# Help Building a Staircase

I've bought a place with a basement and a staircase that 1) lands in an awkward area (too close to the basement block wall) and, 2) is too steep and uncomfortable.
I would like to relocate it so that it lands in the center of the basement. The basement affords seven cear feet from top of slab to bottom of floor joists. I believe I calculated 94.5" from the basement slab to the top of the first floor flooring.
I'm trying to find the dimensions of the final product (how to determine same) so that I can figure out if the result will fit to one side of the existing hallway.
Essentially a stairway (simple one, like I have and intend to build) consumes a rectangular area below the floor. I am visualizing a large box within which the entire stairs would fit. But I know that teh rectangular opening at teh top floor does NOT have to be the same length as the bottom. As you descend the stairs, the required head room follows the angl of the stairs and can at some equal te botto of the loor joists.
I need to design a stair so that this point comes under the existing hall wall so I can install the stairs without disturbing this wall.
I was advised that a 9.5" tread woul be accepatable and a 6." rise is "typical." Somewhere I read that there is a rise/run ratio I should follow.
I am NOT CLEAR on the way a stairway is described. e.g. I get the height is the distance between the top surfaces of the two floors connected, but am not sure of the length measurements. (my big concern at teh moment) That is is te LENGTH measured by laying a tape along the stairs and measuring from the landing to the landing (along the diagonal they form), or from a point at teh edge of the upper landing to the front of the last step at teh bottom (horizontal measurement)?
Oh, how's this: Essentially a staircase forms a triangle with a horizontal side (A), a vertical side (b) and a diagonal side (C). I want to be able to predetermine side (A) given that (b) must equal 94.5" and the rise and run must be comfortable. I also need to determine where along (C) the verticle dimension would drop below a reasonable amount of "head room."
Anyone got any great sourcces?
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Well. . . Hoosier, like so many people seeking answers, if they would just Google the problem, they could most likely find a solution. I found a couple of stair calculators by Googling:
http://www.newenglandclassic.com/stair.application.html
http://www.blocklayer.com/Stairs/StairsEng.aspx
Hope this helps.
Smitty Formerly from South Bend
Hoosierpopi wrote:

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Hey there, thanks a bunch. But I did google first and got a plethora of general sites and manufacturers and a site that wanted to sell me a calculator application.
Nothing like what you found! Looks like they will help me out significantly.
Thanks again.
Popi
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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The length of the staircase will be determined by the run. For example, you mention a 9.5" run. If 9.5" is taken times the number of treads, you'll have a good estimate on legnth horizonally. The number of treads will be determined by the rise. With that in mind, take 94.5" and divide by 16 (number of risers) and you get 5.90" which is close to your 6" rise mark. Take 9.5" x 16 (number of risers) and get a horizonal legnth of 152". Staircases always have one more riser than tread (the last "tread" is the finished floor at the top or bottom) so subtract 9.5" and the approximate legnth should be 142.5" Now, consider making the rise slightly higher. (I usually build 7" to 7 1/2" rise.) If you take 94.5" and divide by 13 (number of risers) you get 7.269" for each rise. Take 9.5" X 13 and the legnth is now 123.5" - 9.5" or 114". Generally, codes will require at least a 3' by 3' square at the bottom and top of the stairs, or any landings. Required headroom is generally the same as a doorway, 6'8". I like more head room, I'm 6'4" and even where there is 6'8" clearance, a low light fixture in a stairwell can put a sizable knot on my noggin:). I guess what I'm trying to convey is that the staircase can somewhat adjusted to fit the space you have. It may be easier to determine the amount of floor space you have first, then work backwards. Subtract the landing(s) sizes from the legnth, and come up with a number and see if it'll work. Design the staircase to fit in the space you have rather than just designing a staircase that will work. If space permits, I'd also suggest 11" run. Deeper treads are nice. If you can give an idea of the space you have to work with, I can figure out a good staircase sized to fit your space. --dave

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Good man. Thank you. Why didn't I think of the standard doorway height!!
I get focused on a problem and run right past the obvious.
I'm drilling some holes up through the flooring to find the "footprint" available for the staicase and would like to take you up on your offer. Two heads are better'n one (esp when one is as old and befuddled as I!). When I get teh dimensions, I'll write back.
The two links sent in an earlier reply are well worth looking at (IMHO) and will help me with the layout.
I bought a 3D Home package but have yet to figure out how to poperly insert a staircase so it "opens" the floor above. Thought the program would have been a god send in this task but its more trouble than help right now.
THANKS AGAIN,
POPI
Dave Jackson wrote:

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This sounds like something that's design-challenging enough that you'll want to take the time to draw it out, either on graph paper or using a CAD program like CadStd. Take your time, and make detailed drawings.
Also, observe different sets of stairs you encounter. Some of them have an overhanging lip (most common indoors), while others end abruptly (most common with concrete.)
If you're thinking about carrying big heavy items down and up at all, make sure your leave enough clearance not only for height, but width and length. The house we live in now has a small platform two stairs from the top where you have to turn. It's fine for humans, but try getting something like a desk up stairs.
You'll want to check the local building codes, and maybe ask a couple local contractors. Sometimes they think of things that you don't.
Puckdropper
--
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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I've bought a place with a basement and a staircase that 1) lands in an<BR>&gt; awkward area (too close to the basement block wall) and, 2) is too<BR>&gt; steep and uncomfortable.<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; I would like to relocate it so that it lands in the center of the<BR>&gt; basement. The basement affords seven cear feet from top of slab to<BR>&gt; bottom of floor joists. I believe I calculated 94.5" from the basement<BR>&gt; slab to the top of the first floor flooring.<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; I'm trying to find the dimensions of the final product (how to<BR>&gt; determine same) so that I can figure out if the result will fit to one<BR>&gt; side of the existing hallway.<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Essentially a stairway (simple one, like I have and intend to build)<BR>&gt; consumes a rectangular area below the floor. I am visualizing a large<BR>&gt; box within which the entire stairs would fit. But I know that teh<BR>&gt; rectangular opening at teh top floor does NOT have to be the same<BR>&gt; length as the bottom. As you descend the stairs, the required head room<BR>&gt; follows the angl of the stairs and can at some equal te botto of the<BR>&gt; loor joists.<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; I need to design a stair so that this point comes under the existing<BR>&gt; hall wall so I can install the stairs without disturbing this wall.<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; I was advised that a 9.5" tread woul be accepatable and a 6." rise is<BR>&gt; "typical." Somewhere I read that there is a rise/run ratio I should<BR>&gt; follow.<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; I am NOT CLEAR on the way a stairway is described. e.g. I get the<BR>&gt; height is the distance between the top surfaces of the two floors<BR>&gt; connected, but am not sure of the length measurements. (my big concern<BR>&gt; at teh moment) That is is te LENGTH measured by laying a tape along the<BR>&gt; stairs and measuring from the landing to the landing (along the<BR>&gt; diagonal they form), or from a point at teh edge of the upper landing<BR>&gt; to the front of the last step at teh bottom (horizontal measurement)?<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Oh, how's this: Essentially a staircase forms a triangle with a<BR>&gt; horizontal side (A), a vertical side (b) and a diagonal side (C). I<BR>&gt; want to be able to predetermine side (A)&nbsp; given that (b) must equal<BR>&gt; 94.5" and the rise and run must be comfortable. I also need to<BR>&gt; determine where along (C) the verticle dimension would drop below a<BR>&gt; reasonable amount of "head room."<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Anyone got any great sourcces?<BR><BR>Keep in mind that per the current IRC, maximum riser height is 7 3/4 and minimum tread is 10".&nbsp; Check out </FONT><A href="http://http://www.stairways.org/pdf/2006 Stair IRC SCREEN.pdf">http://http://www.stairways.org/pdf/2006 Stair IRC SCREEN.pdf</A><FONT face=Arial size=2>&nbsp;for visual interpretations of the current code. </FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>todd</FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>
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todd wrote:

The op didnt say where he was or what jurisiction he is under
however generally a domestic stair should have a pitch of less than 42 degrees , i would recomend around the 38 degree mark for a basement as he will likely be carrying stuff up and down , a going of 10 inches would also be a good idea , gives you plenty of foot bearing , a detachable handrail system is usally a good idea in a basement too (may be ilegal in some areas )
--

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It's likely (though not a certainty) that his locality has adopted this part of the code. Of course, he should check with his local building code people to make sure he complies with the local code if he's into that sort of thing.
todd
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