Steep Bungalow Stairs #4 The Investigation

So we have really quite a puzzle on our hands – how to make this stair with a longer run and the only possible way to do that is on the second floor – drat.

closet upI had already framed and drywalled what I thought would be the new upstairs closet. I figured out those tricky ceiling angles and taped and mudded this to finish.

closet insideI put in the electrical and a nifty pocket door.

So since the new stair is going to be 30″ deeper up here – by my calculation I’ll have a roomy 15 inches at the top of the stair. Crap. I have to have much more.

closet demo 1So let’s just rip it out – again. You can see the new/old switch box dangling there. The pocket door newly installed is now gone. So I wasted some coin and a lot of time on this one.

closet demo 3This is so therapeutic! Had a bad day? Feeling a little frustrated? Why grab a crowbar and annihilate a walk in closet – makes one feel so much better!

We’ll deal with the odd angles and headroom issues somehow. But for now let’s just live for the moment – and not overlook the structural steel beams hanging up there.

closet demo 2To make the staircase work we’ll have to move the wall back on the bedroom side around 4 feet. We’ll have to pick up a point load for that structural steel beam so it sets on a floor joist over a perpendicular load bearing wall. Which is right where the post has been placed. Enough of this building stuff.

On to investigating the staircase structure.

stair side viewThis is the office side of the staircase. As you might have noticed, I’ve given up on making that wall work – the bookcase was built, installed and then promptly removed, along with the rest of the plaster lath. Oh, and that closet? I spent a lot of time making it smooth and painted just so. I added some additional height and a hanging system.

office closet demoOnly to end up tearing the whole thing out. This is looking from the kitchen side. The office closet is nothing but some sticks in a bucket and bags of pulverized plaster.

stair profileHere’s a good view of the rise and run of the stair – I told you it was nearly 45 degrees. Actually in this photo the rise looks even greater than the run. I get tired just looking at this thing.

stringer measurementThis is a closeup of the stair stringer throat measurement. The minimum for this should not be less than 3 1/2″. It’s pretty close. What isn’t so hot is the saw overcut. These are areas for potential splitting and stair stringer failure.

stringer attachment 1Uh-oh this is where things start getting a little scary. This is not how you hold up a stair case. Let’s count all the nails together, shall we? 1-2-3 … if we’re lucky we have 6 nails that have some holding power in these stringers. Would you like to prance up and down on your staircase with 6 nails holding you up? I didn’t think so. Yes, it’s only 6. And they had the opportunity to fasten it to the stair well side walls – but they didn’t.

Let’s see this from another angle.

stringer looking upI think I’ll name this staircase “Death Wish”

Hang in there gang — we’ll make something out of this yet.


4 thoughts on “Steep Bungalow Stairs #4 The Investigation

  1. Eeeek!!! Scray! Our staircase is steep as well, about an 8″ rise with a 9 1/2″ run. Not too code, but we are leaving them as is. We couldn’t figure out a way to make it work with killing 1) a way to actually walking into the kitchen 2) kitchen island (aka – HALF of my kitchen) 3) landing upstairs which would require move 4 doors. So our stairs are staying. Ours may be steep, but they are at least held in with more than 6 nails 🙂

    • Yes, I love living on the edge! I’m just glad I got the 450 pound bathtub to the second floor through a window instead of tying to take it up the stairs. Great aticle on you home congratulations!

  2. OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG. I don’t even know where to start. Lucky you are ok and those super-duper strong nails held. 🙂 Sorry you have to redo so much. Now that it’s all torn out, you’ll get the stairs just right, I’m sure. Clean slate.

    • I guess those nails were pretty stout little fellas. Redoing is just part of my misdirection. I think when I finally get everything done I’ll recap just how many do-overs there were. And there are a lot 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

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