Building a Safe Stage Extension


At the High school where I work we had a stage extension that was built a number of years ago by a scenic designer that extends our stage 10' at the widest point out in a semi circle. We take it out a few times a year, but in general the directors like to use it for their shows.

I would like to rebuild this extension and leave it in mostly permanently. It is currently built out of standard platforms and 2x4 supports. I was wondering if anyone had tips on how to make this a safer extension, I'm willing to start from scratch. I'm already thinking of using 2x6 for the supports so that the supports don't just sit under the edges of the platform but also under the middle supports of it.

Thanks for the help!


Active Member
You haven't described your existing extension or proposed extension enough to really give much feedback. I suggest adding pictures and describing what you feel is unsafe about the current extension. If you show things that are unsafe, you will very likely get feedback from this forum. Depending on details of construction and height of this extension, standard platforms with 2x4 legs may be fine.


Renaissance Man
Fight Leukemia
I imagine that no one really wants to chime in with all of the home made pit fillers that have been catastrophically failing lately.


Well-Known Member
Sketch up your plans and take it to the building department. You will need a permit. Depending on the height of the stage above the floor (I assume pit or first row floor under) you may need to compartmentalize the space under into smaller zones and, unless you add fire sprinklers, you probably can't store anything under it.

Frankly, you'd be well served by a local one-man architect's office, or better, a structural engineer (they're usually less expensive and less likely to interject their ideas in place of yours - and both are permitted by their registration to do this). You can still build it but for plan review, complying with codes, getting a permit, and surviving inspection - I think it would be worth it.

I applaud you for wanting to do it correctly.

(PS - I'd think about putting a trap in it, even if just deep enough for a simple grave digger scene. Could be useful every few years and not expensive.)


Well-Known Member
Premium Member
This is something that really needs to be built to building code, and if it's anything more than temporary, it would need to be permitted and inspected. It's tough because I know you're taking something substandard and making it better, but now you're putting yourself on the line. Really, the old one should be scrapped as well.

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