Framing a knee wall for brick steps on cement slab

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manfre

New User
Manfre
I'm finishing the inside of my garage and need a guard for the brick stairs because the top step is 2" taller than the yer-gonna-die height. My plan is to build a 2x4 knee wall next to the brick steps and cap it with a 2x6. I know that I need a pressure treated sill plate that will be wide enough to keep the drywall off the cement.

Should I leave a 1/2-5/8" gap between the wall framing and the brick so that 1/2" drywall can slip down to the sill plate? Or should I frame it flush against the brick and have the drywall cut to match the steps?

Does anyone near me have a hammer drill I can borrow to drill 4 holes?
 

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golfdad

Co-director of Outreach
Dirk
Corporate Member
sheetrock to the brick...stay up a bit maybe 1/4 to a 1/2 to keep sheetrock dry
 

petebucy4638

Pete
Corporate Member
I would suggest just putting up a wood railing. You might want to extend it to the front of the first tread too. You could get a metal rail fabricated too, but it would be a bit pricier than if you built it yourself.

Pete

I'm finishing the inside of my garage and need a guard for the brick stairs because the top step is 2" taller than the yer-gonna-die height. My plan is to build a 2x4 knee wall next to the brick steps and cap it with a 2x6. I know that I need a pressure treated sill plate that will be wide enough to keep the drywall off the cement.

Should I leave a 1/2-5/8" gap between the wall framing and the brick so that 1/2" drywall can slip down to the sill plate? Or should I frame it flush against the brick and have the drywall cut to match the steps?

Does anyone near me have a hammer drill I can borrow to drill 4 holes?
 

manfre

New User
Manfre
My original thought with the knee wall is a little bit more usable wall space. My wife chimed in this morning stating that she likes the look of the brick and doesn't want it hidden by a wall, so it'll be a railing.

I want to keep the bottom tread unguarded to give more space between the car and stairs. Having to turn sideways to fit through would annoy me. I've also become used to walking off it sideways since having the garage built last year. On last year's permit, I didn't need anything on that side of the stairs. According to the building inspector who did the insulation inspection yesterday, I will need a handrail on the garage wall side of the steps (due to the width of the stairs and direction of the door swing) and a guard for the open side because the top tread is 32". If I thought I could make a guard for only the top tread that didn't look silly, I would do that since it is the bare minimum that would satisfy the code requirement.
 

FredP

Fred
Corporate Member
you could put up a set of rails and take em down after all inspections are done. you would have to put it back up if you sell the house but........ but then you're home owners insurance company may make you put it back as well. Mine made me put rails up a couple of years ago.
 

SubGuy

Administrator
Zach
Make a removable rail. Drill holes into the concrete so it can be either bolted down or slides in like a large dowel. Then you can remove it when necessary. I wouldn't use wooden dowels if you go that route. Continued usage would cause compression in the wood against the concrete hole and cause significant wobbling.
 

Skymaster

Jack
Senior User
First; I have rotary hamer that wood make this a cakewalk :}. I believe you can do this handrail in a NICE Oak! On the bottom plate run a layer or two of Ice and water shield, this will give you a non contact baseplate, run a couple redhead's into floor, screw into that wall 2x4, most likely an angle bracket or some semi fancy woodwork to tie into the stairs at the front to stabilize em. Second way is to use PT plate cover it with oak and proceed upward
 

Truefire

New User
Chris
I like Zach's idea, regarding installing the new handrail so that it could be removed should the need arise. Might need to move a refrigerator, couch or some other significant sized piece up those steps one day...'you never know'...it might even be the old tub, you know when you remodel the bath for the lovely one. lol...:rolf:

You could use lag shields in the concrete and short lag bolts that would make removal of the new handrail possible. Several lag bolts spread out amongst the rail feet might solidify the handrail enough to prevent it from working loose through the years. I have used lag shields on many projects throughout the years and have never had any issues with bolts working loose but then again my projects were static loads or holding some other fixed structure. I never have used them specifically for something that will have dynamic loads imposed upon it.

Perhaps some others could chime in, in that regards.
 

KenOfCary

Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
I would not put a 6" piece on top. If someone did trip on the steps and tried to grab the top rail it is much easier to grab a 2x4 or other narrow piece 4" max than to grab a 2x6.

I have a hammer drill that works OK if you want to borrow it for a few days. Rarely use it myself so it could be gone for a week easily. It's a DeWalt.
 

manfre

New User
Manfre
Thanks Ken, I'll probably take you up on that offer. The guard on the open side of the stairs will just be a guard. There will be a railing on the garage wall that adheres to the building codes.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
 
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