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  1. #1
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    Default deck stair landing

    Can this segment from the 2006 IRC be applied to landings at the bottom of deck stairs on the exterior? I'm talking about deck stairs that just end in the lawn instead of having a small slab or some other landing.

    R311.5.4 Landings for stairways.
    There shall be a floor or landing at the top and bottom of each stairway.

    If this rule applies, what is the reasoning behind it? What would the common sense explanation be? Forget the code language, but why is it good to have such a landing?

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  2. #2

    Default Re: deck stair landing

    I say yes.
    The reason for the landing area is to not trip when stepping off of the stairs which is a common tripping point.

    I don't get too picky on it and just make sure there is a smooth transition at the base of the steps. I don't really base this on code, but on common sense......


  3. #3
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    Default Re: deck stair landing

    I make a stink when the landing zone has hazards. If it is a relatively level field of grass at bottom of deck stairs, no comment.

    1st pic has gravel, wood retaining wall and grass. Gravel is 2-4 inches lower than wood wall. Grass is 4-6 inches lower than wood wall. Not only that but the overall grade of the landing zone slopes up as you move away from the stairs. So the ground gets closer which confuses your gait.

    2nd pic has a sprinkler head 1 foot from stair riser, 1 foot away from wall. Sprinkler head was loose and would wobble 360 degrees if stepped upon. Sprinkler head was dark so difficult to see in the grass. Perfect recipie for a twisted ankle and fall against the house.

    Both of these constitute trip and fall hazards. Twisted ankles, fall against house and bump head, etc. Logic is you need a safe stable area from which to launch into the wilds of the backyard.

    If you are carrying anything, you cannot see the landing area. If it is unlevel or contains trip hazards, you are going to fall and get an owie or a boo-boo.

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  4. #4
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: deck stair landing

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    I make a stink when the landing zone has hazards. If it is a relatively level field of grass at bottom of deck stairs, no comment.

    1st pic has gravel, wood retaining wall and grass. Gravel is 2-4 inches lower than wood wall. Grass is 4-6 inches lower than wood wall. Not only that but the overall grade of the landing zone slopes up as you move away from the stairs. So the ground gets closer which confuses your gait.

    2nd pic has a sprinkler head 1 foot from stair riser, 1 foot away from wall. Sprinkler head was loose and would wobble 360 degrees if stepped upon. Sprinkler head was dark so difficult to see in the grass. Perfect recipe for a twisted ankle and fall against the house.

    Both of these constitute trip and fall hazards. Twisted ankles, fall against house and bump head, etc. Logic is you need a safe stable area from which to launch into the wilds of the backyard.

    If you are carrying anything, you cannot see the landing area. If it is unlevel or contains trip hazards, you are going to fall and get an owie or a boo-boo.
    The first pic gives you the decision to either walk on gravel or grass. The second and third gives you the opportunity to either rinse your shoes in a puddle or spray them off with the sprinkler.

    Can't see any complaint there

    Convenience


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: deck stair landing

    Mabey that's a doggie douche to give a quick rinse before going back in the house. Must be a french Homeowner


  6. #6
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: deck stair landing

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    Mabey that's a doggie douche to give a quick rinse before going back in the house. Must be a french Homeowner
    My goodness I think you are right.

    Thats why I don't have animals anymore. I don't have sprinklers.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: deck stair landing

    Ted, you overlooked the opportunity to practice your balance beam rountine on the wood retaining wall with buit in steps to further increase the difficulty of your routine.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: deck stair landing

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    Can this segment from the 2006 IRC be applied to landings at the bottom of deck stairs on the exterior? I'm talking about deck stairs that just end in the lawn instead of having a small slab or some other landing.

    R311.5.4 Landings for stairways.
    There shall be a floor or landing at the top and bottom of each stairway.
    Yes, that applies.

    However, define "landing". The ground, if suitable, "could be used as" a "landing".

    Note that there is a specific exception for ""an interior flight of stairs", which indicates that this section applies to both "interior" and "exterior" stairs, and, it in fact applies to *all* stairs.

    - R311.5.4 Landings for stairways. There shall be a floor or landing at the top and bottom of each stairway.
    - - Exception: A floor or landing is not required at the top of an interior flight of stairs, including stairs in an enclosed garage, provided a door does not swing over the stairs.
    - - A flight of stairs shall not have a vertical rise larger than 12 feet (3658 mm) between floor levels or landings.
    - - The width of each landing shall not be less than the width of the stairway served. Every landing shall have a minimum dimension of 36 inches (914 mm) measured in the direction of travel.

    If this rule applies, what is the reasoning behind it? What would the common sense explanation be? Forget the code language, but why is it good to have such a landing?
    As stated by others above, you need a good stable surface to transition from when entering or leaving a stair.

    Note that here is an allowance for sloping stair (and landing) surfaces.
    - R311.5.5 Stairway walking surface. The walking surface of treads and landings of stairways shall be sloped no steeper than one unit vertical in 48 inches horizontal (2-percent slope).


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