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  1. #1
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    Default Tread trip hazard

    This has been discussed several times in the past, and (as I recall) some have questioned the validity of writing it up.

    Raised nosings at the treads.

    This was at our daughters house, I pointed it out to the home inspector I had go out there with me, he was already questioning it. It was in the report, I pointed it out her too - our daughter said 'it is okay' (because they really wanted the house), they closed on the house on Thursday, and Thursday afternoon after they closed, they went to the house, and ... she fell down the stairs because she tripped over that raised nosing ...

    I am posting this so that all recognize that those raised nosing at stair treads is a REAL TRIP HAZARD.

    My list of things (many things) to fix now has a new item - remove those raised nosings and the wood tread cover, find what is below it (I am guessing at painted stairs or some reason that was cosmetic as these stairs not only lead to the basement, but half of the basement is finished and these stairs are part of what makes that finished basement area 'part of the house'.

    When you see those raised tread nosings - write them up!

    Other than a twisted and bruised ankle, she is okay, but the fall down the stairs could have ended with a worse result (most falls down stairs end with greater injuries than that).

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tread trip hazard

    Jerry,

    I see those a lot and have been concerned about them. I have not been able to find any code violation. As long as the riser/tread tolerance is within 3/8", I believe it is ok by the book. However, I agree with you and try to put them in my report every time.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tread trip hazard

    suspended ceiling wall angle or edge molding comes in a number of colors & finishes & has a much lower and narrower profile
    made "the Bride" happy
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tread trip hazard

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Jerry,

    I see those a lot and have been concerned about them. I have not been able to find any code violation. As long as the riser/tread tolerance is within 3/8", I believe it is ok by the book. However, I agree with you and try to put them in my report every time.
    Gunnar,

    Put your level on the stair tread, the inboard end at the bottom corner of the riser/tread joint, with the level resting on that raised nosing, then read/determine the slope - it must meet this:

    From the IRC:
    - R311.7.7 Stairway walking surface. - - The walking surface of treads and landings of stairways shall be sloped not steeper than one unit vertical in 48 inches horizontal (2-percent slope).

    That slope won't meet the above.

    Here is an easy math way without a level:
    - "one unit vertical in 48 inches horizontal" equals 1/4 inch per foot
    - a 13-1/2 inch deep tread (leaving ~1 foot between the riser and the inside of the nosing - when have you ever seen a 13-1/2 inch deep tread) with only a 1/4 inch high trip edge, equals 1/4 inch per foot
    - now to get more realistic with a 10 inch tread ... any depth less than 12 inches from the riser to that the inside edge of that raised nosing ... and the slope gets steeper with each fraction of an inch less than 12 inches
    - now do that with a 9 inch tread of an older stair ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tread trip hazard

    Glad to hear the kid is in one piece.
    Usual story of someone thinking its no big deal until something happens. Just the way it goes.
    We don't need no stinking handrail along the stairs either.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tread trip hazard

    Lucky she didnt break her neck. Question Jerry, how come you didnt go over and eliminate the hazard for her after they closed on the house? It might have been intruding, but when it comes to safety and loved ones, I intrude.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tread trip hazard

    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Chambers View Post
    Question Jerry, how come you didnt go over and eliminate the hazard for her after they closed on the house? It might have been intruding, but when it comes to safety and loved ones, I intrude.
    Because she didn't want me to.

    And she still doesn't.

    I reminded her that two people pointed out that trip hazard ("those" trip hazards as it is every step and the landing) - one person pointed it out on the report (the inspector) and one person told her (me) - and then she tripped and fell ...

    That's all that I can do until she says otherwise.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tread trip hazard

    I was raised up without a dad. Had I had a dad at all, let alone a dad with the knowlege and common sense that you have, I would have listened to his advice, and acted on it. Makes you scratch your head wondering what the heck they were thinking.

    I appreciate yoir advice and will be aware of this and write it up as a saftey hazard whenever I see it. Thanks Jerry.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tread trip hazard

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    From the IRC:
    - R311.7.7 Stairway walking surface. - - The walking surface of treads and landings of stairways shall be sloped not steeper than one unit vertical in 48 inches horizontal (2-percent slope).
    Thanks for that Jerry. I completely forgot about the slope. Now that I think of it, I have probably seen exterior steps that exceed that maximum slope.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Tread trip hazard

    If these are steps/stairs.
    R311.7.5.3 Profile
    The radius of curvature at the (leading edge) of the tread shall be no greater than 9/16 inch (14.3 mm). A nosing not less than 3/4 inch (19 mm) but not more than 1 1/4 inches (32 mm) shall be provided on stairways with solid risers. The greatest nosing projection shall not exceed the smallest nosing projection by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) between two stories, including the nosing at the level of floors and landings. Beveling of nosing shall not exceed 1/2 inch (12.7 mm). Risers shall be vertical or sloped from the underside of the leading edge of the tread above at an angle not more than 30 degrees (0.51 rad) from the vertical. Open risers are permitted, provided that the opening between treads does not permit the passage of a 4-inch diameter (102 mm) sphere.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Tread trip hazard

    Robert,

    You posted that to say that it does allow raised trip hazard nosings?

    Or that it does not allow them?

    A code section of, and by itself, doesn't tell us much.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Tread trip hazard

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Robert,

    You posted that to say that it does allow raised trip hazard nosings?

    Or that it does not allow them?

    A code section of, and by itself, doesn't tell us much.
    You are right. I wanted to get it out there before I got called away. Sorry.

    I feel, rightly or wrongly, this post falls within maximum height of interior threshold transitions or door saddles. I believe it is 1/2"

    Jerry, Is this a step, a landing or flooring elevation change? Is there a door or egress in its path?

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Tread trip hazard

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    I feel, rightly or wrongly, this post falls within maximum height of interior threshold transitions or door saddles. I believe it is 1/2"
    Wrongly.

    Stairs are completely different animals and have their own very detailed code section.

    They are not thresholds.

    There are occasions where there is a threshold at the top of a stair where an exterior doors does not swing over the stair.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Tread trip hazard

    Robert,

    To answer your other questions:

    From my original post:

    Raised nosings at the treads.


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Tread trip hazard

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Robert,

    To answer your other questions:

    From my original post:
    Sorry, I see the 2 steps down. Originally I thought there was one one step down.

    Unnecessary additional level to a tread platform.

    I can see how a foot would feel uncomfortable landing on the tread or how the heel of a shoe could get restricted at the raised right angle as you traverse down the steps. Specially older or impaired individuals.

    Thanks for the post. Never seen this before.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
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