Home Improvement--General/Open stairs


Hello -

I have open stairs in my home that have no 'backing.'  I now have an infant daughter and need to think about closing up the stairs. What type of professional should I seek to complete this task?  Any ideas how long something like this takes?  And a ballpark of cost?  I'm not even sure I'm wording my question right - maybe you can help with terminology?


So I understand you correctly, you want to enclose the stairs with a regular wall with drywall on both sides. If this is correct, then a carpenter would be the only person I would trust to do it correctly. Then you would need to hire a person who does drywall & taping. Many carpenters can do drywall fairly well, but if you want it to look right, then use a guy that does only drywall. And since you have an infant daughter, insist that the drywaller use a wet sponge to sand the seems and corners or owns a power drywall sander. Wet sponge sanding creates no dust and the power sander created very little dust, sucking it into a vacuum like container. You do not want dust all over your house nor do you want your infant daughter breathing that in. It would be difficult to estimate a price without seeing the stairway. As far as how long...The carpenter should be able to frame the area in in a few hours. The drywall will take two days  depending on what joint compound they use. They have compound that dries in 20 minutes and others that take a day to dry. Usually they will hang the drywall and tape the seams & apply the first coat of compound on all the seams. Let that dry & come back the next day, sand the seams & put on a second coat in the morning and come back later in the day and do the final sanding. They will prime & paint the new drywall also unless you want to do that yourself. I have had drywall installers do an average washroom in one using the fast drying compound

Home Improvement--General

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russell spataro


Any constrution or remodeling questions


15 years of custom home building. My knowledge on building homes correctly is written below. If I had more than 2000 characters I would gone on.

Lets start with foundation footing. The standard foundation footing is 20 inches wide. Foundation walls are 10 inches wide and must be dug down below the freeze line or 48 inches in Illinois. Framing a house. 2"x4" or 2"x6" walls. They are put 16" on center. Floors should be 3/4" tongue & groove plywood. 1/2 plywood sheeting should be placed on the exterior walls. Two 2"x12" nailed together should be used as headers above all windows and exterior doors. They should also be used on any doorways, halls or open spaces on all bearing walls. Walls get R-13 insulation. Ceiling insulation should be R-36 in Illinois or 10 inches of blown in insulation. Concrete for the sidewalks should be 4" thick. If it is a driveway or garage floor, then 5" thick. Foundation walls must be sealed with either tar or spray on sealer. Concrete for basement floors are 4" thick, with drain tile underneath crawl spaces must be covered with 2" of concrete. Stair risers should be no more than 7.5". Stair treads should be 10" wide. Deck spindles should be spaced no more than 4" s.

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