|Volume 9 Issue 1|
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.
We are back on the basement reno job that we started in the Winter. We are finishing up the ceramic tile on the concrete floor. I'll send you some photos, when we get finished. Dan came over from the mainland to Vancouver Island, where I live. He got some photos to replace some of the older ones on our website, as well as photos good enough for our up and coming ebook. Yes, we are still working on the editing of the ebook.
I'm anxious to get outside and finish our landscaping, especially, pouring our driveway. They say Spring is just around the corner!
My brother and webmaster, Dan is quite excited about the site he has spent the last half a year building with two partners. It's a terrific way for local businesses to get new customers right in their own neighbourhood.
It's a great deal! We put a coupon on it for Dave's Shop Talk. You can see it at http://www.FreeChoiceCoupons.com
Dan needs salespeople and he is offering an excellent compensation. You can see more at Coupon Sales Info
When installing a tall, narrow book shelf, make sure you secure the top to the wall to prevent the whole thing from falling over: (Ref: Jigs 4: Feather Wedge Table Saw Jig)
Here are the questions and my answers for the month of January:
#1 - Either way is okay. It is easier to install the drywall first, as long as the studs are marked for fastening the stringers. If fastening the stringer first, you should attach a strip of 5/8" to 3/4" plywood at the bottom of the stringer, below the risers. This procedure enables the drywaller to cut the bottom of the sheet on the correct angle to fit against the strip, rather than have to notch out the drywall to fit over every tread and riser. Article on installing stringers: http://daveosborne.com/dave/articles/stair-stringer.php
#2 - Toe-nailing the top of the stringer to the floor joist trimmer is mainly to get the stringer into the correct position. With the stairs going between 2 walls, like yours, the stringer is fastened to the wall on both sides. It is good practice to put posts under the stringer to the floor, rather than just rely on the fasteners for support.
#3 - Here again a frame is made, depending on the span, of 2x4, etc. and posts are place under it for support. Since your span is short, 2x4s would be suitable for the landing platform. The landing joists are installed at 16" centers. I discuss this subject in this article: Also: http://daveosborne.com/dave/articles/staircase-landing.php
#1 - Sorry, forgot to mention the skirt. Attach the skirt, first, to the stringer, then fasten them both to the wall, together. Yes, this eliminates the need for the plywood strip on the back side of the stringer to hold it out from the wall so the drywall can slip down. If a skirt is added after the stringer and stairs are attached to the wall, this means you need to notch out the skirt for each riser and tread - no fun.
#2 - No, the single 2x4 is attached to the wall under the stringer. The idea here is to support the weight of the stairs with a post under the stringer. We don't rely on screws or nails for total support. If we can, we support stringers, ledgers, ribbons, etc. with a post directly under the structural member. If we can't, we need to engineer the size of the fastener (like 1/2" lags or bolts) to support the structure.
#3 - No problem using 2x10, at all. Always go stronger than weaker. Yes, fastening the stringer to the walls will probably be enough. It is the off chance that something heavy is dropped on the edge of the stairs and causes the stringer to drop a bit. It is very easy to support the stringer with a post rather than relying on just nails or screws. Over time, the wood dries out, pulls the stringer away from the wall, the fastener is no longer tight, or the stringer may crack at the fastener, weakening its support. Spend a couple of bucks on a 2x4 and a couple of minutes in time and support the stringer for contingency circumstances.
I don't like using pressure treated wood (PTW) inside a house. The building code allows us to put either asphalt roofing shingle material or sill gasket material between wood and concrete. PTW does not cut as well as untreated and there is a lot of cutting on stringers. Outside, yes use PTW, inside I would use the alternatives.
The skirt is not notched out, but is run parallel to the slope of the stair nosings and a bit above them. The skirt is attached to the stringer, then both are fastened to the wall studs. Here is a drawing:
If the floor is wood, put a 2x4 plate down and have the post come onto the plate, in case the post comes between 2 floor joists. For a concrete floor, either a plate is used or the post comes down on the concrete, with sill gasket under it, of course.
Here is a drawing on securing stringers. It also shows the posts and plates under the stringer:
You'll notice that the angles already are on the volutes and up easings, risers, also, all have a 90 degree angle or close to it. So when the handrail comes to the volute, etc. it should be cut close to a 90, that is a butt joint. You may need to trim the ends on both pieces to perfect the miter, a bit. If this is the case, always cut both pieces the same angle. When cutting the volutes on a miter saw you can't really place the piece against the fence, like normal. You will need to lift the volute up off the deck of the saw so the handrail will match the same angle. Push the blade across the piece very slowly when cutting the ends and hold it as firm as you can. I know it is not the best scenario, but just go extra slowly so as not to get the blade to grab the piece and pull it out of your hand. Take the least bit off the end of the volute as necessary. When you line up the volute and the handrail in the position they will go on the newels, you get a better sense of the angles involved.
Hope this helps,
You should not put any poly against the concrete. You want the poly on the warm side of the wall otherwise it just creates condensation.
I build the 2x4 wall about 1" away from the concrete wall so there is air movement back there. Then insulate the wood wall with fiberglass batt insulation. We can't use the stuff with the kraft paper, anymore. Then apply 6 mil UV rated vapor barrier poly, then apply the drywall.
(taken from our website: DaveOsborne.com
Remodeling 5: How to Install a Window in an Existing Wall
The main thing to be aware of in home improvement when installing a window into a wall is that you will be removing studs, which are the parts of the wall that support the upper floor or roof.
Let's use, for example, a 2'x4' window. You can put in a window that is 2' wide without a header. If the studs are on 16" centers, you will have to remove one or two studs and put a stud by each side of the rough opening.
If you are not too fussy about the exact position of the window, use one of the existing studs for the side of your opening.
Usually for a vinyl or aluminum framed window, check your size of window. The rough opening for a 2'x4' window is 23"x 47", ie. 1" under the named size. The actual size should be... read more at http://daveosborne.com/dave/articles/how-install-window-in-wall-of-house.php
We invite you to checkout our website to see what we have for helping you in your projects or renovations.
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.