Stairs, cascading

The knee bone’s connected to the shin bone …

The stairs are not built to code for rise and tread. The rise varies from stair to stair — 10 inches for the first stair and landing, then 7.25 inches, until you get to the top, where the rise suddenly shrinks to 5 inches. We suspect the stairs were originally carpeted, built nearly correctly. Then a remodel replaced the carpet with oak treads — tripping up ascents and descents.

Courtesy chestofbooks.com.
This is the way stairs should be built. All the treads the same depth. All the rises the same height. Proper headroom. Courtesy chestofbooks.com.

To fix this, we need to add additional run — the horizontal distance the stairs travel from first stair to last.

Last week, the framers took out the closet over the stairs at what will be the loft, to ensure we’re not whacking our skulls each time we climb the steps. See photo here.

These issues force us to push the front entry of the house forward about 3.5 feet. It’s the only addition to the square footage in the entire remodel. We sweated whether this would complicate or delay permits from the City of Austin, because of limits on impermeable cover. But we’re building the extension over the existing slab, which is already impermeable. And bringing the stairs up to code for safety. The permits came more quickly than we expected.

Today, the framers opened up the front wall of the house, and went to work on the structure. By tomorrow, the front door will be repositioned forward 3 feet and turned 90 degrees.

A temporary support holds up the front porch. Temporary supports hold up the second story as new lumber is cut elsewhere for nailing.
A temporary support holds up the front porch. Additional temporary supports hold up the second story as new lumber is cut elsewhere for nailing. Silverio at left, Roberto on the ladder to the left of where the new front windows will soon arrive.
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