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Thread: Stair width

  1. #66
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    .

    Vern,

    Must be a NC amendment to change the minimum height to 30". The IRC (and IBC regarding dwelling units) is 34" minimum to 48" maximum height.
    We got a lot a short people here!

    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #67
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    .

    Vern,

    Must be a NC amendment to change the minimum height to 30". The IRC (and IBC regarding dwelling units) is 34" minimum to 48" maximum height.

    Is that a typo? Isn't it 34-38" ?


  3. #68
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    Default Re: Stair width

    geesh.... what a long thread... quite obvious that the stairs were made narrow for a reason but of course do not meet code. I would think the owner of the home has no need for anyone to tell them this... however... yaa all charge to say something about what you inspect right?
    aj


  4. #69
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Jerry, thank you for the complete explanation. I wanted to use my codecheck and realizing it was outside in the van(cold out there right now!) I googled it and found some good info. I'd forgotten why we always refer to the IRC here and not IBC. Thank you


  5. #70
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Is that a typo? Isn't it 34-38" ?
    .
    Yes, that was a typo - you are correct that it is 34" to 38".

    When I typed: "Must be a NC amendment to change the minimum height to 30". The IRC (and IBC regarding dwelling units) is 34" minimum to 48" maximum height."

    I should have typed: "Must be a NC amendment to change the minimum height to 30". The IRC (and IBC regarding dwelling units) is 34" minimum to 38" maximum height."

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  6. #71
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    Default Re: Stair width

    JP:

    For the life of me I cannot understand why you would waste your time arguing with someone who disseminates free videos on construction.

    You got what you paid for, just like the credentials that issue forth from the same general direction.

    Aaron


  7. #72
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    Default Re: Stair width

    I've tried to carefully read all the comments in this thread because I recently inspected a house that had regulation width stairs from the main level to the finished basement/garage level.

    The wrinkle was that this stairwell had an assisted stair lift (electric chair lift on a rail) that effectively reduced the walking width to around 24". Both rails were still attached to the walls and met the dimensional requrements already mentioned.

    What would be the proper or correct way of calling it out?

    Ben


  8. #73
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    Default Re: Stair width

    (from "referenced standards)
    A18.1—2003 Safety Standard for Platforms and Stairway Chair Lifts . R323.2


    R323.2 Platform lifts.
    Where provided, platform lifts shall comply with ASME A18.1.

    I have reported them as reducing the width of the stairway making the stairway less than safe to use (the code is minimum safe standard) and, if not needed, I have recommended removing them.


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  9. #74
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    (from "referenced standards)
    A18.1—2003 Safety Standard for Platforms and Stairway Chair Lifts . R323.2


    R323.2 Platform lifts.
    Where provided, platform lifts shall comply with ASME A18.1.


    I have reported them as reducing the width of the stairway making the stairway less than safe to use (the code is minimum safe standard) and, if not needed, I have recommended removing them.
    JP: But I suppose that the new ADAA would trump all other references?

    Aaron


  10. #75
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    JP: But I suppose that the new ADAA would trump all other references?

    Aaron
    Okay, spring it on me ... what new ADAAG?

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  11. #76
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Okay, spring it on me ... what new ADAAG?
    JP: Not "ADAAG", but rather ADAA. Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (“ADAA”), signed by (not soon enough to become ex-) President Bush on September 25, 2008. This became effective on January 1, 2009. The ADAA broadens the scope of the original Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) as it has been interpreted since it was originally signed into law, overturning several Supreme Court opinions which had narrowed the
    protections afforded by the ADA.

    Aaron


  12. #77
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    JP: Not "ADAAG", but rather ADAA. Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (“ADAA”), signed by (not soon enough to become ex-) President Bush on September 25, 2008. This became effective on January 1, 2009. The ADAA broadens the scope of the original Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) as it has been interpreted since it was originally signed into law, overturning several Supreme Court opinions which had narrowed the
    protections afforded by the ADA.

    Aaron
    Aaron,

    Thank.

    I tried searching ADAA before I replied and could not find anything.

    Today I searched the full name and it is the ADA Amendments Act (you have one too many As there), also know as (I found out) ADAAA (one more A than you had).

    All those AAAAAAs get confusing, huh?

    This is important "Claims of "no disability." The Act provides that the ADA doesn’t cover claims by nondisabled individuals contending discrimination because of the lack of a disability."

    Too bad that was not in some other laws, such as Affirmative Action laws. It would have stopped those "I'm being discriminated against because I am NOT a minority." actions.

    Here is a link to the Act: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-...406enr.txt.pdf

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  13. #78
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Aaron,

    Thank.

    I tried searching ADAA before I replied and could not find anything.

    Today I searched the full name and it is the ADA Amendments Act (you have one too many As there), also know as (I found out) ADAAA (one more A than you had).

    All those AAAAAAs get confusing, huh?

    This is important "Claims of "no disability." The Act provides that the ADA doesn’t cover claims by nondisabled individuals contending discrimination because of the lack of a disability."

    Too bad that was not in some other laws, such as Affirmative Action laws. It would have stopped those "I'm being discriminated against because I am NOT a minority." actions.

    Here is a link to the Act: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-...406enr.txt.pdf
    JP:

    Sorry, I have too many A's in my name and got confused.


  14. #79
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    Default Re: Stair width

    I may be being a little thick on this, but I don't see where anyone has referenced the clear tread width in this question. With wall to wall width the stringers could be inside the w/w width and with 2x stringers, that could reduce the tread width to 34 1/2". Also is "trim" allowed in the minimum width?

    I guess another way to say this is: from the center of the tread (in the direction of travel) what is the minimum dimension to the edge of the walking surface of the tread? (Min width then would be double this number.

    Any help will be appreciated. Single family residence in Michigan.


  15. #80
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Gunnis View Post
    I may be being a little thick on this, but I don't see where anyone has referenced the clear tread width in this question. With wall to wall width the stringers could be inside the w/w width and with 2x stringers, that could reduce the tread width to 34 1/2". Also is "trim" allowed in the minimum width?
    The requirement is not for "clear tread width" but for stairway width measured at and above the handrail height.

    You could actually have a 36" wide stairway at and above handrail height, then have bump-out walls which do not project out past the handrails from the handrail height down to the treads and that would meet code.

    I guess another way to say this is: from the center of the tread (in the direction of travel) what is the minimum dimension to the edge of the walking surface of the tread? (Min width then would be double this number.
    The minimum stairway width is 36", the handrails are allowed to project in 4-1/2" from each side (if there are two handrails installed), that means the wall separation (in my example above) below handrail height could be as little as 27" tread width.

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  16. #81
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    Default Re: Stair width

    This is from post 55....
    With the handrail on the wall, that top rail of the guard rail does not need to meet the requirements of a handrail.


    R311.5.6.2 Continuity.
    Handrails for stairways shall be
    continuous for the full length of the flight, from a point
    directly above the top riser of the flight to a point directly
    above the lowest riser of the flight. Handrail ends shall be
    returned or shall terminate in newel posts or safety terminals.
    Handrails adjacent to awall shall have a space of not
    less than 1
    1/2 inch (38 mm) between the wall and the
    handrails.



    IMO
    The handrail pictured on the wall does not meet the requirements for a handrail so the "guardrail" as JP calls it, is actually the handrail as long as it meets the code for specifications of a handrail.


    R311.5.6.3 Handrail grip size.
    All required handrails
    shall be of one of the following types or provide equivalent
    graspability.
    1. Type I. Handrails with a circular cross section
    shall have an outside diameter of at least 1
    1/4 inches
    (32 mm) and not greater than 2 inches (51 mm). If
    the handrail is not circular it shall have a perimeter
    dimension of at least 4 inches (102 mm) and not
    greater than 6
    1/4 inches (160 mm) with a maximum
    cross section of dimension of 2
    1/4 inches(57 mm).
    2. Type II. Handrails with a perimeter greater than 6
    1/4

    inches (160 mm) shall provide a graspable finger
    recess area on both sides of the profile. The finger
    recess shall begin within a distance of
    3/4 inch (19
    mm) measured vertically from the tallest portion of
    the profile and achieve a depth of at least
    5/16 inch (8
    mm) within
    7/8 inch (22 mm) below the widest portion
    of the profile. This required depth shall continue
    for at least
    3/8 inch (10mm)to a level that is not
    less than 1
    3/4 inches (45 mm) below the tallest portion
    of the profile. The minimumwidth of the handrail
    above the recess shall be 1
    1/4 inches (32 mm) to
    a maximum of 2
    3/4 inches (70 mm). Edges shall
    have a minimum radius of 0.01 inch (0.25 mm).




  17. #82
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    The handrail pictured on the wall ...
    Wayne,

    Which photo?

    Attachment 9643 No handrail on wall and the guardrail top does not meet handrail requirements.

    Attachment 9740 Portion of handrail shown on wall but does not meet handrail requirements, guardrail top does not meet handrail requirements.

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  18. #83
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Sorry...9740


  19. #84
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Attachment 9740 Portion of handrail shown on wall but does not meet handrail requirements, guardrail top does not meet handrail requirements.

    Were the top of the guardrail does not meet the requirements for a handrail.

    Do you see why it does not?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  20. #85
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    Default Re: Stair width

    I don't even know what you are asking here!

    I've been reading the code today on a totally different situation (not related to theis forum) and my brain is about dead for the day!


  21. #86
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Attachment 9740 Portion of handrail shown on wall but does not meet handrail requirements, guardrail top does not meet handrail requirements.
    Wayne,

    Okay, s-l-o-w-e-r now until you get settled back in ...

    The top of the guardrail in that photo, the one with the lady standing next to the partially constructed stairway ...

    ... Does the top of that guardrail meet the requirements for a handrail?

    Why not?

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  22. #87
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    Default Re: Stair width

    It all depends....If you are speaking of the portion adjacent to the landing or the "Top" rail itself.

    But I will say the portion adjacent to the landing. It won't support 200 lbs and the spacing of the spindles appears to be too far apart.


  23. #88
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    the "Top" rail itself.

    The stairway, treads, risers, handrails, guard rail are all only partially constructed to show typical stairway construction, thus the guard rail balusters are only present near the bottom and near the top, showing two methods of baluster installation (on the treads like at the bottom and on a stringer like at the top), so spacing for the balusters can only be looked at in the bottom portion and the top portion.

    Likewise, the handrail is only partially installed, the lower end is not returned to the wall to demonstrate the wrong way to do it.

    Thus, with (for my question) the handrail being presumed that the unreturned end 'will be' left that way, the handrail is improperly constructed, so let's 'remove the handrail' and leave that wall blank.

    Now we have typical stairway which does not have a handrail mounted on the wall, instead it is relying on the top rail of the guard rail to serve as the handrail.

    As installed in the photo, presuming the top rail height is installed between 34" and 38" high above the plane of the nosings, and presuming that the top rail terminate at the newel posts as allowed and as shown, and presuming that the configuration of the top rail meets the configuration requirements for handrail graspability, what requirement for handrails does that top rail 'not' meet?

    I understand that photo is for teaching inspecting stairways, but that photo is also basically representative of typical stair construction methods where there is a newel post at the bottom and a newel post at the top and the top rail terminates into the newel posts, thus it is representative of a typical problem with that type of stairway/guard rail construction.

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  24. #89
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The stairway, treads, risers, handrails, guard rail are all only partially constructed to show typical stairway construction, .
    You're kidding me! Aren't you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Now we have typical stairway which does not have a handrail mounted on the wall, instead it is relying on the top rail of the guard rail to serve as the handrail..
    Agreed


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    instead it is relying on the top rail of the guard rail to serve as the handrail.
    Technically speaking the right terminology is just "guard" when you are referring to the stair portion of this photo. (Underlining is mine)


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    As installed in the photo, presuming the top rail height is installed between 34" and 38" high above the plane of the nosings, and presuming that the top rail terminate at the newel posts as allowed and as shown, and presuming that the configuration of the top rail meets the configuration requirements for handrail graspability, what requirement for handrails does that top rail 'not' meet?
    OK, you've got me on this one! I can't see anything wrong. Teach me something. And don't give me some kind of cheezy ass answer either. Make it a legitimate violation please.

    Last edited by Wayne Carlisle; 01-29-2009 at 07:51 AM. Reason: corrected spelling (I knew I better after calling out JP on a technical term :) ) I hope I found them all or ..........

  25. #90
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    OK, you've got me on this one! I can't see anything wrong. Teach me something. And don't give me some kind of cheezy ass answer either. Make it a legitimate violation please.
    This is not "some kind of cheezy ass answer either.". "Make it a legitimate violation please.", it is indeed a legitimate violation of the technical nature based on the explicit wording specifically stated in the code - the kind which gets ignored day in and day out.

    From the 2006 IRC. (underlining and bold are mine)

    - R311.5.6.2 Continuity. Handrails for stairways shall be continuous for the full length of the flight, from a point directly above the top riser of the flight to a point directly above the lowest riser of the flight. Handrail ends shall be returned or shall terminate in newel posts or safety terminals. Handrails adjacent to a wall shall have a space of not less than 11/2 inch (38 mm) between the wall and the handrails.
    - - Exceptions:
    - - - 1. Handrails shall be permitted to be interrupted by a newel post at the turn.
    - - - 2. The use of a volute, turnout, starting easing or starting newel shall be allowed over the lowest tread.



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  26. #91
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    Default Re: Stair width

    OK and this picture doesn't do this?

    Bold and underline are mine.

    R311.5.6.2 Continuity. Handrails for stairways shall be continuous for the full length of the flight, from a point directly above the top riser of the flight to a point directly above the lowest riser of the flight. Handrail ends shall be returned or shall terminate in newel posts or safety terminals. Handrails adjacent to a wall shall have a space of not less than 11/2 inch (38 mm) between the wall and the handrails.
    - - Exceptions:
    - - - 1. Handrails shall be permitted to be interrupted by a newel post at the turn.
    - - - 2. The use of a volute, turnout, starting easing or starting newel shall be allowed over the lowest tread.


    Teach me something. I'm serious on this because I see this type of installation all the time and allow it.

    Doesn't exception 2 make this hand rail in compliance? That would take care of the "lowest" riser and you can't see the upper portion in the picture.

    Even though the way the picture shows the starting newel there's not any strength there to meet the 200 lb requirement.


  27. #92
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    OK and this picture doesn't do this?

    Handrail ends shall be returned or shall terminate in newel posts or safety terminals.
    Wayne,

    The handrail does end in a newel post, which is what I already said was allowed.

    It it 'the location of the newel post' that makes the handrail *not* comply with this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    from a point directly above the top riser of the flight to a point directly above the lowest riser of the flight.

    The exceptions do not even come into play.

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  28. #93
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    Default Re: Stair width

    wayne,
    you are right,so is jp. he is quoting the rule and you are quoting the exception. if you want a whizzing contest with jp you better stock up on 12 ouncers


  29. #94
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    Default Re: Stair width

    I can whizz with the best of them!! I may need to buy extra absorbant depends, but I'll make it through the worst of it.

    I love discussions on things like this and hopefully everyone can learn a little something from it.

    JP is a sharp guy and is right a lot of the time but then again he is wrong sometimes too. The codes are all how one interpretations the language of the code and that can be a full time job in itself. He may interpret it one way while others see it another way. That does not make the others wrong, if anyone can alter my interpretation that's okay. I've won some...lost uuummm a few! If I am wrong..I admit it..if not, I can be as stubborn as JP.

    As long as we are all open minded and don't become "set" in our thoughts and are willing to have an open mind we can all learn something.


  30. #95
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Jerry, why wouldn't the exceptions apply?


  31. #96
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    wayne,
    you are right,so is jp. he is quoting the rule and you are quoting the exception.

    Wayne

    I started to reply with 'but the exception does not apply', then on reading it again (yes, again, after having read it many times before, and several times in this thread) and realized ... oops.

    I stand corrected.

    I was thinking of the volute and starting easing being allowed "over the lowest tread", and forgot (and did not read closely enough) the inclusion of "or the starting newel".

    - - - 2. The use of a volute, turnout, starting easing or starting newel shall be allowed over the lowest tread.

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  32. #97
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Correction noted and appreciated. Whew! I thought have been inspecting wrong for years! But what else is new?

    We can all learn something now and then; and if we keep a civil discussion and agree that we won't always agree the discussion will end and go on the the next one.

    Last edited by Wayne Carlisle; 01-29-2009 at 02:33 PM. Reason: added "been inspecting"

  33. #98
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    Default Re: Stair width

    Came late to the party and all I can say is that little video of stair codes in highly inaccurate. Glad you guys, especially JP, got it straightened out. Our code writers are never the most lucid grammarians.
    For the left coast guys & gals.

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
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