Asked on Dec 26, 2018

How do I remedy stairs when the steps are cut too short?

  5 answers
  • Bijous Bijous on Dec 26, 2018

    Hi. You can redo the treads if the risers will take a wider tread without a problem. Otherwise, for safety purposes, the entire stairway needs to be redone. Sorry.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Dec 26, 2018

    Take off the existing short tread and add a 2x12 or 1x12 if riser us set at 11" deep. If shorter will have to rebuild steps. Much more of a 1/2" overhang will be a trip hazzard.

  • William William on Dec 26, 2018

    A lot of situations there is no room for proper angle and depth of stringers so shorter threads are used. But this is not code and can be dangerous going up or down. Basically if the stringers can handle longer and deeper threads it would just require replacing the threads. Otherwise the stairs would need to be redone.

  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Dec 26, 2018

    The treads are where your feet go. The risers lift the step to the next tread. If the treads are not long enough, you can add a wood patch to one side of the stairs, perhaps even needing another brace. Then carpet or tile across the whole risers and treads. If the risers are too short to meet the next treads, you can run an extra strip of wood at the bottom of each risernailed and stapled, then paint all the risers. If the treads are too short from front to back, you could try patching with a strip of wood at the back of each tread, although you can expect squeaks from all the treads eventually, even if you add more braces from underneath. It really seems that you will need a new set of treads or risers and a new start. Best wishes. 🤟🏻

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Dec 27, 2018


    This is one of those times when you MUST consult with someone who knows what they are doing for advice and a price. Do not do anything until you check with a professional.

    Keep in mind, you can acquaint yourself with the process so you can determine whether or not your ""consultant" (contractor) is explaining things properly to you.

    It sound to me like the steps were made to short front to back. Several years ago when houses began to get smaller, we began to see what appeared to be steeper steps because they were more narrow...a grown man could not place his entire foot on the step.

    If the risers (vertical part of the step...that place where the toe of your shoe would touch) are made of 1" wood, you can take off the riser and replace with something thinner material like metal. I have seen distressed copper used.

    (Keep in mind you may have to put some bracing in to hold the thinner material in place...and may want to attach it to the back of the thread before installing. If you start at the bottom and work you way up, it might be easier...and you may have to take down some sheetrock to get to the stairs to repair or replace!)

    I just measured the overhang for our treads and they are 1-5/8" with a rounded edge and we have never stumbled on them. The depth of the tread is 11-1/2" which is perfect!

    If you check out what you have to work with and you can get near to 11" or so, you may not have to replace but can repair the stairs.

    If you have to replace the stairs, you may require more "room" which may require a landing and a turn into the downstairs room.

    We have a split level with 9 steps going up to the bedrooms, a landing in the front foyer, walk into the kitchen and a turn and down 3 more steps.