Removing framing around stairs

I've got a very typical set of stairs that descend to the basement of my ranch style home. I'm in the process of redecorating my basement and I would like to open up one side of the stairs so that you can look out into the room on one side as you go down the stairs. Right now there is a framed wall on either side of the stairs that is a simple frame of two by fours with dry wall on both sides. It doesn't appear that the frames for these walls provide much support for the stairs but they are nailed (lightly) to them.
Can any carpenters out there tell me how much support stairs usually need on the sides? I was looking at some stair construction sites and they usually don't even show side supports so I'm thinking they may just add to stability but aren't particularly necessary for structural support.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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it depends on the length of the stringers, but for a basic one story single run, yes you do need support under 2x12 stringers, or else you need to beef up the framing. Without it, your stairs will have too much bounce (at best). this shouldn't be a huge problem though--you could cut the existing wall off at an angle following the stairs, leaving the part that supports the stringers, or you could even tear the whole wall out and rebuild a wall under the outer stringer.
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I'd be more worried about getting an informed opinion on the wall you plan to remove. It's not implausible that it's a bearing partition. Someone who knows wood framing should look at it BEFORE you take it out.
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MichaelB
www.michaelbulatovich.ca
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