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Cheap stairs


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Becuase I know both buyer and seller and both are barely scraping by the get in and out of this house and the buyer wants to just make them safe but cannot afford to rebuild.

Just do your job and report what you found along with the fact that they are not stable and a good carpenter should be contacted to repair or replace them. Randy said it pretty well.

I have had sellers and buyers with very little extra money several times, some have been acquantiances from church and the like. Don't let emotions get the best of you.

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If the treads are in a housed (routed) stringer, Gluing and screwing another piece of plywood of the same size to the back of the existing riser and under the tread should take care of it. But before they do that, they should make sure that the bottom of the existing risers are glued to the back of the treads.

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These stairs are spongy and weak even under 100 lbs of weight..They are constructed of very thin (maybe 1/4 inch?) plywood style material? What should I suggest be done about this without rebuilding them?

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Pardon my saying so, but it's not the HI's job, nor is it in the HI's or customer's best interest to suggest a "make-do" job. That's all risk and no reward. Not to go all legalistic, but stairs are at or near the top of any savvy HI's "things I might get sued over" list.

You're not helping these buyers if you put them in half-ass mode. Just tell them to get the stairs fixed. If you can have some "alone time" with the stairs, you might want to measure rise and run and see if they comply with building codes. If they don't comply, that's another big reason not to look for a band-aid fix.

It's a simple observe-and-report job. The stairs are flimsy. Flimsy or otherwise deficient stairs hurt people. Tell the customers to get the stairs fixed before they move in. From your description, I'd say this one's gonna require a do-over.

Finally this: I recommend that you not recommend handyman solutions. We're observers/reporters, not handyfolk.


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What everyone else said.

If you really want to get hammered about a year from now (or sooner), help them figure out a cheap way to fix these stairs.

They need rebuilding. The amount of time and energy it would take to block them all out and reinforce everything would take more time, energy, and money than rebuilding them.

I've built dozens (I don't really know how many) stairs, and I'm telling you, "patching" stairs isn't possible. The result will not be satisfactory.

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If you feel stairs/steps are wrong - write it. You get retained and paid for your opinion.

I am getting a little old, so forgive me for not having enough info from the photo. Can't quite see enough to write a logical comment. Of course, I could guess.

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