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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    116

    Default Interior basement stairs question

    This home is new construction and I need some assistance with the stairs and landing to the basement. The trimmers and header in the floor opening are 2x10 but they have not been doubled. The builders response is that the wall under the joists makes it unnecessary to 2X the trimmers. I also called out the construction method and supports under the landing. The question I keep getting asked is "does it meet code". My answer is "I don't know". Any help here is appreciated.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Serving SC & NC
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Interior basement stairs question

    The landing would fail my rough-in inspection. No structure should be supported by a single 2x4.

    Joe Funderburk, CBO, CMI
    Alpha & Omega Home Inspections, LLC
    Serving SC & NC

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Serving SC & NC
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Interior basement stairs question

    I tend to agree that the header and trimmer would not need doubling since it is supported by a load bearing wall.

    Joe Funderburk, CBO, CMI
    Alpha & Omega Home Inspections, LLC
    Serving SC & NC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    winslow, maine
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Interior basement stairs question

    I agree Joe.
    If that is a basement, the poly vapor retarder would also bother me in allowing the foundation drying to the interior.

    Just saying.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,445

    Default Re: Interior basement stairs question

    That landing framing is not the greatest


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Interior basement stairs question

    Where are the stairway stringers?


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Bozeman, Montana
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Interior basement stairs question

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeMan View Post
    Where are the stairway stringers?

    Some guys fasten a 2x to the bottom of the stringer to act as a spacer. Then drywall and or skirt board can be slid down without cutting around tread/riser. AT any floor elevation where there is not the benefit of a bottom plate, blocking should be let in between studs.
    Think of landings as decks. Too often interior landing framing seems to be framed like a tree house. Or balloon framing without being let in to the supporting walls. Gravity (and tremors) happen inside the house just like outside.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Bozeman, Montana
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Interior basement stairs question

    Photo #3, I wouldn't consider the toenails used on the unsupported trimmer the required "positive connection".
    Photo #1, Are there plans to drywall that ceiling and cover up what looks like a threaded union?
    Photo #2, Looks like you may have some subfloor fasteners which missed the floor joist. If they don't squeak now they probably will. I would ask that they were removed. And search for others. It looks like you may have the finished floor surfaces installed already. Pain in the rear, but they will probably have to be pulled down now instead of pounded up.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Interior basement stairs question

    Bill, you are correct to question some of that flaky framing. That looks like a temporary prop under the landing.

    Hello Marcel. Poly on the interior side of all insulated walls is standard on our side of the continent, has been since poly was invented. Maybe you are thinking they should dry the place out first before finishing the basement?

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Interior basement stairs question

    I have to agree that it is not the best framing.. I think that I would have noted it and said something like... The supporting framing for the basement stairs appears to be unfinished as proper framing would include additional supports ( list what you feel is needed if you want) to meet good building practices.

    Yes, you just politely said it is a piece of crap....

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  11. #11

    Default Re: Interior basement stairs question

    Have to agree with John, that "prop" under the landing looks like it is supporting several scabbed on 2X6's. Someone didn't quite measure/design/order right and so the bottom of the stairs are not well supported..

    I like the blocking if for nothing else than for backing for the baseboards and ensuring the drywall doesn't get kicked in as easily while moving that hide-a-bed downstairs.

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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: Interior basement stairs question

    Walls under stairs should also be drywalled.

    Randy Gordon, construction
    Michigan Building Inspector/Plan Reviewer

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Hercules, CA
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Interior basement stairs question

    1. The supporting walls must be bearing walls (supported by a foundation or doubled floor framing below),
    2. The stringers must be installed and anchored to each stud with 3 - 16d nails, and,
    3. The single 2x4 "prop" supporting the bottom of the stair must be doubled and properly anchored at multiple 2x6 "beam" and the sole plate.

    Thom Huggett, PE, SE, CBO

  14. #14
    Ken Bates's Avatar
    Ken Bates Guest

    Default Re: Interior basement stairs question

    Definitely minimalist framing that does not comport with better building practices.

    On very rare occasions I have referenced a code ( but only when the position is airtight )

    These kinds of situations are very stressful as your client is looking to you to be the tip of his spear for a small fraction of the remunerations that the other actors in the play get.

    I now avoid getting in the middle of this kind of situation. "Good deeds don't go unpunished" Refer the client to the AHJ.

    Home & Condo Inspections in the Boston MA area by Certified & Licensed ASHI Inspector


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