Cutting Floor Joists for Stairs
A joist is a horizontal support member that holds up the wall, beam, ceilings, and floors and connects these parts with one another, and one example of the purpose of a joist is to connect the floor joist that is used to connect the stairs of a home.
A joist is made from wood, concrete, and steel and it is basically a strong material that provides support and stability to the entire house. However, cutting joists to create access to another room is difficult due to the fact that the entire structure can collapse if not carried out properly.
Due to the complexity of this material, floor joists are usually installed by specialists. But hiring a specialist to install floor joists can be expensive. Anyone can do it provided that they know the steps in installing floor joist for stairs. Here are some of the tips on the do it yourself installation of the floor joist to stairs.
First Get The Joist Modification Approved
Before you modify any existing floor joist in any home you must first get the modification approved by your local planning department and that is accomplished by getting the planned modification(s) approved by a qualified Architect, or Civil Engineer. If you do not you will be sorry you didn't. The floor can fail beneath the stairs or if you try to sell the home the Inspector will find it and you will have to fix it. Take the word of a Building Inspector and do it right the first time or don't do it at all.
Since this particular task requires a lot of cutting, the most crucial thing to do is to wear your safety gear. This is important so that you will be protected at all times especially from the blades of the electric saw and wooden debris while you are cutting through the floor joist.
Measure the Width of the Stairs
Most probably, you will be cutting the floor joist on the upper floors of your house to connect the stairs. Thus for this particular task, use a sturdy ladder when making the measurement. Using a meter stick or a carpenter’s ruler, measure the dimension of the entryway of your stairs. Use the marker or the pencil to trace the points where you will be cutting the floor joist.
To Cut Through the Floor Joist
Use a hand saw to cut through the floor joist. Work with steady hands so that you will be able to cut the floor joist properly. In this particular process, you should have a family member or someone else to hold the ladder steady for you while you are cutting the floor joist.
Reinforce the Cut Joist by a Modified Joist
Use a pre-cut wood to create a modified joist where you have just cut using the electric saw. To hold the modified joist in place, use a nail set, or hammer a nail through the edges of the modified joist to keep the entire structure stable. Ask any of your family members who are willing to assist to hold the other end of the joist while you drive a nail on the opposite end to keep the joist firmly in place. Check if the modified floor joists are held securely before you start building the stairs to connect the lower level of your home to the upper level.