© 1972-2012 IEEE.Spatially-coupled (SC) codes are a family of graph-based codes that have attracted significant attention, thanks to their capacity approaching performance and low decoding latency. An SC code is constructed by partitioning an underlying block code into a number of components and coupling their copies together. In this paper, we first introduce a general approach for the enumeration of detrimental combinatorial objects in the graph of finite-length SC codes. Our approach is general in the sense that it effectively works for SC codes with various partitioning schemes, column weights, and memories. Next, we present a two-stage framework for the construction of high performance binary SC codes optimized for the additive white Gaussian noise channels; we aim at minimizing the number of detrimental combinatorial objects in the error floor region. In the first stage, we deploy a novel partitioning scheme, called the optimal overlap partitioning, to produce the optimal partitioning corresponding to the smallest number of detrimental objects. In the second stage, we apply a new circulant power optimizer to further reduce the number of detrimental objects in the lifted graph. SC codes constructed by our new framework have up to two orders of magnitude error floor performance improvement and up to 0.6 dB SNR gain compared to prior state-of-the-art SC codes.