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  1. #1
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    Default CODE COMPLYING ???

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    Jerry McCarthy
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    wayne soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    That's a good one Jerry,
    I think that IF there was an auto closing device with a catch to prevent accidental opening it May be safe.
    But I would have to say against code or should be. yet I have never seen it addressed.


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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    So what's the verdict?
    I found one of those hidden compartments a few months back. The couple that owned the home were from Holland and they had them installed because they said that is how they were at home. Use all wasted space.

    I did not say a word about them other than they were unique and that the owners needed to make sure they were kept closed so as not to be a hazard. Actually the ones I found closed as soon as you took your hand off of them. They had piston like device that closed them after you took the pressure off.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Safety Hazards :

    Closed Drawer Pulls Extends beyond Stairway Nosing on Right Side and Poses a Trip Hazard.
    .

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  5. #5
    John Kogel's Avatar
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Handy for slip-ons, NFG for lace-up boots.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    So what's the verdict?
    Another stupid architect ... or just a crazy homeowner.

    Does not matter that it may end up flush like a riser, or that it self closes, or that there may not be any handle or pull projecting out beyond the riser, ... the simple fact is that *IT COULD* become a problem for any number of reasons ... and that *USING IT* creates an obstacle in the stairway .. and that --- I could go on and on, but there is no need to.

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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Didn't we have this same photo last year, or am I in some deja vu thing?

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

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    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    Didn't we have this same photo last year, or am I in some deja vu thing?
    Could be the same or another one similar to it.

    I've seen a couple of variations on it circulating around the internet from some geniuses who are missing the genes ... maybe they are planning for the Ultimate Darwin Award - Posthumously.

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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Are we having fun...... yet?

    Jerry McCarthy
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Yep, Kevin Luce posted this link with the same photo in Dec of 07.

    Stairs converted into drawers

    I am not losing my mind, after all. Some may argue.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  11. #11
    Chuck Weaver's Avatar
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    It probably does not meet code anywhere but, hey, I like it.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    This one has been floating around recently:


    Found here:
    The Best Bookcases and Bookcase Designs | WebUrbanist


  13. #13
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    1st pic -- handrail not returned to wall and not graspable.


  14. #14
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Maybe not code compliant, but a damned good use of otherwise wasted space.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    I was waiting for somebody to notice that funky handrail.

    Jerry McCarthy
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  16. #16
    Vern Heiler's Avatar
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    But there is a pillow at the bottom of the stair to cushion the fall!


  17. #17
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Great Pic...


    When I looked at... my eyes went from the drawer to the "coat catching, non-graspable" rail.

    The risers... well, the fact that they are open without an object keeping them open, I don't like it. They should self close..

    I suppose, if the riser-drawers had a self closing mech like many drawers do, I'm not sure where it would be a defect.


    The rail is


  18. #18
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Spargo View Post
    The risers... well, the fact that they are open without an object keeping them open, I don't like it. They should self close..

    I suppose, if the riser-drawers had a self closing mech like many drawers do, I'm not sure where it would be a defect.
    ... and you would trust your wife's life, who is carrying your baby/grandchild, and coming down those stairs to those self closing drawers?

    Not me!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  19. #19
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  20. #20
    William Corbett's Avatar
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    There could be a multitude of reasons drawers built in stairs could be a hazzard but the national codes do not address this. The only thing I would suggest is go by the code for depth and hieght.

    This is the National Code and may change with your state or county.

    R311.5.3.1 Riser height.
    The maximum riser height shall be 73⁄4 inches
    (196 mm). The riser shall be measured vertically
    between leading edges of the adjacent treads.
    The greatest riser height within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3⁄8 inch (9.5 mm).


    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 treadís
    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).

    Hope this helps!


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    So what's the verdict?



  21. #21
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    I realize the question was about code compliance but this seems like a perfect example of when we get to use common sense and not worry about the code. (I think it's a stretch to say that this a code violation, though it is a safety issue). It's easy enough to understand that even self closing drawers could be left or stuck open and therefore at risk of breaking one's neck.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Just so we are clear about this stair; its about as code complient as a sleeping room within the foundation crawl space, unless you're a rodent.

    Now can we move on?

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  23. #23
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Once upon a time that would be considered and still is considered by some a great use of space. Whether it is code compliant or not only depends on an inspector finding it and writing it up. As far as practical use for folks in a smaller home that is getting every square in of storage as possible...good fore them.

    As far as the wife carrying the baby...she knows the drawers are there and to use caution. In all reality it is about 99.999 percent as safe as walking down any stair with a baby. Those are the most cauious times. I know of no one (but I am sure there are) anyone that would fly up and down the stairs with a baby.

    I find many a strange stairway interesting and would have many "unsafe" stairs in my home. Imagine having stairs in your home that have a space a 4 3/8 inch ball could fit thru.... Oh my. A set of open spiral stairs leading to a loft.... Oh my.

    Now, would I write them up.....Yep.

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Quote Originally Posted by William Corbett View Post
    There could be a multitude of reasons drawers built in stairs could be a hazzard but the national codes do not address this.
    The national codes DO address that.

    The tread and riser dimensions are under ALL conditions, and in a fixed tread/fixed riser stairs, the conditions are unchanging, but with drawers, the conditions are subject change, and the tread and riser dimension must be met under ALL conditions of change (i.e., drawers out 1/2", drawers out 1", drawers out 6", etc.) - if the drawer is out AT ALL, then the dimensions change, and then the stair no longer meets code.

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  25. #25
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    As far as the wife carrying the baby...she knows the drawers are there and to use caution.

    Accidents are unintentional and unexpected events which happen without one knowingly do (whatever) ... thus, no matter how much caution one exercises ... accidents DO happen, so I repeat:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck
    would trust your wife's life, who is carrying your baby/grandchild, and coming down those stairs to those self closing drawers?

    Not me!


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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    ... and you would trust your wife's life, who is carrying your baby/grandchild, and coming down those stairs to those self closing drawers?

    Not me!
    I would.

    I know that nothing is fool-proof as they seem to keep breeding and developing even better fools, but it is not possible to protect against all possibilities.

    Loose carpets, loose handrails, heck, loose steps and risers; any number of maintenance deficits could lead to a stairway that could allow someone to hurt themselves. As could that little toy car left on the stairs after Billy was called to dinner.

    How far do we take the safety issues? Handails on both sides? Must be wearing sturdy footwear? Carry things in a backpack to ensure both hands are free in case of a fall? No shag carpeting that hides the true profile of the treads and risers?

    Would I write it up? I explain the need for smoke detector replacement, the correct orientation of the furnace filter, and where the shut-offs are. This is just one more thing in the home that may need some explanation.

    Egbert Jager
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Egbert Jager View Post
    I would.

    I know that nothing is fool-proof as they seem to keep breeding and developing even better fools, but it is not possible to protect against all possibilities.
    There is a very distinct and rather broad difference between "possibilities" and "probabilities", and those stairs are "probabilities" in that one PROBABLY WILL have an accident on those stairs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Egbert Jager View Post
    I would.
    I pity your wife and kids or grandchildren, being willing to expose them to something that PROBABLY WILL happen is not my idea of how to protect my family, but then, I think my family is worth protecting from things like that ...

    I think the difference can be explained this way:
    - possibility: carrying a closed pocket knife in your pocket - it "possibly" could come part way open and cut you
    - probability: carrying an open pocket knife in your pocket with the blade sticking out - it "probably" will cut you

    or

    - possibility: walking on the sidewalk, it is "possible" that a car could run you down
    - probability: walking in the middle of a lane on a busy street, it is "probable" that a car will run you down

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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The national codes DO address that.

    The tread and riser dimensions are under ALL conditions, and in a fixed tread/fixed riser stairs, the conditions are unchanging, but with drawers, the conditions are subject change, and the tread and riser dimension must be met under ALL conditions of change (i.e., drawers out 1/2", drawers out 1", drawers out 6", etc.) - if the drawer is out AT ALL, then the dimensions change, and then the stair no longer meets code.

    Jerry, thats good reasoning.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    There is a very distinct and rather broad difference between "possibilities" and "probabilities", and those stairs are "probabilities" in that one PROBABLY WILL have an accident on those stairs.

    I agree with your logic that possibilities and probabilities are different, even liked having it pointed out. But I disagree that good qualilty, well maintained, self-closing drawers are probably going to lead to an accident.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The national codes DO address that.

    The tread and riser dimensions are under ALL conditions, and in a fixed tread/fixed riser stairs, the conditions are unchanging, but with drawers, the conditions are subject change, and the tread and riser dimension must be met under ALL conditions of change (i.e., drawers out 1/2", drawers out 1", drawers out 6", etc.) - if the drawer is out AT ALL, then the dimensions change, and then the stair no longer meets code.
    Just for the fun of argument..... the tread is still there and it is still the same dimension. It has just been temporarily covered by the drawer that will retract as soon as I get my boots out.

    Last edited by Egbert Jager; 01-21-2011 at 11:23 AM. Reason: inbcluded missing /quote tag
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Egbert Jager View Post
    Just for the fun of argument..... the tread is still there and it is still the same dimension. It has just been temporarily covered by the drawer ..
    And, with the drawer out at all, the tread is not the same.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 01-21-2011 at 07:53 PM. Reason: Man, I don't know what happened to that spelling, I'll blame it on my netbook computer I was using
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  31. #31
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Would it be considered usable space under a stairway?


  32. #32
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    If you have to have drawers under your stairs, make them so they pull out from the side instead of the front. Sheesh.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  33. #33
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    interpretation,interpretation,interpretation... an open front door covering the landing at the staircase base renders the landing unuseable not to mention the safety factor of wlking into a door!


  34. #34
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Final comment on those stairs.
    (see below)

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  35. #35
    Joao Vieira's Avatar
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    I love this idea!!!!!
    Don't care much about code in this matter. Its makes sense to me that some people that have space problems, say at a town house even though that town houses normally use the space well, would do this. I would install a soft spring on each drawer so that the drawers would be always in closed position.

    If one of you would come to my house and tell me that this was not up to code, I would pull my water cannon from the toy box and would squirt you with pink lemonade .


  36. #36
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    And there in I find the reason why this country has lost it's standing as a world leader in innovation. If there is even a remote chance of danger and potential litigation it must be avoided even if there are reasonable safeguards in place. So, if someone was to design a mobile apparatus to carry humans from one place to another that would have a storage vessel containing roughly 20 gallons of a highly flammable and explosive material in a rear compartment we would never entertain the idea because of the eminent danger and certain litigation if something went wrong.


  37. #37
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Brody View Post
    And there in I find the reason why this country has lost it's standing as a world leader in innovation. If there is even a remote chance of danger and potential litigation it must be avoided even if there are reasonable safeguards in place. So, if someone was to design a mobile apparatus to carry humans from one place to another that would have a storage vessel containing roughly 20 gallons of a highly flammable and explosive material in a rear compartment we would never entertain the idea because of the eminent danger and certain litigation if something went wrong.
    And while we are at it, with all the reasons why it unsafe listed in previous posts, lets discuss looking at the stairs while you go down and up. Oh, I'm sorry, society has to protect everyone.

    Here's the solution---Get OSHA involved! Then we will have automatic gates at the top and bottom that will prevent someone going up and down while the drawer is open. Maybe lights too!

    Seriously, I think this is a great idea. Just because we haven't seen it here doesn't mean that we should quote reasons why it should not be here. So long as the drawer closes all the way when released, as it apparently does in Europe, and the specifications and profile stair treads are maintained, there should be no problem.

    Some of the reasons quoted make me laugh, the only thing left out was a lighting strike.

    Phil---I agree with you.


  38. #38
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Yaah,, people hurt themselves all the time on stairs with or without draws. My wife works for the Medical examiner office and they have had a number of deaths possibly attributed to stairs. No more stairs ! Either build the house with an elevator or it must be a single story ranch. And the government still allows death sticks and even taxes them isn't that aiding and albieting ? I'm so glad I live in a free country, where I can say whatever I want.......


  39. #39
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Goeken View Post
    And while we are at it, with all the reasons why it unsafe listed in previous posts, lets discuss looking at the stairs while you go down and up. Oh, I'm sorry, society has to protect everyone.

    Here's the solution---Get OSHA involved! Then we will have automatic gates at the top and bottom that will prevent someone going up and down while the drawer is open. Maybe lights too!

    Seriously, I think this is a great idea. Just because we haven't seen it here doesn't mean that we should quote reasons why it should not be here. So long as the drawer closes all the way when released, as it apparently does in Europe, and the specifications and profile stair treads are maintained, there should be no problem.

    Some of the reasons quoted make me laugh, the only thing left out was a lighting strike.

    Phil---I agree with you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Brody View Post
    Yaah,, people hurt themselves all the time on stairs with or without draws. My wife works for the Medical examiner office and they have had a number of deaths possibly attributed to stairs. No more stairs ! Either build the house with an elevator or it must be a single story ranch. And the government still allows death sticks and even taxes them isn't that aiding and albieting ? I'm so glad I live in a free country, where I can say whatever I want.......
    I like your thinking, so, in that same thinking, let's remove all of the center lines on all of the streets, roads, and highways, after all ... we all know that everyone knows how to drive in their own lanes ... ... and remove the safeties from guns ... and ...

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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I think the difference can be explained this way:
    - possibility: carrying a closed pocket knife in your pocket - it "possibly" could come part way open and cut you
    - probability: carrying an open pocket knife in your pocket with the blade sticking out - it "probably" will cut you

    or

    - possibility: walking on the sidewalk, it is "possible" that a car could run you down
    - probability: walking in the middle of a lane on a busy street, it is "probable" that a car will run you down
    haha

    So by your reasoning what at what p does things go from possiblity to probability (5%, 10%....95%?)

    I would argue possiblity and probability are the same thing!

    possibility = there is a chance (p > 0)
    probabilty = there is a chance (p > 0)

    ...a probability of 0.0000001 means there still is a chance/possibility of an occurance. Just basic stats.


    Or another way to see it: Three is a possiblity that one could get struck by lighting today and the probability of that occurance is 1 in 13 million.


  41. #41
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    Default Re: CODE COMPLYING ???

    Quote Originally Posted by champainspectionnews View Post
    haha

    So by your reasoning what at what p does things go from possibility to probability (5%, 10%....95%?)

    I would argue possibility and probability are the same thing!

    possibility = there is a chance (p > 0)
    probability = there is a chance (p > 0)

    ...a probability of 0.0000001 means there still is a chance/possibility of an occurance. Just basic stats.


    Or another way to see it: Three is a possiblity that one could get struck by lighting today and the probability of that occurance is 1 in 13 million.
    A funny man there ... haha ...

    If something is probable, then it is likely, and if it is likely, then there is a good chance that it will happen, which means that the probability of it happening is great, much greater than 0.0000000001 probability.

    On the other hand, if there is a probability of 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 or greater, then it is possible.





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