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.
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|Volume 13 Issue 5|
Welcome to Dave's Shop Talk's Home Improvement Newsletter of questions from our members on their construction projects, a Tip of the Month and a home remodeling article, both from our website at http://daveosborne.com.
Be sure to check out our ebooks! We have finished 6 of the 10 eBooks in our Building Confidence series and are being told how helpful they are to do it yourselfers! Let your friends know about them!
Have you ever admired the staircase in a well built house with its flowing balustrade? The parts for this type of handrail system are readily available in most wood working finishing stores and can be assembled with a little determination, perseverance and guidance.
When installing a large ceiling fan, make sure the box is secure enough to support it while spinning around at 90 miles an hour. If need be, remove the old plastic box and install a new steel box, mounted securely to the floor or ceiling joist.
Our weather here is mostly great if you don't mind the rain. Even though we are in Canada, we are in a very moderate climate zone here. It very seldom freezes here and the temperatures very seldom go above 80. Once into May we usually have pretty decent weather.
Sounds like quite a repair job. I am concerned about the PVC posts for structural support. The trouble with PVC is that the sun breaks it down and it crumbles. I don't like plastic handrails or lattice. Having said that, I have vinyl siding on our house which is into its 23rd year and still pliable. BUT, we don't get the very hot sun here!
Yes, your footings may be rotten or non-existent. One year we had 3' of wet snow on my back deck, which compressed the ground and sank the footings into the earth a bit. I just jacked up the deck left the footings where they were and lengthened the posts and never had any more problems.
Sounds like you are on the right track, make sure the posts are supporting beams which spread the weight over more area.
A 2x12 or 2x10 usually splits when it dries out. If this is the finish I would go with 2 - 2x6s spaced about 3/16" apart.
You should read the article on stringer layout again. Your calculation of rise is wrong . With a total rise of 28" you need 4 rises of 7" each, forget about the treads for now. If you went with 3 rises of 9.33" each, this is way too high. With 4 rises you need 3 runs of 10.5 to 11". Never come out from the top floor with a step flush with the floor. This is redundant. Start the first step one riser below this floor. This riser is calculated in the number of rises but is left off the stringer, so the stringer actually has 3 rises and 3 runs. When you install the stringer, the stringer is nailed into position 1 riser down from the floor level plus the thickness of the tread. The bottom of the stringer is cut off the thickness of one tread, so this drop nullifies itself. Then the treads are nailed on the bottom step giving a finished rise of 7" and on the top step giving a finished rise of 7". The steps in the middle of the stringer are all 7" risers because the treads are added above and below the treads. That's why the tread thickness is not worried about until the bottom of the stringer is cut off that amount, and everything works out right.
With the run of say 10.5" and using a tread of 11" this would give a nosing of about 1/2" tight or 11/16" with the space.
I agree with the closed stringer on the outside of the open (cutout) stringer rather than metal brackets or wooden cleats to support the treads. Usually the closed stringer can be a 1x12 or 3/4" plywood cut accordingly with a cap or molding on top to hide the edge grain. This is nailed in place before the stringer is attached to the wall. This closed stringer comes up and down the slope and is cut vertically at the correct height of the baseboard which joins it.
Your last question tells me you missed a part of the procedure of laying out the stringer. Don't think of angles when doing stairs. Think of 7" rise and 10.5" run. This is laid out with a framing square. Remember the rise is vertical and the run is horizontal. Always lay out and cut the stringer, then try it in position, to be sure. Once satisfied cut the other stringers out by using the first one as a pattern.
Hope this helps,
Thanks for the reply, Tom,
Glad everything worked out for you. Nothing to be ashamed of learning a new procedure and making mistakes. At least you had enough sense to ask. I've been a carpenter for a long time, now and I have to realize, too, that what is easy for me is brand new for many people. I used to enjoy working with apprentices, years ago.
You know where I am if you need anything else.
I'm not familiar with that term. Are you referring to a closed valley, the way the shingles overlap at the valley rather than showing the flashing??
Yes, we just call it a closed valley. According to the code, here is what you do.
Get some 30 lb non-perforated roofing paper or felt. Start at the top and roll a length out the length of the valley. Cut it off and cut it in half widthwise. Lay one half into the valley and nail or staple in place. Lay another full width piece over this half piece, and fasten, as well. Start laying your shingles, as usual and have them go up the opposite side of the valley about a foot, let them run wild.
When laying the other side of the valley, let the shingles run wild as well, as long as they are to the center line. When finished the roof, go back and trim the shingles in the valley. Snap a line about 2" back from the center line of the valley. This leaves a bit of a trough for the water to run down without coming to the edge of the shingles. I usually find a 12" x 8' piece of 3/8" roof sheeting and lay it under the snapped cut line and the shingles.
Use a utility knife with a hooked blade and cut down to the board along the line. I find this method works well. I've never had a call back on a roof where this was a problem. If you don't like the idea of the 30 lb felt flashing you can use metal valley flashing, too, just more expensive. We have to put the 30 lb felt at all the eaves anyway, so just allow a bit more for the valleys. We have to sheet the remaining deck with 15 lb roofing felt, too.
The above chat shows the different terms used for the same procedure in different parts of the country. We must love California or its people, because I've noticed we call a few things after this state: California overhang, California Closets, etc. My daughter was driving me somewhere the other day and came to a stop sign, paused without coming to a full stop and continued. I asked her what kind of stop was that? She replied, "A California stop".
My readers out there are not the only ones that learn things from this web site. I've learned about French drains, California roof valleys, a soldiers life in Afghanistan, among others.
Keep sending those questions, comments and pictures. Together we can Build Confidence out there.
(taken from our website: DaveOsborne.com
When you find it necessary to cut or rip large pieces with a circular saw, a handy cutting jig helps keep the circular saw cuts straight. I use my circular saw cutting jig mostly for cutting gable ends for cabinets to length, as well as, trimming doors, etc.
Hope you enjoy the Newsletter this month.
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