Over Cut Stringers

I have a deck stairway where the framers over cut the stringers. The stringers were cut out of 2x12 but at every cut there was less than 5" of wood left. I’ve reported it and the contractor states there is no code for that 5". Of course I stated that I’m not a code inspector and left it at that. But just for my curiosity does anyone know of code for that 5" of wood left on the stringer or is it just a standard in our profession.

Do you have a picture you can post Kenneth? :smile:

How long are the stringers, for instance?

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Kenneth, do you have a shot from further back?

How long are the stringers?

Is there any mid-support under the stringers?

How did the stairs feel while walking on them?

No, it’s not just our opinion, it’s a requirement by American Wood Council which most AHJ will accept, look under stringer requirement:


Is it finished? where is the bottom required landing? footings for posts? looks funky from the pic. I wouldn’t go too crazy about the stringers but would note they are overcut in some places which may impact their performance.

That is how I reported it. I didn’t make a big issue on it and left it at that with the client and the builder. But I was just curious for future reference. Thanks for the help guys.

lazy carpenter…and those stringers look further apart than the 16" span allowed for 5/4" boards

You raise your saw blade and use a chisel to remove that little triangle. Good call don’t let hacks shake you up!

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I always had a jig saw at the ready for fast clean finishing up the cuts or a good quality hand saw that gave a good finished look. And a chisel can work if you keep it sharp and cut on the inside of the stringers to avoid that chipped out look when one knocks the cut triangle out.


If it bothers you you can add a 2x4 or 2x6 beside the stringers to stiffen it up. Used to be standard practice to do this but builders don’t want to give carpenters enough wood anymore so I guess single is what you get.