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  1. #1
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    As long as they're not used as stairs anymore, I don't see a problem!

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Looks like a huge safety issue.

    Someone leaves a drawer open and someone comes down the stairs at night.

    Not going to be a pretty site as they think the idea is at this time.

    Plus I can see it now, The second floor of the home was not accessible to the Home Inspector due to the drawers on the stairway being left open. Per _ _ _ _ standards, the inspector is not responsible or want the responsibility of closing the drawers. This is beyond the scope of this inspection. Inspector will re-inspect the second floor of the structure at a return trip charge of 300. provided the drawers are closed upon arrival.

    Last edited by Rick Hurst; 12-22-2007 at 06:10 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    You would want to see self-closing drawers there, for sure.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    You would want to see self-closing drawers there, for sure.
    No ... you would want *permanently nailed shut drawers*, for sure.

    Crimony, someone trying to kill or maim someone else?

    John,

    "As long as they're not used as stairs anymore, ... "

    Why would a stair be abandoned?

    How would you get to the *upper* drawers if not by using the *lower* "stairs"?

    Nothing other than permanently nailing those sucker shut would suffice.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  6. #6
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    I think we can check off that drawers in stairs are not a good idea.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    They wouldn't work on 36" wide stairs. They need more than two stringers or the stairs get bouncy and squeek.

    That center stringer would be in the way


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    They wouldn't work on 36" wide stairs. They need more than two stringers or the stairs get bouncy and squeek.

    That center stringer would be in the way
    Are you saying that they 'would' work on stairs without the center stringer?

    Kevin said it well with "I think we can check off that drawers in stairs are not a good idea."

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    The funny part of this was reading the comments from people o the web site. The interior architect that wanted the drawers to open from the side caught my interest. I wonder what he/she thought was going to hold up the side of the staircase.


  10. #10
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Are you saying that they 'would' work on stairs without the center stringer?

    Kevin said it well with "I think we can check off that drawers in stairs are not a good idea."
    Jerry:

    Don't be a spoil sport. There is nothing in the code that says this cannot be done. In another life, as a cabinetmaker and trim carpenter, I restored a few old wooden boats; two Chris Crafts and a rather large (by North Texas standards) Owens. I also had a friend at the time who worked at Associated Air in Dallas, one of the largest firms that does custom corporate jet interiors. Additionally, I had the privilege to work a two remodel jobs of craftsman-style bungalows in the Dallas area.

    You might be surprised at what can be done with wood, without sacrificing strutural integrity or safety, when a true craftsman is at the helm.

    Aaron


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    You might be surprised at what can be done with wood, without sacrificing strutural integrity or safety,

    Aaron,

    I might be surprised, but probably not, however, as to the last part of your statement "or safety" ... there is nothing "safe" about having drawers pull out from the risers of a stair.

    Not even with self-closing drawers.

    The only way would be to permanently secure the drawers closed, so they could not be opened.

    Does not matter how good of a craftsman a person is.

    Structurally, that could be an open riser, so 'structural' was not a concern.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Aaron,

    ... there is nothing "safe" about having drawers pull out from the risers of a stair.

    Structurally, that could be an open riser, so 'structural' was not a concern.
    Jerry:

    They may not be "safe" in your opinion, but they are code-compliant.

    Aaron


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    ... but they are code-compliant.

    Aaron
    Aaron,

    Nope.

    They are not.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Aaron,

    Nope.

    They are not.
    Jerry:

    Convince me.

    Aaron


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    Convince me.
    Aaron,

    Okie dokie.

    What is the minimum stair width?

    What is the minimum head room?

    What is the minimum/maximum handrail height?

    What is the minimum/maximum riser height?

    What is the minimum tread depth?

    What is the minimum landing depth?

    I could go on, but if you go through that list and think about under what conditions those measurements are taken, you will stumble on the answer.

    If not, I will give it, and convince you, that such a stair would not be code compliant.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Jerry:

    All of those things could easily be complied with and still have drawers installed in the risers. You're gnawing on a rubber biscuit here. Don't break a tooth.

    Aaron


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    All of those things could easily be complied with and still have drawers installed in the risers. You're gnawing on a rubber biscuit here. Don't break a tooth.
    Aaron,

    Okay, what is the minimum tread depth allowed?

    Under what condition is that required?

    Don't lose a crown over it. Chewing on the rubber chicken could break one off.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  18. #18
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Aaron,

    Okay, what is the minimum tread depth allowed?

    Under what condition is that required?

    Don't lose a crown over it. Chewing on the rubber chicken could break one off.
    Jerry:

    R311.5.3.2 Tread depth.
    The minimum tread depth shall be 10 inches (254 mm). The tread depth shall be measured horizontally between the vertical planes of the foremost projection of adjacent treads and at a right angle to the tread's leading edge. The greatest tread depth within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm). Winder treads shall have a minimum tread depth of 10 inches (254 mm) measured as above at a point 12 inches (305) mm from the side where the treads are narrower. Winder treads shall have a minimum tread depth of 6 inches (152 mm) at any point. Within any flight of stairs, the greatest winder tread depth at the 12 inch (305 mm) walk line shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm).

    And your point is what?

    Aaron


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    Jerry,

    R311.5.3.2 Tread depth.
    The minimum tread depth shall be 10 inches (254 mm). The tread depth shall be measured horizontally between the vertical planes of the foremost projection of adjacent treads and at a right angle to the tread's leading edge. The greatest tread depth within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm). Winder treads shall have a minimum tread depth of 10 inches (254 mm) measured as above at a point 12 inches (305) mm from the side where the treads are narrower. Winder treads shall have a minimum tread depth of 6 inches (152 mm) at any point. Within any flight of stairs, the greatest winder tread depth at the 12 inch (305 mm) walk line shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm).

    And your point is what?

    Aaron
    Aaron,

    And just what is the tread depth when that drawer is open?

    Also, do not forget that last line and its requirements - not that it really matters in this case ... unless the treads are much more than the 10 inch minimum.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  20. #20
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Aaron,

    And just what is the tread depth when that drawer is open?

    Also, do not forget that last line and its requirements - not that it really matters in this case ... unless the treads are much more than the 10 inch minimum.
    Jerry:

    Fortunately for me I spent that brief interlude between my last post and yours s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g my imagination to fit your upcoming comment.

    So then, using your somewhat illegitimate form of logic, let us say I should happen to intall a code-compliant front door that is the requisite 3-0 X 6-8. All is well then until I hang a pice of mistletoe from the headjamb. Then out comes Jerry and his elves with the red tag. What a drag . . .

    Didn't your momma ever tell you not to leave your drawers open while standing on the stairs?

    Merry Christmas to my favorite guy to argue with,

    Aaron


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    Merry Christmas to my favorite guy to argue with,

    Aaron
    Now I'm feeling left out Aaron.

    Merry Christmas anyway.

    BTW-both you guys should be aware that the stairs in question is from an Australian site and the standards we use in this country do not apply. Cheers!


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Michael:

    Even though we seem to be diametrically opposed politically, I still like Wisconsin - it's the German in me I guess. So then, we'll have to agree to disagree only on some things.

    For now, I'm off to bake bread for this evening's feast. Carmelized and braided onion bread to go with the goose. Schweinebraten mit knoedel and weissbier sauce would be preferable, but I couldn't talk the cook into it this year. All, of course, low on calories and high on my list of things to eat.

    Merrry Christmas ,

    Aaron


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    So then, using your somewhat illegitimate form of logic,
    Sooooooo ... by your logic .... Circuits do not need to be AFCI protected until there is an arc ... Receptacles do not need to have GFCI protection until there is a ground fault ... Trusses do not need to be strapped down until there is a high wind event which is trying to raise the roof ... Heck, even stair risers can be difference height until someone goes to walk on them ...

    And you call *my* logic "illegitimate"?

    The code says "shall be", not "shall be with a drawer closed".

    Yeah, sounds like you need to have a Merry Christmas, maybe even need to hit the sauce a bit ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  24. #24
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Jerry:

    So the 3'-0" wide hallway is legit until someone leaves the bedroom door (or even cabinet door) open that swings into it? Then what?

    That same hallway was also code-compliant until Jerry pulled down the attic stairs to look for his stash that he hid somewhere up there. What then?

    We can do this for a very long time. And, I only called your logic illegitimate out of an over abundance of yuletide spirit. I don't really see any logic in it at all this time around.

    It seems that we drink different brands, my friend.

    Aaron


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    It seems that we drink different brands, my friend.
    Seems I'm drinking 'logic' and you're drinking 'tonic'?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Instead of drawers, why not have the treads hinge up to expose a storage space under. They also could be on a spring to only stay open when in use and would snap shut when done.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Instead of drawers, why not have the treads hinge up to expose a storage space under. They also could be on a spring to only stay open when in use and would snap shut when done.
    Jack:

    Those ideas and others would surely work, except of course in Florida.

    Aaron


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    So the 3'-0" wide hallway is legit until someone leaves the bedroom door (or even cabinet door) open that swings into it? Then what?
    Let's go to a code which addresses that (the IBC, not the IRC), that door is allowed to swing into the hallway and is not allowed to reduce the required width of the hallway by more than 50% during the doors swing, and is not allowed to reduce the required width of the hallway by more than 7" when fully open.

    I've caught those conditions on many projects and they are critical to egress from the structures. They are not in the IRC as dwelling units are dealing with a limited occupant load.

    However, when you go to stairs, the requirement is still "Stair tread depths shall be xx inches (xxx mm) minimum.", with no allowance for any intrusion into that space - the only thing which changed was the dimension for the minimum tread depth.

    As usual, you are trying to make fruit salad with vegetables. You should be trying to make V-8 juice.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Jerry:

    Substituting IBC for IRC is not comparing apples and apples either. More like apples and appleseeds. Amazing and amusing, but also nonsensical.

    You would make Houdini blush,

    Aaron


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    Jerry:

    Substituting IBC for IRC is not comparing apples and apples either. More like apples and appleseeds.
    More like comparing Red Delicious apples to Golden Delicious apples - both are good for snacking but have varying other qualities, however, while the Red Delicious apple is not good for baking, the Golden Delicious apple is.

    The IBC and IRC are both good for minimum building standards, with the IBC being more complete and spelled out as it covers more-than-just-the-home.

    The IBC brings with it a higher standard of safety, whereas the IRC allows the owner of the structure to imperil themselves (and family, friends, and guests) to a greater extent than allowed by the IBC. mostly because the IRC covers limited occupant loads and the IBC covers higher occupant loads.

    Thus, while the IRC simply states that the minimum width of the hallway is xx inches, it does not include any restriction for blocking that hallway with open doors (basing this on your example), whereas the more stringent IBC does include specific limitations for that.

    Taking that to the stair issue, the IRC does not specifically address exceptions to the tread depth for it being a part-time requirement, likewise, the IBC does not give any exception to the tread depth being a part-time requirement. Which shows that little tolerance is given to violating the minimum tread requirement.

    Some issues have stricter adherence to its requirements (such as stairs) than do other issues to its requirements (such as the doors in a hallway).

    I am comparing one type of apple to another type of apple. You are comparing fruits to vegetables.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Aaron...just give up. Even if you are right you will still be wrong. And believe it or not some of the regulars will support the wrong.

    But on the bright side the wrong is right most if the time!


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Aaron...just give up. Even if you are right you will still be wrong. And believe it or not some of the regulars will support the wrong.

    But on the bright side the wrong is right most if the time!
    To James:

    T-h-a-n-k-s. It does seem quite laborious and futile at times like this. East Coast Jerry, if the world would just permit it, would set up shop on the moon as the Oracle of the Orbs; ever watchful that we do nothing here on earth that is not by his behest.

    Logical thinking and reason, or at least what's left of them, would forever cease to exist. We would all be blissfully awash in the light of his omniscience and omnipotence.

    We, the ignorant, unwashed and undeserving would set about building little FEMA trailer shrines in his honor. During lunar eclipses we would all prostrate ourselves in fear that our civilization as we know it might come to an abrupt end without his divine and unerring guidance.

    At each full moon the entire population of the Earth would come together in a joyous celebration of exaltation of the one, the only, the true:

    Almighty Holy Jerry!

    Praise Him!

    OK, maybe not . . .


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Aaron, (and possibly James?)

    HIs should, in my opinion, look at more than just 'first glance' (as Rick C. said not to long ago "see beyond the obvious").

    There are only two small differences between the obvious and oblivious ... the "li" ... maybe the obvious makes one oblivious to the rest?

    Aaron, your post was spoken with your usual attitude of that is what you expect the rest of us to do ... oh so sorry that I don't kneel down before you, your highness, maybe that brings you down to earth now and then? ... Nah, just seems to make you mad.

    Aaron Has Jurisdiction!

    His Word is Final ... and Off With Your Head if you disagree!

    Yeah, right.

    Oh well ... His Holy Hiney can dream.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  34. #34
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Jerry:

    The Oracle has spoken!

    Amen,

    Aaron


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    The Oracle has spoken!

    Amen,

    Aaron
    You are now the Oracle too? Wow! Hot diggity-dang! May I, please may I, cross your path?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  36. #36
    Richard Hamann's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Given the potential structural, code, safety, and cost issues presented to balance the increased storage and novelty aspects of the project, the final success of this venture will rest on another factor constant. Enclosed stairways are notorious dust and dirt catchers. Any crack or opening at the base of the risers, or around the drawer faces will allow dust an entry point. We have all seen these residual effects under stairways. Depending on environmental conditions, and what is stored, I would predict it's use / acceptability due to dust, to diminish within a year, and sooner if multiple pets and children are present.

    Richard Hamann
    S & R Inspections
    Brookfield, Wisconsin.


  37. #37
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    It's probably unwise to step into the middle of this, but what the heck. I'm fairly new on the board so chalk it up to being new.

    My experience with code issues is that it is sometimes necessary to go beyond the words on the page and interpret the intent. In this case you can't guarantee that the drawers will always shut completely. Springs in self-closing drawers can break. The drawer guides can become misaligned. Objects can get stuck in the drawer and cause it remain open, even if only a little. Any user error or mechanical failure would cause the stairs not to comply with the IRC or IBC.

    Components should comply with the code in effect when they were installed not only when the building inspector is there but also during the entire life of the component. Because you can't guarantee compliance over the life of the component, I don't see how this stairway could comply with the IRC.

    Bruce Barker
    Dream Home Consultants


  38. #38
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Barker View Post
    It's probably unwise to step into the middle of this, but what the heck. I'm fairly new on the board so chalk it up to being new.
    No problem, that's how we all started ... as new to the board and voicing what we think.

    My experience with code issues is that it is sometimes necessary to go beyond the words on the page and interpret the intent. In this case you can't guarantee that the drawers will always shut completely. Springs in self-closing drawers can break. The drawer guides can become misaligned. Objects can get stuck in the drawer and cause it remain open, even if only a little. Any user error or mechanical failure would cause the stairs not to comply with the IRC or IBC.

    Components should comply with the code in effect when they were installed not only when the building inspector is there but also during the entire life of the component. Because you can't guarantee compliance over the life of the component, I don't see how this stairway could comply with the IRC.

    Bruce Barker
    Dream Home Consultants
    I am in total agreement (which sounded better than saying "my sentiments exactly").

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  39. #39
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Bruce:

    Using your "reasoning" I assume these statements would also be true:

    The self-closing mechanism on the door from the garage to the main house could malfunction, so the door must indeed be eliminated. If you want to go into the house, simply walk around to the front or rear doors.

    The self-closing mechanism on the fold-down attic stair unit could go on the fritz, so the door must be eliminated in order to save on Advil for the resulting headaches.

    I could go on, but what's the use? I do agree with the idea that the drawers-in-the-risers installation is potentially unsafe. I do not agree that it is not code-compliant.

    "Looking beyond" the code enters into the twilight zone realm of subjectivity that the development of a prescriptive model code was intended to avoid.

    Aaron


  40. #40
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    I do agree with the idea that the drawers-in-the-risers installation is potentially unsafe.
    At least we agree on that.

    I do not agree that it is not code-compliant.
    Don't know why you think they are code-compliant. Would you state 'why' you think they are.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  41. #41
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    Exclamation Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Is this a stairway, or a built-in dresser? Should we hang laundry from our ladder rungs? Heat the house using the oven! Dehumidify using the furnace! Use the microwave to dry our clothes! Wash the children in the washing machine!

    For some reason, this vision keeps coming to mind of a dysfunctional stair way drawer glider that keeps wanting to pop the drawer out when the step above has pressure applied. Would that be a one-way stair?



    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
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  42. #42
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Aldering View Post
    Is this a stairway, or a built-in dresser? Should we hang laundry from our ladder rungs? Heat the house using the oven! Dehumidify using the furnace! Use the microwave to dry our clothes! Wash the children in the washing machine!

    For some reason, this vision keeps coming to mind of a dysfunctional stair way drawer glider that keeps wanting to pop the drawer out when the step above has pressure applied. Would that be a one-way stair?

    Randy:

    Under certain circumstances perhaps some of your examples might be valid. You necessarily dehumidify the house by using the furnace whether intentionally or not. I have heated my house with the oven when the gas service was abruptly halted due to repairs of the mains. I don't have children, but I've met some that a good spin in the Maytag might improve.

    If something is not specifically proscribed by the code, then it is literally allowed. Whether you think it is a grand idea or not, it is still acceptable. I salute the imagination and skill of the one who built the stairs, but am just too lazy to build my own.

    Aaron


  43. #43
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cary, North Carolina
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    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Aaron,

    I'm not sure how to respond to your examples except to say that extending a concept to an extreme outcome is usually not a valid way to discuss a topic.

    Regarding interpreting code provisions, realistically, all regulations are subject to interpretation. Government inspectors do it all the time. In fact, if you read the IRC, you will find that the AHJ may interpret or even disregard any code provision.

    The primary objective of building codes is the health and safety of the building's occupants. Given this objective, if one were to err in an interpretation it would be better to err on the side of safety. I wouldn't want to be the inspector who passed the subject stairway and have someone fall and be seriously injured or killed because a drawer was left open. Would you? When analyzing or interpreting code provisions, that's the question you should ask yourself.

    Bruce Barker
    Dream Home Consultants


  44. #44
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Bruce:

    It's New Year's Eve, my friend. Put on a funny hat and do whatever all of the other folks will be doing this evening - celebrate.

    We'll have the serious side of this discussion another time,


    Aaron


  45. #45
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    25,315

    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Barker View Post
    In fact, if you read the IRC, you will find that the AHJ may interpret or even disregard any code provision.
    Bruce,

    While that is the typical assumption, it is also an incorrect assumption.

    From the 2006 IRC (and older editions as well). (bold and underlining are mine)
    - SECTION R104
    - - DUTIES AND POWERS OF THE BUILDING OFFICIAL
    - - - R104.1 General.
    The building official is hereby authorized and directed to enforce the provisions of this code. The building official shall have the authority to render interpretations of this code and to adopt policies and procedures in order to clarify the application of its provisions. Such interpretations, policies and procedures shall be in conformance with the intent and purpose of this code. Such policies and procedures shall not have the effect of waiving requirements specifically provided for in this code.



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

  46. #46
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    25,315

    Default Re: Stairs converted into drawers

    From: Harrington, Greg [mailto:gharrington@NFPA.org]
    Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2008 11:51 AM
    To: JerryPeck@cfl.rr.com
    Cc: MacKay, Linda
    Subject: RE: question regarding drawers in risers of stairs


    Stairs are regulated by NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, 2006 edition. The arrangement you describe is not specifically addressed by the Code; however, I believe the Code intends to prohibit such arrangement due to the potential interference of the drawer with the use of the stair as a means of escape within a dwelling. The drawers would be prohibited in means of egress stairs because exits can be used for no other purpose, including storage.

    Please note the authority having jurisdiction determines compliance with the Code.

    This response does not represent a Formal Interpretation as noted below.

    Gregory Harrington, P.E.
    Principal Fire Protection Engineer
    NFPA - Quincy, MA USA

    IMPORTANT NOTICE: This correspondence is not a Formal Interpretation issued pursuant to NFPA Regulations. Any opinion expressed is the personal opinion of the author, and does not necessarily represent the official position of the NFPA or its Technical Committees. In addition, this correspondence is neither intended, nor should be relied upon, to provide professional consultation or services.

    NFPA Membership keeps you Up-To-Date!
    Visit www.nfpa.org/join for more information or call 1-800-344-3555.



    From: Maynard, Mary
    Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2008 9:08 AM
    To: LifeSafety-Building Code
    Subject: FW: question regarding drawers in risers of stairs





    From: Jerry Peck [mailto:JerryPeck@cfl.rr.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, January 01, 2008 4:47 PM
    To: Maynard, Mary
    Subject: question regarding drawers in risers of stairs

    Some other inspectors and myself have been discussing whether or not stairs with drawers for risers would be 'code compliant' or not.



    An example of this can be seen at http://unclutterer.com/2007/06/01/under-stairs-storage-brilliant/



    I am saying that this would not be 'code compliant' for a number of reasons, most others agree, a few disagree and say it would be 'code compliant'.



    What would the NFPA's intent be on having drawers in stair risers? Nothing official is required, this is an educational discussion trying to seek the code language and intent which would allow/disallow this.



    Thank you,



    Jerry Peck

    Building Consultant

    NFPA member

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

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