Author Topic: How do you frame stairs with attic trusses?  (Read 8356 times)

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Offline Bill Houghton

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How do you frame stairs with attic trusses?
« on: December 25, 2008, 09:12:43 AM »
I can't seem to find any info on how to build stairs to the second floor with the use of attic trusses.  I know you double up the trusses on each side of the opening, but then do you have to hand frame all the way up and around for the roof, ceiling, attic walls and floor?   ???

Can't seem to picture this one.

Bill

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: How do you frame stairs with attic trusses?
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2008, 09:53:07 AM »
You may want to discuss it with the truss designer to be sure that what you do does not compromise the trusses, but the way you have described it is how I see it.  Trusses float and there may be things you should not do around them or should do in  a specific manner so as not to weaken the chords.
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Offline JRR

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Re: How do you frame stairs with attic trusses?
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2008, 12:13:15 PM »
I don't think I've ever seen anything but the narrow pull-down door and telescoping ladder that nestles between the truss chords.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: How do you frame stairs with attic trusses?
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2008, 12:23:30 PM »
Putting in a stairway is similar to putting in a dormer when their are trusses for the rest of the roof.

The big difference is the stairs go down and the dormer goes up. Both interrupt the truss.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline Okie_Bob

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Re: How do you frame stairs with attic trusses?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2009, 04:12:00 AM »
Sorry to be so late responding to this post. I've been away from my computer for awhile over the holidays and just now catching up.
I am not sure I understand your exact situation but, I used factory built trusses to build my lake house. It has a loft and I had to build
a staircase to access it and still keep the open look. I'm not sure this blog http://www.bobdanaslakehouse.blogspot.com/ shows enough
detail to be of any use but, if it looks like what you need, I can send some pre-sheetrock pics that give a much better idea of how to do it.
Actually, I used two different truss designs, one a sizzor truss and the other one for the loft.
Let me know if you want more detail if this even addresses your question.
Okie Bob

Offline bobtheengineer

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Re: How do you frame stairs with attic trusses?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2009, 05:08:02 AM »
Well one common way to do it, as long as the stair opening is parallel to the truss cords anyway.  Double up the trusses on either side of the opening.  If it is 2' truss spacing, move double up the trusses on either side and make a 6' wide opening.  You aren't compromising anything.  It just takes some work now, to frame up the roof and floor openings between those wider spaced trusses.  I've seen people do that, then use the 6' wide opening to frame up a dormer in the same opening.  If you are looking for just a 4' wide opening, you can approach the truss company, and see if they can beef up the trusses a bit on either side.  If you want to go perpendicular to the truss cords, you are talking something totally different.  I'm thinking you are looking at using some gable attic trusses?

Offline Bill Houghton

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Re: How do you frame stairs with attic trusses?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2009, 05:59:43 AM »
Thanks for the replies.  I had a couple of conversations this week that arrived at the same conclusions.  My carpenter says the double truss and hand framing is less expensive because the truss company will have to do some engineering to change the trusses over the opening otherwise.
 
I've seen people do that, then use the 6' wide opening to frame up a dormer in the same opening.

Bobtheengineer, 
Framing dormers in the same opening is a great idea.  [cool] I didn't think of it till I read your post.  Hmmmm.  More decisions.  Lucky I have 5 months to breaking ground. :o  I think I am going to end up with a "U" shaped set of stairs, so the opening would be about 7' between the double trusses.  Of course, that can be fudged a bit either way here in the planning stages.  A dormer may allow the installation of a futue bathroom on the second floor if we do ever retire to this place.  I don't want two baths initially because our taxes are really high here, especially on "second homes."   >:( They changed our laws a few years ago to really hike the property tax on second homes.  They call it non-homestead and the taxes are about 1/3 to 1/2 times higher then if it were our primary residence.  So, maybe I can bury some pipes under the T & G for after the appraisers visit and plan the bath for later. 

Bill in the U.P.


Offline PEG688

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Re: How do you frame stairs with attic trusses?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2009, 08:33:02 AM »

 It's not a big deal IF the stair well runs with the trusses . The truss company will design accordingly , some back / stick  framing will be required between the GENERALLY doubled up truss on either side to the stairwell.


 It could even be done going against the trusses with the use of a few girder trusses to pick-up the trusses that would need to be hung. This option would cost more due to the added hangers and trusses / girders trusses required. More wood , more labor = more $$$. 

 
When in doubt , build it stout with something you know about .

Offline Bill Houghton

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Re: How do you frame stairs with attic trusses?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2009, 11:22:32 AM »
 d* Here is what we am finding out.  As we think through each of the features of our project (foundation, layout, size, type of building materials, etc...) there are lots of "mind changes."   My son and I just spent the last few hours working through some plan ideas and now we are heading in a different direction altogether.   :-[ 

The new idea?  Widen our plan to 28' and lengthen it to 36' and keep it one story, two bedroom, one bath.  This seems like our best option to date.  My son (who is 14) has a sample homeplan program on his computer so we just did a "walkthrough" of this most recent plan.  We all just had a late New Years Day lunch of pasties, so now I am heading to the couch to nap and daydream about our cabin and see if I can come up with any objections or improvements.   :)


Bill in the U.P.

Offline Medeek

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Re: How do you frame stairs with attic trusses?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2013, 03:26:16 PM »
Little late on the reply on this one but it is a very good question, one that also took me a while to figure out.  I've attached an image that shows a stairwell framed parallel to the trusses at one of the gable ends.  The gable truss is designed to also be a load bearing truss over openings below so that is the reason for its complexity.  If anyone has any suggestions on this I would be interested to hear them.  The span of the trusses is 28 feet, 24" o/c.



« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 03:42:28 PM by Medeek »
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