Front porch too high?

PipdogApril 10, 2013

We are extending our existing front porch on our 1950's house. We hired a designer to assist with the project, and they put down the concrete walls today and intend on pouring concrete tomorrow. Currently the step is measuring out at a 9 inch step, and they still need to pour the concrete and lay the stone on top of that.

This post was edited by pipdog on Mon, Nov 4, 13 at 0:55

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live_wire_oak

You need an additional riser. All the way around.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:43PM
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annzgw

Ya, either an additional riser, that goes on top of the pavers, or redo the front wall with a set-back that has two short steps.

Have a talk with the designer tonight and stop the pour until you have this resolved. I agree with you, the drop off is too high and a hazard.
Is there a main entrance or is it designed so that you access the porch from anywhere along the front?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 11:16PM
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Pipdog

Thanks for the input, live wire oak and annz. I agree a riser is our best option and I am going to pitch it to our designer tomorrow before they pour the concrete. I'll let you know what he says. I'm pretty disappointed he didn't identify this problem before I did - one would think that a licensed designer would be cognizant of codes and liability hazards.

The porch is basically designed so that you can access it from anywhere along the front.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 11:46PM
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hosenemesis

Yes- especially if you have a permit and an inspector- it will have to be done over if it is not to code. Here that is not to code, and each step must be 11" wide.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 10:59PM
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scrappy25

Please educate me, how is this different than a raised deck for code purposes? (can be up to 24" off the ground here without a railing) Our front porch is easily as high as yours without railings, but the difference is that the steps are on the side and a garden is in front, so that no-one expects to step off the higher part into the garden. I agree that this is a setup for problems because people might expect to step off the porch onto the walkway, but don't understand the code issue.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 9:35AM
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roof35

@ scrappy25

I hate to say whoosh, but when the OP said it's too high. It's about the step being too high. It's already 9", and will be higher once concrete is placed on top.

Can't remember what code used to be some years back, but believe for the rise, the maximum was something like 8". Suppose I could look it up, but basically the OP's thread has nothing to do with railings, instead it has to do with rise of a step.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 6:55PM
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zagut

I've found that a higher step is safer then a lower one because you can see the drop off.

Low steps tend to be the ones you don't see and trip over because you don't notice the different elevations.

Play the "Code" game if you'd like but it's not a stair and is fine as is with the height involved.

Ya don't like it then change it.

But expect to pay for the work involved. It looks to me to be "one of those things" that life throws at us all.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 10:52AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance

If this is an extension of an existing porch, how did you have access before? Was there a riser?

Suzi

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 12:04PM
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nancyinmich

Well, on an, "existing front porch " you would expect to go up onto it. The OP says, "Currently the step is measuring out at a 9 inch step." Seems clear as day to me. The designer is expecting people to access the front porch by stepping from the pavers up onto a porch 11" high. Seems that they will be adding a 5.5" step, which is too low for code, isn't it? This designer does not seem to be planning very well at all. Add an inch to the porch height and you've got it.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 3:21PM
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Pipdog

We added a riser so that the step is more reasonable. The project is almost finished - will post pics when it is done. Thanks for the input all!

This post was edited by pipdog on Mon, Nov 4, 13 at 0:56

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 10:34PM
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