Home Improvement--General/Basement steps rebuild


Framing under steps
Framing under steps  
For reasons not important here, we are "unfinishing" the finished basement of our 35 yo house. I am at the removing drywall and studs phase. The stairwell to the basement was also finished, including under the steps. I'm contemplating replacing the stringers (the treads definitely need replacing, and there are no risers  but I want to add them, so I figured I should do the stringers "while I'm there"... but only if that makes sense). This is a standard floor-to-floor staircase (no landing or turns), with 12 treads. With that in mind:

1) The handrail had been secured to studs onto which the stairwell drywall had been attached. Obviously those studs are gone now. Any advice on how to create some "framework" (even if it's just a 2x4) onto which I can attach the handrail?

2) The studs supporting the drywall under the steps are still in place because once the drywall was removed I noticed they are providing some support. I't difficult to describe, but hopefully the attached picture makes it clear. Do I need that support? If I do replace the stringers, should I just place them on top of that existing framing, or tear it out and replace it with similar framing (but it'll be different because the new framing won't need to support drywall).

3) Any general input on the stringers? I see some cracks in the existing ones, but they don't go all the way through and I'm assuming they're just from aging/drying (in other words: I'm wondering if I do indeed need to replace them)


Hi Dave- You could cut new stringers to go alongside the existing ones which will allow you to remove the studs that are adding support to the stairs. As well you could bolt some posts to the stringers to hold the rail. (Which, in turn, you would want to double the stringers anyway.) Use some PL Adhesive (400 or greater) as well as screws/bolts to connect old and new stringers. By adding a new stringer it will cut down on labor to replace the whole set of stairs plus give you the strength to support itself and the rail. The new stringers should be cut from LVL type lumber. You can get this at any decent lumber yard.
Hope this helps and feel free to contact me for any reason.

Home Improvement--General

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Glen W


I can answer almost any question about residential construction / renovation


I have worked as a General Contractor for 25 yrs. in 10 states.

BA in Architecture

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