as every house I have remodeled and built has some spaces that are covered by molding.


7

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) Height to be between 30” and 38” above the nosing of the tread, and 2) Be continuous on at least one side of a stairway with 4 or more risers and be from a ...


7

The problem you have here is you are trying to solve an aesthetics issue. You could tackle this 10 different ways but what can you make look good? This could be done with just plaster or some lightweight concrete blend (how they do a lot of stairs in europe). But can you make that look good? You can certainly have someone create a piece of wood for you ...


6

If your house will always be occupied by sedate adults and slow seniors, then you should install newel posts or stub half-walls (per Doc306). But if you have teenagers, or children who will become teenagers, then such half-measures will not survive. Teenage humans move quickly and will use any available handholds to change direction quickly. Posts and half-...


6

I had a similar problem with stringers in direct contact with cement that had water runoff. I sawed off 1/2" from the bottom of each of four stringers,screwed in 4- 2 1/2" stainless steel lag screws into the bottom of each stringer. Once back in place, backed out the lag screws like leveling a washing machine. End result, the stringers were 1/2&...


6

Screwing an eye bolt into the front of the tread then pulling might work, but it leaves you with the extra work of patching up screw holes on every single tread. It might also lead to splitting your treads! If the tread is nailed in place/stuck near the riser and you pull too hard on the nose, you could crack it and that will be an even more difficult repair....


5

Use a prybar to lever up the treads about 1/8" and then use a Sawzall type reciprocating saw with a metal blade to cut the shank between the tread and the riser. Check to see if you can rent the reciprocting saw at a tool rental. The blades are readily available at any Hardware and Tool supply. You won't be wanting to drive back into the same hole as the ...


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