Quality control issues and stairs. Please help

Started by Frank W, December 21, 2013, 04:15:33 PM

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Frank W

I'm paying to get my 2.5 story cottage dried on. We puta gable roof for head room in the loft. There is nothing supporting the ends of the gable and a block on pne end. Is this okay?

There is mold on a few of the roof rafters. What should I do?

And stairs. How should I do stairs.

John Raabe

If you have a good builder he will know how to frame the dormer. There is a good outline of the steps and diagrams in Wagner's House Framing - p. 156 in my edition. There is also a gable dormer drawing on p. 11 of the booklet that came with the 1 1/2 story plans. Note the double trimmer and header boxing in the opening for the dormer.

The mold on rafters can be cleaned off with warm water & bleach. In most cases there is no damage as long as the wood stays dry

Once you have the stair opening you calculate the total number of risers (finish floor to finish floor height) and determine the landing height and build that first. Then build shorter straight run stair jacks up and down. See Wagner's info on stairs (p. 165).
None of us are as smart as all of us.


Before you frame anything is the time to fully figure out the stairs. After the initial looking over of the prints they are one of the first things to home in on and make sure they can be built within what has been drawn.  Chapter 3 of the codebook has the limits on what is acceptable. Start with the dimensions of the hole and the heights from floor to floor.  Then think about the finish materials on all floors and on the stairs... accounting for those thicknesses is critical. I draw or think from finishes and then determine the rough frame from that.

By sitting the rafters on a plate that is on the joists there is not a real good thrust resistant tie on the rafter feet. Make certain the plate is well connected to the joists and then I'd get a box of framing angles and attach them to the rafter and plate. It's easier before the sheathing goes on the roof.  although non code it is common and I'll raise my hand on that one, it gives more room above but it is outside of prescriptive connection specs. The dormer looks to be just at the "looking it over" stage... for me it looks too narrow, again you need to fully flesh out the stair drawings including headroom. That window looks very iffy the way I'm seeing it, hard to tell from here though.

The bluestain is nothing as long as there is no stringy white fungi, which there doesn't appear to be. Bluestain is a sugar eater, it is a sign that those boards are damp sapwood, (where the sugar is) and the temps were warm enough for it to bloom. It is not a decay fungi. Notice the wane on the bottom edge of that board, it is an outer sapwood stick. Then notice the heart pith on the rafter just this side of it, no sweets in that area and no blue. Sapstain is another name for that fungi.

Frank W

I think to dormer is too narrow and not tall enough for any head room at top of the stairs.


Without dimensioned drawings it is impossible to say but it certainly looks that way from the photos. Lacking that, I'd have the crew build the stairs now to solve it from that end and adjust the roof as necessary.

Frank W

Thanks for the advise. I'm going to tell them to built the stairs before going any father on the roof.