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Please help with my stairs! Treads are notched into skirts!

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  • Please help with my stairs! Treads are notched into skirts!

    Hey everyone! My wife and I just started tearing lath and plaster out of our upstairs. We are doing the drywall and most work on our own. So after I tear all of the lath and plaster off the walls on the stairway(minus the lath and plaster wedged between the skirt boards and the studs) I start ripping the skirtboards apart because I knew I wanted to put new ones in for the fact that these were in poor shape and had 20 coats or more of paint. I thought the skirts were just for looks and could be pryed out from beside the wall and I could easily buy a new 1x12 board and slide it in with no problems! Well after tearing the living **** out of the skirtboards, I see that the treads (and possibly risers) are notched into them. Its a completely closed stairway. I was hoping I could get some ideas of what I can do by some of you kind folks! I have to do this on my own. We really dont have the money to pay a contractor. On the upside carpet is going to be covering the stairs in the end. I have no stair experience but I was thinking of just cutting all visible part of the skirt off flush with the treads and risers and getting as much of the lath and plaster out that is wedged in between as possible, then after the drywall is on the wall, I could put a scribed skirt against it and call it good? Please help me! I will be so grateful for any advice.

  • #2
    Look up "This is Carpentry" online magazine. There are two articles on scribing skirtboards. Both with step by step instructions, drawings and photos


    • #3
      Thank you ablesupe..I have a big problem before I can start scribing those...


      • #4
        If I were in your situation I believe I would check with a local lumber yard and see what it would cost to get a prefab set. In Pa. where I started out back in the 70's & 80's you could get a set of prefab stairs for $250-300. They would be yellow pine carpet grade stairs, nothing fancy but well made. One obstacle you might face in an older house is the room to get them to where you need them. In a new house they get installed before the windows and exterior doors go in. This would be a one day job with prefabs, not including all the trim/railings etc. Just something to think about


        • #5
          Please fill in your profile


          • #6
            Looks like you got ahead of yourself. I would not tear out any more unless you plan to completely rebuild the stairs.

            After drywall, cut in a "trim skirt" on top of (meaning on the interior face of) the existing skirt , with blocking behind where the wood is missing from the old skirt. Then put a trim "cap" on top to bridge the gap to the drywall. You will lose a little bit of width in the stair, but keep the remaining structural integrity intact.

            p.s. this forum is intended for professionals only (read the "Closed, Sticky" post at the top of the page). But it's been slow around here, so I guess you're getting off easy this time.


            • #7
              Ok thanks alot guys. A pre fab set wouldnt work because there would be no room to get it in place. I will think about making a new set. But more than likely I will have to use jerrys cap idea. Thanks