Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.
Membership gives you full access to our hundreds of how-to articles, woodworking plans, converters, calculators and tables. Our Stair Calculator is one of the most popular on the internet. We have projects you can build for (and with) your kids, furniture for your wife, and sheds and gazebos. If you run into a problem or need advice your Membership includes unlimited email questions to me through our Ask Dave quick response button.
One stair in my basement stairs is shorter than the rest by about 1/4". I'm thinking of two solutions, but wanted to see what you say first:
What do you think?
Interesting that you picked up on a 1/4" flaw in height between two stair risers. Actually, the National Building Code allows a tolerance of 1/4" in height between landings in a staircase. I was told by a building inspector once to add a step because I was 1/8" over the maximum stair rise on a two step set of stairs from a garage to a basement. I didn't! Another inspector gave me the final approval without even mentioning the steps.
If you are really unhappy with that riser, try to correct the riser itself. If there is carpet on the stairs, peel off the carpet over that tread and either plane it off 1/8" to 1/4" or remove the tread and cut down the riser a bit on the stair stringer itself.
When you start adding 7/16" to the other treads and 3/16" to the high tread this does create problems. Unless you add 7/16" to the bottom floor and the top floor as well, it will throw your bottom and top risers out. You have to look at the whole picture.
Your landing solution is okay, but it will not change the risers. A stair landing is just a long tread in a set of stairs. The rise is or should be the same between a landing and each adjacent step. However, to change the staircase by adding the landing is a lot of work. I would just fix the stair riser itself on the stringer.
Whenever you contemplate changing the height of stair risers, don't forget the top and bottom floors.
Note: After this answer was e-mailed to the questioner, he discovered that the difference in the height of each step varied by as much as 2". Dave's response to this new information was that it was probably best to tear out the old stairs and build new ones.
Dave(Ask Dave) (About Dave)
As an introduction get free access to this article
and two others of your choice, just by entering
your email address below.
Receive our FREE Monthly newsletter which contains a
free set of woodworking plans each and every month.