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  1. #1
    Ali Techra's Avatar
    Ali Techra Guest

    Default Height Difference from Exterior Threshold to Landing

    Hello everyone,

    I am building a brick step and landing for my side door and looking for some assistance with the height between the door threshold and the landing. Here are the specs:

    • The steps to the landing will be 12" deep (bull nose brick) and 8" high - same as recent contractor did on my front stoop.
    • The steps will be on the front and left side (not the right due to the proximity to the fence
    • The landing will be 72" wide by 43" deep (door is 30")
    When I measured originally, the ground was 17" to the bottom of the door threshold so I figured the 16" of steps (8" x 2) would be fine. As I got to digging the footing I noticed that the ground was pitched pretty severly. Therefore I lowered the forms approximately 4" to make them all and even distance from the threshold (pitching 1/8" per foot for drainage).

    So my question is this, how far down can I have the landing from the door threshold? I really wanted to bring it right up to the bottom but it does not appear that I can do that. I think this is ok after reading another post:

    - R311.4.3 Landings at doors. There shall be a floor or landing on each side of each exterior door. The floor or landing at the exterior door shall not be more than 1.5 inches (38 mm) lower than the top of the threshold. The landing shall be permitted to have a slope not to exceed 0.25 unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (2-percent).
    - - Exceptions:
    - - - 1. Where a stairway of two or fewer risers is located on the exterior side of a door, other than the required exit door, a landing is not required for the exterior side of the door provided the door, other than an exterior storm or screen door does not swing over the stairway.
    - - - 2. The exterior landing at an exterior doorway shall not be more than 73/4 inches (196 mm) below the top of the threshold, provided the door, other than an exterior storm or screen door does not swing over the landing.
    - - - 3. The height of floors at exterior doors other than the exit door required by Section R311.4.1 shall not be more than 73/4 inches (186 mm) lower than the top of the threshold.
    - - The width of each landing shall not be less than the door
    served. Every landing shall have a minimum dimension of
    36 inches (914 mm) measured in the direction of travel







    As it is now there will be about a 6" - 7" drop from the threshold to the landing. The entry door swings in, the storm door swings out.

    Here is a crude mock up that helps to illustrate the situation (included the link because it does not seem to be posting the picture):

    http://i898.photobucket.com/albums/a...dimensions.jpg



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  2. #2
    Stephen G's Avatar
    Stephen G Guest

    Default Re: Height Difference from Exterior Threshold to Landing

    Hey hey, what program are you using for your dimension lines??? Interested.

    Steve

    Quote Originally Posted by Ali Techra View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I am building a brick step and landing for my side door and looking for some assistance with the height between the door threshold and the landing. Here are the specs:

    • The steps to the landing will be 12" deep (bull nose brick) and 8" high - same as recent contractor did on my front stoop.
    • The steps will be on the front and left side (not the right due to the proximity to the fence
    • The landing will be 72" wide by 43" deep (door is 30")
    When I measured originally, the ground was 17" to the bottom of the door threshold so I figured the 16" of steps (8" x 2) would be fine. As I got to digging the footing I noticed that the ground was pitched pretty severly. Therefore I lowered the forms approximately 4" to make them all and even distance from the threshold (pitching 1/8" per foot for drainage).

    So my question is this, how far down can I have the landing from the door threshold? I really wanted to bring it right up to the bottom but it does not appear that I can do that. I think this is ok after reading another post:



    As it is now there will be about a 6" - 7" drop from the threshold to the landing. The entry door swings in, the storm door swings out.

    Here is a crude mock up that helps to illustrate the situation (included the link because it does not seem to be posting the picture):

    http://i898.photobucket.com/albums/a...dimensions.jpg




  3. #3
    Ali Techra's Avatar
    Ali Techra Guest

    Default Re: Height Difference from Exterior Threshold to Landing

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen G View Post
    Hey hey, what program are you using for your dimension lines??? Interested.

    Steve
    Oh that was just done in MS Paint and is by no means reflective of my lines.

    Google has a free software called SketchUp that can do exact dimensions but I'll be damed if I could figure it out without taking the tutorial


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    leonardo, new jersey
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Height Difference from Exterior Threshold to Landing

    The BOCA and CABO building codes were the last adoptions here in Jersey to specify a minimum of 4" riser. now it states a 1 1/2" from top of thresold which is not the edge of the saddle but the interior where the door sweeps to is the top of thresold. You are allow a max of 81/4" inches.I am not a big fan of level exterior landings to floor lines unless really good mechanics of pan flashing and wall flashing are implemented.

    Depending on existing conditions, your next issue is how you intersect the landing elevation to the house with proper flashing and if you decide to meet the landing to the door it will be most imprortant to see if original construction pan flashed the door opening before the door was installed. All the vinyl siding needs to be removed at that location which may include removing the door once its all exposed to properly lap the flashing.

    Not to get off topic, our northern Jersey footing depth is 42" so I would think your there too in NY. I will tell you if that footing and stoop is in front of a basement wall and you put that weight against the wall, you can get a reaction of stress against the foundation, thats why we have un balance fill designs for walls. I have seen landscapers come in and building beautiful patios with elaberate stoops that settle and crack foundations because the contractor thought a pad of crush stone a 6 ton of pre cast keystone wall, steps and fill was ok, the foundation didnt. That may be a small stoop, but frost heave has no mercy.

    Joseph Ehrhardt
    Building Forensic Specialist LLC

  5. #5
    Ali Techra's Avatar
    Ali Techra Guest

    Default Re: Height Difference from Exterior Threshold to Landing

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Ehrhardt View Post
    The BOCA and CABO building codes were the last adoptions here in Jersey to specify a minimum of 4" riser. now it states a 1 1/2" from top of thresold which is not the edge of the saddle but the interior where the door sweeps to is the top of thresold. You are allow a max of 81/4" inches.I am not a big fan of level exterior landings to floor lines unless really good mechanics of pan flashing and wall flashing are implemented.

    Depending on existing conditions, your next issue is how you intersect the landing elevation to the house with proper flashing and if you decide to meet the landing to the door it will be most imprortant to see if original construction pan flashed the door opening before the door was installed. All the vinyl siding needs to be removed at that location which may include removing the door once its all exposed to properly lap the flashing.

    Not to get off topic, our northern Jersey footing depth is 42" so I would think your there too in NY. I will tell you if that footing and stoop is in front of a basement wall and you put that weight against the wall, you can get a reaction of stress against the foundation, thats why we have un balance fill designs for walls. I have seen landscapers come in and building beautiful patios with elaberate stoops that settle and crack foundations because the contractor thought a pad of crush stone a 6 ton of pre cast keystone wall, steps and fill was ok, the foundation didnt. That may be a small stoop, but frost heave has no mercy.

    Joseph,

    Thanks for the detailed post. The frost line here is 36" (as per the town) so I dug the footing to 48" (it's actually an inch or two less due to cave ins and an inch or two of gravel that I tamped down at the bottom). All told it was about 4 yards of concrete.

    During my research I was reading by some that you should put an isolation board against the house, yet others said to drill in rebar. I went with the latter since my house is 50+ years old and should be settled and the other side of that wall is a crawl space. Last thing I wanted was the stairs to pull away from the house.

    The door is properly flashed as my friend and I installed it, but you bring up a really good point - when we moved the door the old door stoop had let water rot away the header board and you could stick your hand in the crawl space. We had to replace the rotted wood in that section (the door was moved to accomodate my redesigned kitchen).

    That said I am probably best keeping it below the door so I do not have to worry about water intrusion. Siding is no problem as I have gotten good at that (although it is not fun to do backwards!).

    Just to confirm, if my steps are 8" high it is ok to have a say 6" - 7" landing to threshold? I read your post as 8 1/4" is the max (please correct me if I'm wrong).

    Thanks!


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