# Longer Stair Treads Can Create Headroom Problems – Stairway Modification Tips

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We have here are two different stairs. The same height seven inch risers on each each stairway. This one here has a 10 inch tread and this one has an inch tread and we can see that the stairway is a little longer this stairway would be 14 inches longer on a horizontal plane.
But thats 14 threads one two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven. Twelve thirteen fourteen and then the floor fourteen threads. Theres a one inch difference in each step making this one fourteen inches.
Longer in this one fourteen inches. Smaller here we can see what the difference is going to be if we draw a line straight across the bottom. So these stairs actually line up at the bottom and not the top.
If you are going to change. A stairway and you have a problem with a some headroom and you make it longer in the opposite direction. You know you start from the bottom.
And you make it longer youre going to need to do modifications to the floor this could be a problem you might have pipes electrical wires and you might have some framing members that you will not be able to move the stairway might be designed and im specifically for that and the reason.

Why im making the videos. Give you an idea about moving about making the stairway longer by increasing or decreasing. The size of the stair treads and this was a question that was sent to me recently so hopefully this video will help so you can see right here.
Its a little longer. Heres an example of what im talking about if you have a second floor. And you do not have anything in the way.
Here. Then youre not going to have a problem with making this stair a little larger or a little smaller. But if you have a stairway like this with a stairwell.
Something that is enclosed and you might lets go ahead and take a look at a section. Here. I simply took a knife and sliced.
It right down the middle here and give me an idea what im talking about headroom is the distance that would be vertically up and down.

And i have another video on that ive made plenty of videos on that simply go to the website or type it in but i believe the headroom measurement is 6 foot 8 inches might be 6 foot 6 inches. But this is the problem youre going to run into if you start from the top and you make the stairway. A little longer and this this that might not sound seem like a big deal.
But i get a lot of questions every year about headroom heights and can they make the stairway. A little longer and sometimes its difficult to make my point with some of the people who are a little too stubborn. Theyre like im building a set of stairs.
Anyway that people can just duck. You know they can the taller people can duck down a little bit when theyre walking up or down the stairs. But thats really not a good idea you know the building codes dont approve it you go to sell your house and find out you cant because youve modified the stairway.
So think about that before you do something like this also heres an example of what im talking about to figure. The headroom distance. You would need to take a straight line up the stairs.
That would connect to the top of each step you can always do this by simply laying a board on the top of the stairway because youre not going to be measuring from the nosing youre going to be measuring from the distance that will be vertical from this line going all the way up to the top.

As you can see heres top of the corner of the floor to the line and if this actually lines up with the nosing then fine. But most of the time it doesnt so this gives you an idea about the headroom and we can see here that we are one step two steps. We are we are less than two steps into this stairway.
So our headroom here is going to be a little longer thats not going to be the case over here. This is the stairway like i said that was 14 inches. Longer and here here we are into the second step.
Here this one we are almost in the back of the third step. So. The distance here is going to be a lot smaller.
When we measure it so we can see right here again one step two steps. This is about where we were on the other stairway and were way over here on this one so you can see where youre measuring. It.
Lets just take a look at the last one here here.

We are one two steps into here so if you have a stairway and it isnt uncommon to have a stairway. Most architects will give themselves as much room as they need for a stairway stairwell or for the floors above. So its not uncommon to have this distance here to the minimum headroom height.
And ive seen this plenty of times of us building stairs like i used to youd build the stairs and then youd measure the headroom height and youd be off two or three inches. It would be a little short and then hopefully they would to modify it before they built more homes and we do we do this in the models figure out what was going to work. And what wasnt going to work while building the models.
So if you have a section of the floor. That is providing you with clothes to the minimal distance here. Then you probably will not be able to modify your stairs make them a little longer.
I used 10 inches 10 inch treads and 11 inch threads in this example. But a lot of times. Ill come into a situation where someone emails me a question and theyre dealing with eight and nine inch threads and theyre already dealing with eight and nine inch risers and so youre talking about a almost completely illegal stairway to what most building codes would accept so you know and thats the case.
Youre going to could require some extreme modifications to the building making this stairway cost prohibitive to where youre not actually going to build it so hopefully that answers your question and if it doesnt dont forget to go check out our sections on at the website on building codes and check out our other website that stares for you comm sta irs. Some the number for the letter u. Uncom.
That also has some great ideas for more information on building codes you .

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