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Old 01-18-2010, 10:22 PM  
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Default Opening up a staircase, question

I recently purchased our first home. It is older and requires some updating, but the price was right. I currently have the upstairs torn into pieces as I build our master bedroom. I do have a question about the stairs leading upstairs, though

In the future, when I make my way to working on the living room, I want to open up the stair case on the one side as they are rather narrow. I am aware that I need to worry about how the stairs are support themselves, but that is not what I am wondering about at this time.

What I am wondering is how are the floor joists supported for the second floor when they reach the opening for the stairs. Is the wall closing in the stairwell currently also supporting the joists?

Attached to this thread is a not-to-scale image showing the direction and alignment of the joists.

Thank you all for your time!


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Old 01-19-2010, 08:07 AM  
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Hello, hard to say. Can you take a photo of the stairs and room below? Might be able to give you a better answer. GregC

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Old 01-19-2010, 03:45 PM  
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The stair trimmer joist was hopefully doubled for carrying the shorter joists: The Very Efficient Carpenter: Basic ... - Google Books
Unless a post is present.
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:00 PM  
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Typically when stairs are built either from ground to finished height or from ground to platform then to finished height. Joist will have a header or are doubled depending on the joist used. If you want to make wider you will need re support the joist and header off. Check out Framing a Staircase - Fine Homebuilding Article
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:43 PM  
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Thank you all for the links.

The part that really throws me off with a trimmer joist is the fact that they built so as they cut in through say 10 joists versus 4 (IE,running through the joists vs running up in between the joists)

How should this trimmer joist be supported on either end being as it is supporting a decent portion of the floor? Is securing a double trimmer to the outside wall and inside joist (after the stair opening) sufficient?

I will see about getting some further pictures.

Thanks again,

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