Under stair protection

Need some help with understair protection. Correct me if I am wrong but there should be fireblocking below this stairway (see pictures).The open space is the floor joist area for the second floor. Better yet, I was under the impression if you were able to access the bottom of the stairway the walls and ceiling should be sheetrocked with 1/2" rock?



James, you are correct but I’m not sure which code specifies those requirements.

**R314.8 Under stair protection. **Enclosed accessible space under
stairs shall have walls, under stair surface and any soffits protected
on the enclosed side with 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum


Erby, what Code is that from? The 2003 IRC section R314 deals with Foam Plastic Insulation not stairs.

Never mind the drywall I don’t like the way the stringer is attached to the floor joist. It appears as if the joist has been omitted.

It is R311.2.2

Yep, there it is…thanks, Greg. Not sure why I didn’t see that earlier.

The quote is from the current Kentucky Residential Code 2002 which is based on the IRC 2000.

We’re kinda ahead of the times here in Kentucky.

Next year we’re supposed to adopt the 2007 Kentucky Residential Code based on the 2003 IRC.

We’re kinda ahead of the times here in Kentucky.

It is the same wording just a different code reference.

House is only two years old and built by a large builder. I like to know how they get away with so much. Thanks for everyones help.

Just graphics Raymond, ha. ha.
Here is a better graphic.


:slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Would there be any exceptions to this rule? For example, if the underside of the stairwell is accessible thru the garage. I cant find anything that this would be allowed.

If it were accessible through the garage, the garage “firewall” separation requirements would also come into play.

It was accessible thru the garage and the the door into the stairwell was not rated. I did note the door and defer this area for further evaluation. Thanks

Why recommend drywalling over what appears to be improper framing and attachment of the stringer? Is the stair improperly attached? In my opinion drywalling is the secondary concern. Why recommend covering a framing issue with firewall under the guise of fire rating, you cannot omit one problem over that of another, or am I missing something?

Raymond, can you explain further. Why do you think its improper framing?


Based solely on the photos the joist should be doubled where the stringer attached. The large gap in the framing at this area, again as evidenced by the photo does not relay that it is properly framed. I can’t recall ever seeing framing like this in new construction.

If this is new construction, I would have to agree.

Marcel:) :slight_smile:

It looks like new construction. And the schematic above shows that two joists should be used as a header, they also act as fire blocking.

I was interested in your opinion Marcel, thanks. <img>



I don’t see “true” stringers at all.
What I do see is a 2X2 cleat running beneath something that looks like drywall with some plywood cleats nailed to it’s face presumably to carry the treads.
That’s just plain wrong.
And I would definately run a third stringer in the center ,no matter how long the tread, if I were using plywood as treads.