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Stairwell stringer, or lack thereof


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I had the opportunity to inspect a wonderful conversion today(used to be an apartment and was converted to a condo). One of the numerous items that were noted was, the risers leading to the second floor had gaps of up to 2" on either side of the treads. The carpet wasn't stapled to anything, I am guessing nothing was there to staple to;) Lack of stringer(s) issue? Anyone have any other idea?

Thanks,

Rob

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Rob,

Given the number of accepted styles for stairs out there, I'm not sure I see an issue either. This looks like a set of utility stairs used during construction like Randy says. I've taken many of these out to build the finished staircase at the completion of the project. Maybe the budget only allowed for carpet.

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Around here, the 1X finishing out the ends of the treads/risers is called a mop board. Admittedly, you'd have to be a special ed student to mop carpet, but I assume that the term predates the relatively modern practice of completely carpeted stairs. And, yes, it is standard practice to leave a gap at the ends of the treads to allow for slipping the mop board in without notching it for the treads and risers.

The stringer is the structural member UNDER the treads which holds them up. You won't normally see it from any finished living space, and you sure won't see it from the top side.

While sloppy, I agree that it's not a real hazard. It would seem to be a really odd walking pattern that could land your toes there.

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Hi,

Pardon my saying so, but I think this is a non-issue.

I'd never thought about it really, so I just walked out into the hallway and checked the stairs leading to the second floor. Guess what; they're done the same way and I'd never noticed it. I don't even want to guess at how many stairways I've done where the situation is probably identical. For the past couple of years dozens of my wife's friends have had a long procession of toddlers and small children, as well as elderly folks, in and out of this house walking up and down those stairs. Not a single one of them has ever tripped or fallen due to that gap. Probably because when you put your foot over the gap, it's not noticeable through one's shoe. Besides, if a kid is small enough to stick a foot or arm through that gap the kid is probably too small to push his or her hand past the carpet and is way too small to be on stairs unattended anyway.

There are plenty of other more important things to be concerned about with stairs but, from a practical standpoint, I don't see this as one of them.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Don't get confused if you get under a set of stairs built by a stair builder, and you find a routed or plowed skirt board or housed stringer, (Same thing) with nothing but wedges and glue holding it together. When constructed properly, it's as solid as rock. There is no reason to add an open stringer under it unless, the tread length exceeds 36". Then an open stringer, should be added at the center for support. Here's a crappy phone pic of one I built last fall, with no carpet in the way.

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Originally posted by bootsan

Thanks for your input. There were many more issues with this "conversion", this was just one that, for me anyway, exceeded the norm with the amount of gapping. I will drift back to lurking now. Thanks again.

Rob

No more lurking! You've been initiated (send $$ to O'Handley)

Your post was good for discussion and I bet lots of folks learned something.

No stupid questions - only stupid mistakes.

Well, ok, maybe there's some stupid questions sometimes.

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Originally posted by randynavarro

No more lurking! You've been initiated (send $$ to O'Handley)

Huh?

Oh hell, why not? Come to think of it, why doesn't everyone send me money and I'll make you partners in this great deal I just entered into with a Nigerian barrister to inherit his deposed king father's fortune. We'll all be kajillionaires by next week!

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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