Stair Building Ideas For Design And Construction

Stairwell - Stair Framing And Construction Information

A stairwell usually represents the area that the stairway is going to be built in. The picture below provides you with a pretty good idea, what a stairwell looks like, from the second floor. Each black arrow is pointing to the edge of the stairwell floor framing.

Stairwell Framing Advice

You should never frame the stairwell, without verifying all of your stair measurements. As a stair builder for new homes, I usually provided all of this information to the job site foreman or supervisor.

Just because the architect or engineer drew something on the building plans, doesn't mean that it will work.

For example, if you have four stair treads at 10 inches each and a 36 inch wide stair landing at the bottom. (See picture above) you should be able to add these numbers together and get an exact measurement, to layout your stairwell.

That sounds easy, but most of the time it isn't, because you need to allow for stair tread overhangs, upper and lower stair stringer cuts and finished wall materials.

If you have a 36 inch minimum width required by the building department, you're going to need to adjust the stairwell accordingly. I can't tell you how many times framing carpenter's make the mistake of laying out a 36 inch wide set of stairs, only to find out later that it might not pass final building inspection.

Let me see if I can explain this a little better. If the building blueprints call out for a 36 inch wide stairway and I build my stairs accordingly and they put two layers of half-inch drywall on each side of the wall, my finished stairway measurement is only going to be 35 inches.

If the minimum building code requirement is 36 inches and you only have 35 inches, there could be a problem. All of these adjustments need to be made, before building your stairwell.


Stairs / Stair Glossary

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