One of the initially residences I ever before lived in featured a set of stairs resulting in the basement that was extremely steep. On top of that, you had actually to duck your head down eincredibly time to avoid the floor joists from the major floor. After hitting my head so many kind of times, I’d always wondered exactly how to settle steep stairs via little bit headroom.

You are watching: How to fix steep stairs little headroom

Fixing steep steps calls for you to lengthen your stairinstance. To perform this, you can relocate your stairs ago, which suggests rerelocating a section of the floor from the height landing. This is the finest option if tright here is not much headroom. If headroom isn’t an worry, you have the right to extend the stairs even more right into the basement.A stair renovation is a huge task if you are planning on relocating the entirety set of steps. Issues via the headroom will need you to remove a area of your main floor, either ideal over the stairs or on the optimal landing, so you can relocate them ago.In this post, we’ll go over all your choices for solving steep actions that have little bit to no headroom. For those of you that don’t desire to start cutting up floor joists, then we’ll additionally go over choices for resolving procedures without relocating the whole collection of stairs.


Components (Jump to Topic)What Is Considered a Steep Staircase?What is The Minimum Headroom Required Over a Stair?Building Regulations for Stair HeadroomHow To Fix Steep Stairs With Little Headroom?Tear Dvery own and RebuildCreate a Landing with Switchago StepsHow to Gain Headroom on StairsCan You Fix Stairs that are Too Steep?How Much Does it Cost to Fix a Staircase?Conclusion

What Is Considered a Steep Staircase?

A steep collection of stairs is any stairinstance that has steps whose climb is greater than 7 ¾”. Today’s building code dictates that interior stairs have actually a increase no better than 7 ¾” and also a run of no less than 10”. A set of stairs via a run of less than 10” deserve to also make stairs seem “steep” even if the climb is normal.Stairs are steep in an older home for a range of factors. First, many older residences did not adhere to any type of building code bereason tright here was either no building code to stop of at the moment of construction or developed without regard to code, which is much much less common this day as a result of even more stringent enforcement and also the are afraid of accruing costly violations.But why did builders of older dwellings want steep stairs in the initially place? Aren’t they a hazard? Well, yes and also no. First, a steep collection of stairs is beneficial in that it conserves area, much in the same means a spiral stairsituation saves room. The footprint of a collection of steep stairs is drastically smaller sized than steps built to code.Also, steeper actions were more prevalent because adequate headroom within the stairsituation wasn’t as massive of a priority. People were smaller than this day and also it wasn’t necessarily a vast deal to reduced your head a little as you walked down a set of stairs. Not anyeven more.If you think your stairs are also steep, obtain out your measuring tape. If your climb is better than 7 ¾, then your actions are too steep. If you have actually stairs prefer that, then you’ll desire to make sure your treads are at leastern 10” or even more in width. You’ll likewise desire rails on both sides for safety and security.

What is The Minimum Headroom Required Over a Stair?

The minimum headroom for a set of stairs is 6’ 8”. This can be measured in one of two ways. First, meacertain diagonally across the nosings of each action. Headroom cannot be reduced than 6’ 8” from that line. Additionally, the headroom cannot be much less than 6’ 8” from the peak of any stair tcheck out.While 6’ 8” could seem favor more than enough room, it is much less than you’d think. As you descend stairs, your momentum carries you forward. So while the headroom could be 6’ 8” from the optimal of the tcheck out, you are standing on, your head is not ideal over that treview. Therefore, the seemingly overly enough height requirement is designed to save your head as your momentum carries you dvery own the procedures.

Building Regulations for Stair Headroom

The 6’ 8” headroom need is based on the IRC – Internationwide Residential Code. Commercial buildings may have actually different demands and also are regularly more strict.When considering the headroom minimum, remember that it uses not just to the steps yet also to the top landing and also bottom. For instance, after you descend the stairs and have just stepped off the steps, the minimum headroom must still be 6’ 8” even though you technically aren’t on a stair.Since you’ve measured diagonally along the stair nosings, the bottom of the diagonal includes the landing or floor simply past the bottom-a lot of riser, as much as the width of a tcheck out. So if you have actually a low-ceilinged basement via ceilings bacount over 6’, your landing still needs 6’ 8” of headroom. See below to discover out ways to accomplish that.

How To Fix Steep Stairs With Little Headroom?

Steep measures deserve to be addressed, but the methods may not appeal to many homeowners. The services range from DIY hacks to wholesale teardvery own and redevelop. Because stairs exist in harmony with two different floors in your home, there are many kind of hurdles to clear prior to you decide to extfinish a collection of stairs.Fixing steep stairs calls for a lengthening of the actual stairsituation. If you remove elevation in each action, then you’ll have even more treads. More treads suppose more distance – or run – the steps will occupy. The more distance indicates that your stairs will certainly push outwards all over from a number of inches to a couple of feet. Let’s go over your choices for fixing steep stairs.

Tear Down and also Rebuild

If you are looking to make your procedures safer, this could not be the ideal choice. First, it takes time. 2nd, for some time, you will certainly be without stairs to one more floor of your residence while you renovate, which is another big drawago.Tearing dvery own is the ideal way to go, yet, as you’ll have actually a appropriately constructed set of stairs developed to today’s code. It’s additionally the finest means to aesthetically combine your new stairs via the rest of your house, as you’ll be founding from scrape and deserve to complete it to your taste.

Create a Landing through Switchago Steps

If your floorplan doesn’t let you rerelocate a whole flight of actions and also replace it with a much longer one, then perhaps you have the right to expand horizontally instead of vertically. That indicates you reduce your increase and also lengthen your treads to produce a landing at what was the termicountry of your original stairs.From that landing, you’ll have actually stairs that go at a right angle, in an L-shape, or switch back in the direction of the preceding steps automatically surrounding.To achieve this, you’ll have to make your optimal tread thicker. So if the increase of your top action was originally, say, 8 ½”, then you’ll put dvery own a half-inch thick tcheck out on the tcheck out simply below that rise. That will make your first rise 7 ¾” and also code compliant.The difficulty through this approach is that it will certainly force you to include significantly greater thicknesses of treview on each descending tcheck out to make eincredibly rise 7 ¾”. You deserve to perform this by adding timber and structure each action up. This deserve to be hard because each step will call for more lumber and also a different thickness. But it conserves time given that you don’t have to rerelocate steps.Once you’ve elevated each action to make a unidevelop 7 ¾” climb on each stair, you’ll need to construct a landing, a brand-new, smaller flight of procedures.Aobtain, this alternative is best only if you cannot rerelocate the original stairs and also make a longer trip. Although you are retrofitting, you still will need to construct a landing a brand-new trip of stairs off that landing. Hence your time savings won’t necessarily rise versus building a totality new flight of procedures and also tearing the old out.

Ezoicreport this adHow to Gain Headroom on Stairs

If you desire to keep your stairs as they are and also boost the room above your head to accomplish even more room or a code-compliant minimum of 6’ 8”, then you have a couple of labor-extensive alternatives.First, check your floor plan. What is straight behind the area you want to raise? Is your kitchen behind it, or is there a closet? If you have actually excess space, whether it’s a clocollection or utility room, you could remove some of the floor and wall to increase headroom.You’d have to initially remove a floor joist or 2 and also shore up the cut joists via some cross-bracing and heavy-duty fasteners. It deserve to be done as lengthy as you know what you’re doing. Then you’d have to finish off space, which would certainly call for a new wall and also finishing. It would be a huge project and a lot of would certainly call for a expert to finish the floor framing as it is structural and a safety and security worry.If you don’t desire to adjust the space you have above for your headroom, you might potentially raise it rather. Aobtain, you would certainly have to re-structure the joists to create a framework for the new, raised percentage of the ceiling of the stairs and also floor of the room behind the stairs. You would certainly then must end up off the room behind the stairs with a step and other finishing.If your stairs were unnormally shenable, to start via, then you might make them steeper. If not, then the only solution is to remove physical headspace, which starts via the labor-intensive choice of adjusting your floor joists.Can I Make My Stairs Deeper?To make your stairs deeper, your just option would certainly be to remove the existing treads to adjust the stringers. Adjusting the stringers would certainly need you to use a observed, either a reciprocating or circular saw, to cut each stringer tcheck out to attain your desired riser elevation.The trouble via this is that you’ll end up through a bottom action that is much reduced than the rest. While you might not treatment around that, it’ll make your measures not code compliant as you are just allowed an overall variation of ⅜” amongst all your risers.You have the right to develop a landing and have actually an L-shaped stairinstance, which would permit you to have actually deeper steps on the upper percentage of the stairs, and shalreduced measures on the reduced percentage. Whatever you decide, this is likewise a labor-extensive undertaking that can call for skilled guidance if you are having trouble deciding just how to make your procedures deeper.

Can You Fix Stairs that are Too Steep?

Yes, you can relocate your stairinstance back. To perform that, you’ll have to remove the existing actions, change and also remove some of the floor framing on the top component of the steps, and also install a new shallower stairinstance that is code-compliant.Remember that stairs have the right to have a maximum of 7 ¾” increase and also a minimum of 10” of the run. You can attempt to retrofit each tcheck out in the manner defined over. Or you can start fresh if your floor plan permits it. Both methods call for intensive work and also are for skilled DIYers or a carpenter.

How Much Does it Cost to Fix a Staircase?

Fixing a stairinstance needs a far-ranging amount of wood and perhaps brand-new stair stringers. If you are founding fresh, then you’ll need brand-new stair finishing features such as treads, risers, nosing pieces, railings, and more. The finishing details are where the prices pile up.Rerelocating old stairs costs nopoint if you already have a few common tools lying approximately, such as a large pry-bar, a reciprocating observed, a circular witnessed, and various other widespread power tools.If you hire a carpenter to rerelocate the old stairs and install a brand-new set, including transforming the initial floor plan to make your stairs much longer and also more contemporary, then you’ll be looking at the cost of at least $5000, and also maybe more.On the other hand, if you remove the old stairs and want a pro to come in and also install a new set of stairs without any type of additionally modification, then you’re probably just looking at less than $2000 and less if you opt to finish the stairs yourself.

See more: Three Of The Most Famous Artists (The &Quot;Big Three&Quot;) Of The Italian High Renaissance Were


Fixing measures is a complex job, and it becomes harder the older the home is and also the steeper the stairs. Many try and also gain away with some patchwork retrofit, fiddling with tcheck out thickness and riser elevation, however it is far simpler to tear everything out and also begin fresh.If you intfinish to embark on resolving stairs yourself, remember that anypoint you do to your floor joists is structural, for which you’ll need a building permit. Whether or not your pick to acquire one is your option, yet I recommfinish it if just because it’ll encertain the security of your re-developed steps. Stairs deserve to and also execute, collapse, so it’s finest to stay on the safe side via this renovation.