stair standards --need expert opinion

plumberryFebruary 26, 2014

Through a door in our dining room we have a staircase (3 stairs) that lead to the garage floor.

The steps were rebuilt as part of our remodel but the top step is only 2-4 inches beyond the threshold. This seems very dangerous since part of your foot has to step onto the hump of the threshold before you can get to the next step. Is there some sort of standard length for the area beyond the threshold or do you know of a solution to fix other than to rebuild all of the stairs?
Thank you

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Trebruchet

Rebuild.

There are a lot of code requirements regarding stairs/handrails and for good reason. Hire someone who knows what they're doing and have it inspected.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 7:17AM
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rwiegand

If it's dangerous for you what difference does code compliance make? Have it re-done so that the (very real) trip hazard is eliminated. Even if it were code legal (seems unlikely, but perhaps there is some exemption for very short runs of steps) why would you want or permit it in your house? The code is a minimum standard that in no way trumps good sense (well, I guess that's not always true, but you are free to exceed code standard),

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 8:48AM
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snoonyb

If the door opens over the steps, a 3' landing is required which does not differ in level more than 1/4" from the floor level .
A stairway with more than 2 risers and is less than 42" wide, requires a handrail 35" above the tred nosing.

This post was edited by snoonyb on Thu, Feb 27, 14 at 12:45

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:08AM
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renovator8

good luck with your project

This post was edited by Renovator8 on Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 16:38

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 8:40PM
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plumberry

Wow - thanks for your kind input.
One of the reasons I'm searching for building standards is to figure out who is responsible for the cost to redo the stairs, the homeowner or he contractor. We never gave him specs --he suggested the stairs be rebuilt and we agreed to it so he built it as he thought appropriate. He did not duplicate the original stairs either so that isn't an excuse.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 10:06PM
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snoonyb

I guess we have to ask, what the door action is, and to clarify, swing in, or swing out?
And to further clarify, swing in, would be into the dwelling, while swing out, would be into the garage.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:04AM
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plumberry

thank you for helping! it would be a swing in door.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:13PM
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renovator8

good luck with it

This post was edited by Renovator8 on Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 16:39

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 2:19PM
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snoonyb

Thanks.

The responsibility to correct this lies with you.
To correct this you'll need to change the door to a new rated door, install a flat pan commercial threshold and a tight fitting door bottom.

http://www.pemko.com/

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:26PM
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calumin

The reason code compliance is still important is that some codes (e.g. CA codes) require that if you change any aspect of a stairwell, it needs to become code-compliant to today's standards, even if the original stairwell was built before the code was put in place. In some cases, it's actually impossible to be fully code-compliant and you would not be allowed to make the stairwell slightly less dangerous without ripping out major parts of your entire house construction. The only option in that case would be to rebuild the stairwell to the exact same old configuration, to preserve the grandfather exception. I am going through this right now.

Here is one resource to help with stairways standards:

2006 Stair Building Code

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:54PM
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renovator8

good luck with your project

This post was edited by Renovator8 on Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 16:40

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 2:49PM
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