Monday, June 18, 2012

Escher DIY Stair Stringers

Steve was hard at work over father's day weekend.  No play time for him.  He was quite the superstar.  He built our stair stringers for the basement!  and they rock!

Steve started by referencing our local codes and then by designing the stairs in AutoCAD, a design program he has at work.  However there is a great stair design program that is free online and that I linked here.  Be sure to account for the depth of your floor at the top and bottom of the stairs because code does not allow much variation in riser height between stairs.  
I will try to explain all this the best I can but I am not a technical gal, am impatient when it comes to things like this, and darn it, was only in and out for most of the project.  I snapped photos and took notes in my head when I could.  FineHomeBuilding also has a very in-depth tutorial on framing stairs.

After having it all designed, he used pressure treated 2x4s to screw in a board where the stringer would end.  He then made the handy jig that is pictured up above to have a precise measurement of the cuts he needed to make.  He put x's on the parts he needed to cut (he always does this-that smart man) so that he won't get confused after everything is turned around and he is thinking of a million other things while making the cuts.

Because old houses are all whonky, be sure to check for how level and plumb things are after each cut as many adjustments may need to be made even though it is all the same when drawn out.  Steve just used a basic old level and a plumb bob to do this.  He clamped the stringers in place when he checked each time.
Steve made the initial cute using the chop saw.  He thought this would get them straighter and help avoid squeeky stairs in the future.

He then used a hand saw to finish cutting the corners that the chop saw didn't reach.
He decided on 3 stringers for extra security and decreased squeekiness-these puppies should last 100+ years!  He attached a 2x10 using simpson brackets so that he could easily and securily screw in the stringers.  Although more pricey, he also used simpson screws instead of framing nails so that he could easily move anything that he didn't put in right.  Notice the middle stringer and the piece that just broke off-doh!  sux but plan to use some gorilla glue to put back into place.  He put it in the middle so hopefully the strength won't be too affected.

And there they are!  Still can't use 'em but luv 'em.  Steve is traveling for work most of this week  so we hope to have some temporary treads in by the weekend.  We may also spend this weekend relocating the built in to make way for the new upstairs stairs.
Winchester Mystery House Stairs that lead to nowhere via
Oh yea, so our friend stopped by and saw the new stringers.  I pointed out that they reminded my of the Winchester Mystery House stairs.  How both of the stairs go in the same direction right now.  He, on the other hand, with an art degree, pointed out that they remind him of the Escher paintings of stairs.  funny the different perspectives.

And of course our main squeeze....
A rare smile for the camera being 2 and all-must be all those m&ms he earned for using the potty today:)

starting the jump-excited

and we're bending to jump-Go!

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