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  1. #1
    Vin Ross's Avatar
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    Post Minimum step down from threshold .. Exterior Egress

    Howdy, Installing sliders for egress which will be at grade. Will be pouring concrete for a patio. It looks like the maximum step down from threshold is 7 3/4". What would the minimum be? I am wondering what the code is and I obviously do not want rain water entering the dwelling. Thanks In advance.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Minimum step down from threshold .. Exterior Egress

    I don't know the answer but I know something else to be aware of.

    The space between the surface of the patio and the bottom of your siding, assuming a wood-framed house, should be 8", certainly no less than 6".

    Assuming a wood doorsill, you don't want less than 6" there either. But I think you will get different opinions on that, and it depends on your local rules to some extent.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Minimum step down from threshold .. Exterior Egress

    1.5" is minimum threshold height to grade.

    Texas Inspector
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Minimum step down from threshold .. Exterior Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    1.5" is minimum threshold height to grade.
    Not quite correct:
    - From the 2009 IRC:
    - - R311.3.1 Floor elevations at the required egress doors. Landings or floors at the required egress door shall not be more than 1 1/2 inches (38 mm) lower than the top of the threshold.
    - - - Exception: The exterior landing or floor shall not be more than 7 3/4 inches (196 mm) below the top of the threshold provided the door does not swing over the landing or floor.
    - - - - When exterior landings or floors serving the required egress door are not at grade, they shall be provided with access to grade by means of a ramp in accordance with Section R311.8 or a stairway in accordance with Section R311.7.

    The floor or landing shall not be more than 1-1/2 inches below the top of the threshold, unless ...

    ... unless the door does not swing out over the landing or floor, in which case the floor or landing is allowed to be up to 7-3/4 inches below the top of the threshold.

    However if the door was the required egress door (the sliding glass door is not) ... but if it was, then - if the landing was not "at grade" - a ramp would be required from the landing down to grade.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Minimum step down from threshold .. Exterior Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Not quite correct:

    However if the door was the required egress door (the sliding glass door is not) ... but if it was, then - if the landing was not "at grade" - a ramp would be required from the landing down to grade.
    JP: From the OP:

    Howdy, Installing sliders for egress which will be at grade. Will be pouring concrete for a patio.
    My statement addressed the OP's question as it was stated. If the doors are to be egress doors, AS STATED, then the minimum height of the threshold must be 1.5".

    Why do you disagree?

    Texas Inspector
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Minimum step down from threshold .. Exterior Egress

    Sorry, I missed the word "dwelling" in the OP . . . So that eliminates a sliding door as an egress option . . . my apologies . . . but, if an other occupancy . . . and IBC . . .

    1008.1.3.3 Horizontal sliding doors. In other than
    GroupHoccupancies, horizontal sliding doors permitted
    to be a component of a means of egress in accordance
    with Exception 6 to Section 1008.1.2 shall comply with
    all of the following criteria:
    1. The doors shall be power operated and shall be
    capable of being operated manually in the event of
    power failure.
    2. The doors shall be openable by a simple method
    from both sides without special knowledge or
    effort.
    3. The force required to operate the door shall not
    exceed 30 pounds (133 N) to set the door in motion
    and 15 pounds (67 N) to close the door or open it to
    the minimum required width.
    4. The door shall be openable with a force not to
    exceed 15 pounds (67 N) when a force of 250
    pounds (1100 N) is applied perpendicular to the
    door adjacent to the operating device.

    Texas Inspector
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Minimum step down from threshold .. Exterior Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    Sorry, I missed the word "dwelling" in the OP . . . So that eliminates a sliding door as an egress option . . . my apologies . . . but, if an other occupancy . . . and IBC . . .
    Aaron,

    The other thing you missed was ... (I've added bold and underlining)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    However if the door was the required egress door (the sliding glass door is not) ...
    You did get the "(the sliding glass door is not)" part - good.

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

  8. #8
    Vin Ross's Avatar
    Vin Ross Guest

    Thumbs up minimun is 1.5" step down with no more than 7 3/4" step down from threshold

    Thank You gentleman for all the responses.

    The sliding glass door will not be a primary means of egress out of the house but rather just a means to get out onto the patio. The threshold of the vinyl sliders will actually be mounted on the cement slab as this is a walk out basement at grade. The property is residential. The area of the house that will be adjacent to the patio and slider is all concrete foundation. The closest wood material or wood sill would be at least five feet from the surface of the patio. The house sits on a hill so half of the basement in the rear is all at grade with 8' concrete side/knee walls.

    From all your responses it looks like the minimum is 1.5" step down with no more than 7 3/4" step down from threshold. I am probably going to go with 6" or 7" as I live in the northeast and don't want snow or rain getting in. Someone mentioned to go with 8" but that looks like a no no.



  9. #9
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    Default Re: minimun is 1.5" step down with no more than 7 3/4" step down from threshold

    Quote Originally Posted by Vin Ross View Post
    From all your responses it looks like the minimum is 1.5" step down with no more than 7 3/4" step down from threshold.
    No, the MAXIMUM is 1-1/2".

    UNLESS the door does not swing out over the landing (a sliding glass door does not swing, so this part is no problem), in which case the MAXIMUM is 7-3/4".


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

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