clock menu more-arrow no yes

How to Add Headroom to a Stairway

In this how-to video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva corrects a heading-bumping staircase.

In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva explains how to add stairway headroom in a few simple steps.

Steps for Adding Stairway Headroom

  1. Carefully pry old stair treads from staircase.
  2. Use a reciprocating saw to cut out the old stair stringers.
  3. Cut new notched stringers from 2x12s using a circular saw; finish cuts with handsaw.
  4. Attach metal hanger plates to top of each stringer.
  5. Nail metal timber hangers to bottom of each stringer.
  6. Set new stringers into stairway opening.
  7. Fasten top of stringers by nailing through hanger plates and into header.
  8. Secure the bottom end of stringers by nailing through the timber hangers.
  9. Nail new risers to stringers.
  10. Rip old treads down to fit new stringers.
  11. Nail the stair treads to the stringers.

Tools and Materials