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Thread: Curved stair

  1. #1
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    Default Curved stair

    Stair construction details are generally available for those willing to take time to research the details and the methods. If a builder is not quite sure of his/her abilities, maybe it would be best to leave it to someone who has experience. Layout is an important feature prior to taking on even a simple stair construction.
    I don't know how this passed the city inspection - house was renovated in 2007, converting a basement to living spaces.
    Not that I could do any better, but I'm not being paid to build, only to critique.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Curved stair

    Yep, someone does not understand what "winders" are or what the minimum requirements are.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Curved stair

    "Winders" - thats the word I was looking for. It just didnt come to me in time to post. I tried 'winding stairs' - that didn't seem to fit; 'turned' - nah; re-directed? right angle? ....I should have asked Jerry. Thanks.
    The realtor was no help either...but then she didn't see the problem.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Curved stair

    Chris,

    I wouldn't call those "winders", I would call them "trip and fall hazards". or is it

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

  5. #5

    Default Re: Curved stair

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Chris,

    I wouldn't call those "winders", I would call them "trip and fall hazards". or is it
    Yep, those are definitely trip and fall hazards.

    What a miserable attempt at building a winder.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Curved stair

    A few months ago in a hundred year old house, I saw the same thing where a fix-n-flipper had finished the basement. And just like yours the AHJ had approved it. At the time, since it had been signed off, I didn't question the installation. Is the problem the transition from standard treads to "winders" or the use of winders at all? Spiral staircases are allowed without any questions.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Curved stair

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    A few months ago in a hundred year old house, I saw the same thing where a fix-n-flipper had finished the basement. And just like yours the AHJ had approved it. At the time, since it had been signed off, I didn't question the installation. Is the problem the transition from standard treads to "winders" or the use of winders at all? Spiral staircases are allowed without any questions.
    There are several problems. The main one being that when the winder makes the corner each winder is not the same. This caused kind of a partial landing effect, but it is not a landing because it is to small. They could have continued the winder and that would have been ok. Or, they could have put in a landing, (depending on headroom), and changed direction like the bottom riser and tread.

    Winders are approved for egress. Spirals, only if there is another stairway as a spiral cannot be the primary egress.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Curved stair

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffGHooper View Post
    There are several problems. The main one being that when the winder makes the corner each winder is not the same. This caused kind of a partial landing effect, but it is not a landing because it is to small. They could have continued the winder and that would have been ok. Or, they could have put in a landing, (depending on headroom), and changed direction like the bottom riser and tread.

    Winders are approved for egress. Spirals, only if there is another stairway as a spiral cannot be the primary egress.
    Mostly agree - but the main reason on my list (besides being basically completely wrong ) is that the narrow (inside) end is required to be 6 inches minimum ... and that would do away with the "missing" steps appearance looking down (where the photo shows what appears to be missing steps at the inside of the turn).

    The question of whether winders are allowed in a straight (not circular) stair is: yes ... no ... and no ... but is most often deemed to be yes.

    I can show why there is the first yes, then the first no, followed by the second no ... the second yes is because they never get past the first yes.

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Curved stair

    Like JP says: A winder should have no less than 6" surface at inside corner (and other requirements).
    It would have been better to build the stairs down to a landing, then make a 90 turn and 1 or 2 steps down from that landing. Trying to build those winders in the photo was too challenging for the builder. It was awkward walking down the steps - not enough room to plant your foot on those two angled steps. i had to 'goofy foot' it down the steps. A little easier going up.
    A homeowner would have to stop and think about it each time he/she went down...then here come the kids. Look out below!


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Curved stair

    Thanks for the article Kevin. Thats a good illustration of winders. The walkline should be about 9 or 10 inches at 12" out from the corner, but in this instance was only about 2 or 3 inches. An ankle twister for sure.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Curved stair

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    The drawing shows improper winders ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Curved stair

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The drawing shows improper winders ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    That ain't good ! Best we get that taken care of.
    This is from the 2012 IRC
    - R311.7.5.2.1 Winder treads. - - Winder treads shall have a minimum tread depth of 10 inches (254 mm) measured between the vertical planes of the foremost projection of adjacent treads at the intersections with the walkline. Winder treads shall have a minimum tread depth of 6 inches (152 mm) at any point within the clear width of the stair. Within any flight of stairs, the largest winder tread depth at the walkline shall not exceed the smallest winder tread by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm). Consistently shaped winders at the walkline shall be allowed within the same flight of stairs as rectangular treads and do not have to be within 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) of the rectangular tread depth.

    What do you see shown that does not match the above? (Hint: there is more than just one difference between the code and that drawing.)

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

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Curved stair

    I would have just done the landing where the highest angle tread is, then add a step to the bottom toward the main room.....much less complicated and definitely safer.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I would have just done the landing where the highest angle tread is, then add a step to the bottom toward the main room.....much less complicated and definitely safer.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I would have just done the landing where the highest angle tread is, then add a step to the bottom toward the main room.....much less complicated and definitely safer.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I would have just done the landing where the highest angle tread is, then add a step to the bottom toward the main room.....much less complicated and definitely safer.

    1 John 2:15-17
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Curved stair

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The drawing shows improper winders ...
    I believe we established that.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Curved stair

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    This is however not a deal breaking event and can be easily fixed by an accomplished carpenter.
    I actually may be a deal breaker ... as that may be the work of an "accomplished carpenter" ... in that area.

    I would think that an "unaccomplished" carpenter could read the code and do it right the first time, and thus should be able to correct it.

    "Deal breakers", as you, I, and most here know (but real estate agents don't understand) are items which the buyer wants addressed and the seller refuses to address in any satisfactory way (often times due to the listing agent telling the seller that the seller "does not need to address that" ... they forget to add "unless you want to sell your house" ... and them blame it on the buyer and the home inspector).

    Then there are those houses which we have served as the medical examiner on and dissected to determine the cause of its death ... which is seldom "natural causes" (unless one considers that lack of care and maintenance means that, naturally, it died a slow and agonizing death).

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

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