Staircase newel post install

by Joey D
(UK)

Hi, I am installing a staircase to my loft. It is a full size staircase with double winders. One top, one bottom. It is more or less symmetrical in layout, except for a bullnose step at the start.

The staircase fits directly above the main ground to first floor staircase. The only difference is that it turns at the top due to head room restrictions of running it straight.

I have put all the double trimmers in place and building control signed off these ok.

At the bottom there is a double width newel post that sits half on the landing and half overhanging the ground floor staircase.
At the top there is a single newel post that 3 kite winder steps notch into. This newel then should be cut to hang on the trimmer under the last steps nosing(I presume).

Basically, my problem is, I paid extra to have the stairs measured so any problems were not down to me.
The stairs were 4cm too small length ways and the supplier sent me bigger 'end' stringers for the top and bottom. Now it comes to the top newel and it sits dead level in front of my trimmer. I put the trimmer to the supplying company's measurement.
In other words, to cut out the newel and notch it onto the trimmer I would either need to pack out the stairs next to the wall, to push them and the newel closer to the trimmer or move the trimmer an inch closer to the stairs(this may be easier as it in in joist hangers).

Sorry to go on, but my question is, do I have to move anything, or can I just screw the newel to the front of the trimmer? How could I make this strong enough. Maybe a metal plate or hanger hidder behind newel?

Really stressed and need to finish as ordered new carpet and he is waiting to fit.

Many thanks for any help.

Joe

Comments for Staircase newel post install

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Jan 23, 2015
Thanks for your detailed comments
by: JOE

Many thanks for all your help so far. I still haven't started fitting the stairs. Been waiting on a new newel from stair company. I called them and said I'm sure should be a double newel at top, same as bottom as doesn't reach/cover trimmer joist. They admitted they had made a mistake and initially sent me another single newel to fix to one I already had. I said this wouldn't look great and they made me up a double newel and it has just arrived. So will be starting job Monday now.
One small thing - Would you make up the winder with top stringer and newel on floor before putting up or would you put it all together in place?
Many thanks. Joe

Jan 15, 2015
Notching newel post and fixing stringers
by: Gary

Hi again,

5mm bearing is pushing it but as long as it is resting on that trimmer you will be surprised how strong and stable the staircase is once all the treads and risers are in and glued up.

Make sure you do use loads of PVA glue(www.carpentry-tips-and-tricks.com/wood-glue.html) between treads/risers and stringers. Also the glue blocks cover with glue and wiggle left/right a little until a vacuum like suction holds them in place then stay off the stairs until the glue has gone off.

Where the stringers over lap yes I would pre-drill and screw with the largest screws you can get in (80-100mm) again with heaps of glue.

You sound like you are all over it and being thorough so no doubt you will be fine. Just a bit unnerving as no doubt you've spent a lot of time on the conversion and the stairs weren't cheap, you want to get these right and not have any issues.

Feel free to upload pics :-)

Jan 15, 2015
Another question
by: joeyd

Just had another look and once the final riser is in place I can only notch out about 5mm before i'm upto the final riser.
Is this enough?

If I had put the trimmer closer, would I have needed to cut a bit out of the stringer as well?
Many thanks again.


Jan 14, 2015
many thanks
by: joe

thanks so much for putting my mind to rest. It often just a matter of someone like yourself telling you it's ok. :-)

One other thing - The final riser, which would sit in front of the trimmer joist, has a slot already cut into the newel post. Once in place it only leaves about 9 or 10mm behind the riser to notch out. Is this enough? Strength wise?

One other thing - Where the top stringer overlaps the main/side stringer, should I just screw this? There is no wall behind to add strength as the top stringer drops below ceiling height.
Once again, hope this makes sense.
Really appreciate you replying. This is the best site ever, having someone so clued up available to help is just superb.

Jan 14, 2015
many thanks
by: joe

thanks so much for putting my mind to rest. It often just a matter of someone like yourself telling you it's ok. :-)

One other thing - The final riser, which would sit in front of the trimmer joist, has a slot already cut into the newel post. Once in place it only leaves about 9 or 10mm behind the riser to notch out. Is this enough? Strength wise?

One other thing - Where the top stringer overlaps the main/side stringer, should I just screw this? There is no wall behind to add strength as the top stringer drops below ceiling height.
Once again, hope this makes sense.
Really appreciate you replying. This is the best site ever, having someone so clued up available to help is just superb.

Jan 14, 2015
How to fit staircase over double trimmer
by: Gary

Hi Joey, I hope you find this ok I would of replied directly too but you didn't leave an email address.

Good news is the problem is common and quite normal. Stair manufacturer would of made the staircase as close as they could and allowed some fitting tolerance too.

Personally I would keep the stringer hard up against the wall so you can finish it like on this page http://www.carpentry-tips-and-tricks.com/Skirting.html.

Fix a timber strip one inch thick by 100-125mm tall onto the face of the trimmer and notch your staircase over that instead of over the trimmer. Basically pack the trimmer out. It will still be strong enough if you put some grip fill on the back and screw it well.

The trick will be covering the gap so it looks intentional. You could keep the packer a little short so you don't actually see the notch from the side of the newel (rather than cutting the notch right through the whole width of the newel leave 10mm at the end to cover the packer from sight) alternatively when you have plasterboarded the underside and you fit timber over the stringer to cover the edge of the board mitre this upward too to cover the 25mm notch.

Hope that makes sense I'll try and find some old pics of this scenario as like I said its common feel free to send you email address too or upload some pics so I can explain more specifically.

Good luck!

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