Switch back stair finish

mikellucas's picture

So I have read a couple of old posts on designing and building stairs, so I realize already that I may be doing somethings backwards.  That said I am looking for ideas.

I am building an new old house -- 2 1/2 story four square.  The stairs run from the basement to the 3rd floor (finished attic).  There was some confusion when the stairs were being framed and they were installed to have a 2x4 wall run between them from the basement up to the base of the stringer leading to the 3rd floor.  Unfortunately they were supposed to be open and I didn't catch it in time.  Framer said it was not hard to fix and ripped off the 2x4 nailed vertically to each outside stringer.  Now I have a 7" gap between each stringer and trying to figure out how best to finish.  A couple finish guys that I have had in all scratch there head as to how to work the newels and railings.

I could go ahead and build as originally framed and close up, but want the openess and light.  Could build the wall from the basement to bottom of stringer going to second floor, but what to do about stairway from 2nd to 3rd?  Also thought of building little knee walls to close in the stairs, but think there is a finishing challenge where these two walls meet at the landings since there will be no room for any finish trim.

Could go all open, but a bit of a budget problem...as well as the newel issue -- told I either need a really big one or two very close together.  I would think that a rail over newel approach would work.

And yes, drywall is already up... but things can be changed..

Hopefully I gave a good start to my dilema.  I can attach pics later as needed.


(post #69743, reply #1 of 2)

How wide are the stairs now?  If they are only the code minimum of 36", I would widen the stairs so one newel would work.  You need a continuous handrail on the inside of the stair, so the rail would either die into the newel or run over the top.



(post #69743, reply #2 of 2)

Thanks.  They are 36" now, but reading the code here the hand rail can take up to 3" of this space -- or at least that is how I read it.

Thinking about this more, I think we will build the wall as framed from the basement to bottom of stringer to the second floor, then pick up the wall again from the 2nd to 3rd.