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Opening a stairway
November 11, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I have a closed staircase would like to make it an opened stairway. I had heard that you can remove all studs but the first set and last set. True?
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Hi dollyfay

Not necessarily, it really depends on HOW the stairs were built. Generally speaking, if the stringer (the angled support for the treads) is sized correctly, it will usually bear all the weight of the stairs, and is fastened at the floor, and at the landing. If this is what you have, then yes you can usually remove the studs.

However, if the studs are part of the support system for the stringer, then you can only remove the portion of the studs above the treads. Whatever the case, you'll still need to address a new railing if the studs are removed.

I'd recommend arranging a site visit with either a GC, architect or structural engineer as they can evaluate what you have. (They will need to open up part of the wall to examine the framing)

November 16, 2012 at 8:41pm     
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Custom Home Planning Center
You may be able to pull all studs if you replace it with a micro lam stringer, but you also need to check how the point load is carraied at either end.
November 16, 2012 at 8:55pm   
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