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Outbacker 01-14-2008 09:38 PM

Distance between stringers
I am looking at putting in a step from my family room to the hallway which is perpendicular to the room. It is exactly 14 inches up from the family room floor to the hallway floor. I want to put in 2 metal stringers with a 1 inch thick step board. Problem is most of the stringers that I have seen have a vertical piece at the top of them that bolts to the wall, and that is fine as long as I can set them (the stringers) far enough apart to meet the door frame which is 36 inches. My concern is the step board will start to sag after a while, or will it? Am I okay with this distance between the stringers and not have the step sag? I am also thinking that I may bolt (or weld) a small "L" bracket in under the step between the stringers for support. What do you think?

guyod 01-14-2008 10:49 PM

You are right. a 36" span is way too far. But since its only one step you can get away with if you use a riser and mount a 1x3 board to the wall so that the back of the stair thread sits on it and the front of the step sits on the riser. Use oak and it will hold a ton.

ToolGuy 01-14-2008 11:38 PM

I'm trying to picture this and not sure why you need a stringer at all. If it's just one step just build it like a box. whatever the case, a 1" (5/4 stock) or especially a 1x (3/4" thick) will definately need support midway.

glennjanie 01-15-2008 12:01 PM

Hello Outbacker:
ToolGuy is correct; you only need a box step 7" tall, you step on that and then on the upper floor. The box could be 4' wide if you want to cover the door, comfortably. Build the rectangle 6 1/4" tall, screw the back board to the wall and add the tread on top of the box. You could even round the ends of the tread to make it look a little neater. The tread should be made of a 1 X 12 board and make the box an inch less than the width ( front to back )of the tread.

guyod 01-15-2008 05:00 PM

I would of said to make a box too but he seemed pretty set on using a metal stringer

Outbacker 01-15-2008 10:38 PM

Thanks for the replies. Right now there is a box step in place, and I just want a new look with the metal stringers and a nicely stained oak step. I will most likely take the two stringers to a welding place and have them weld a "L" bracket between them and this will support the step. Thanks again for the help.

guyod 01-16-2008 06:50 AM

Sounds like you dont want a riser (perpindictular board on back of step)
so you can see the metal stringer right? even if you do weld a bracket in to make it strong enough. It is still not going to look strong enough. People will look at your step and wonder if its going to hold them and not how nice the oak stained thread looks. I would find a stringer without the tab on top or have your welder take it off and relocated it to the side or bottom. Then keep them under 24" on center.

glennjanie 01-16-2008 09:07 AM

If you want the look of the steel stringers just use 1 1/2" stock for the treads. Oak and Southern Yellow Pine have the same bending rating; you could even use treated lumber. I use 2 X 12 stair treads on all my decks and, yes they are 36" long.

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