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  1. #1
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    Oct 2008
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    Virginia
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    Default Transition strip hazard

    Client had me inspect a new laminate flooring install.....

    Worse I have ever seen.....buckling on the surface planes and this on the second floor and the landing.

    Client wants to know if there is a "building code" addressing this.....phpRAEfIoPM.jpg

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  2. #2
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    Mar 2007
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    Atlanta, Georgia
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    Default Re: Transition strip hazard

    Look at 311.7.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  3. #3
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Transition strip hazard

    Needs to be teated like a landing….

    I'm not sure that 311.7 is going to answer it since that covers stairs, handrails, etc.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Transition strip hazard

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Needs to be teated like a landing….

    I'm not sure that 311.7 is going to answer it since that covers stairs, handrails, etc.
    Landing are part of 311.7, specifically, 311.7.6 Landings for stairways.

    Don't forget, 311.7.7 Stairway walking surface.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Virginia
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    Default Re: Transition strip hazard

    The IRC everyone references does not seem to address potential trip hazards. Spent quite a bit of time trying to find any "code" reference that addresses this issue.

    I am trying to present some information to her that will substantiate a "code violation" as she is moving towards taking legal action. Not sure if my "opinion" is enough. Suggested getting another reputable flooring company to evaluate and document the specific defects of the installation.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks folks !


  6. #6
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    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Transition strip hazard

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Lewis View Post
    The IRC everyone references does not seem to address potential trip hazards.
    Code do not, and cannot be expected to, address everything - if the code tried to do that, one would need a semi-tractor-trailer to carry all the books which would be the code ... just impractical.

    Thus, the codes are "minimum" requirements.

    From the 2012 IRC: (underlining is mine)
    - R311.7.6 Landings for stairways.
    - - There shall be a floor or landing at the top and bottom of each stairway. The minimum width perpendicular to the direction of travel shall be no less than the width of the flight served. Landings of shapes other than square or rectangular shall be permitted provided the depth at the walk line and the total area is not less than that of a quarter circle with a radius equal to the required landing width. Where the stairway has a straight run, the minimum depth in the direction of travel shall be not less than 36 inches (914 mm).
    - - - Exception: A floor or landing is not required at the top of an interior flight of stairs, including stairs in an enclosed garage, provided a door does not swing over the stairs.
    - R311.7.7 Stairway walking surface.
    - - The walking surface of treads and landings of stairways shall be sloped no steeper than one unit vertical in 48 inches horizontal (2-percent slope).

    Did you put a level on it (use one of the smart levels, Smart Level(TM) was the first, Sears carries similar levels which cost much less, also other places carry smart levels)?

    Place one end of the level on the lower part, the other end on the higher part (like a foot would be) - what does it read?

    Take a distance photo showing where the level is, then a close up photo showing the digital reading on the level, keeping something in the background which can be used to show it was still where the distance photo shows it, sometimes an intermediate distance photo showing a legible reading on the level, with the closeup confirming the reading.

    You say it was a new floor - look up the installation specifications for the floor, you may find additional, possibly even better, back up support documentation in those installation instructions/specifications.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Transition strip hazard

    Is that buckling or is that a strip laid across a joint?

    The strip would be worse.

    Buckling would be a workmanship issue and addressed through the installers.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Virginia
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    Default Re: Transition strip hazard

    Jerry,

    That is a transition strip at the edge of the locking laminate next to the actual staircase......one at the second floor level and again at the intermediate landing area.

    As I said...worse job I have ever seen on maintaining a level walking surface above the last step.

    Not sure if it is a full 1/4 inch above the walking surface but is nearly so.

    I like your thought of the level....perhaps I can revisit the client's home and do that.

    Barry


  9. #9
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Transition strip hazard

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Lewis View Post
    That is a transition strip at the edge of the locking laminate next to the actual staircase......one at the second floor level and again at the intermediate landing area.
    Barry,

    With it being a strip, yes, it is a trip hazard, and being at the top of the stairs, they need to install cushions on the treads to makes the bouncing trip down easier on the body.

    If you don't have one, get one of the shorter digital levels from Sears (or one like it), with the level being short, the angle of the slop will read higher. Place the level centered on the strip, then tip the level to each side of the strip and read the angle - with a 10" level (Craftsman digital level: Sears.com ) the angle will read a lot higher than with a 2 foot or 4 foot level. And I doubt many feet are 2 feet to 4 feet long, the 10" level is more representative of an 'average' foot.

    The landing is required to be "level", or at most have a 1/4" per foot slope.

    I like that little level - it gives the temperature on powering on, and can read different slope (degrees, %, inches per foot) and has an indicator showing up or down angle from level.

    It is more of an actual trip hazard, but the code does not address 'bumps' or 'raised' strips across a landing. The code figures that people are smart enough to not do that ... as Ron White would say 'You can't fix stupid.'

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: Transition strip hazard

    Try using manufactures standards and specs, NALFA has the specs you need for laminate flooring

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Virginia
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    Default Re: Transition strip hazard

    Thanks Jerry......I'll give it a go..

    Barry


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
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    Default Re: Transition strip hazard

    Great tip. I have been using laser levels and points for 3 years.
    Bosch PLL1P Laser Spirit Level and Pointer under 70 dollars.
    Bosch GLM 80 - 60 Professional 80m Laser range finder & Spirit Level


    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

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