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Old 05-13-2009, 07:37 PM   #16
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Deck Stairs....


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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I heard back from someone from my City. He said if I 'change anything' that section would need to be up to code and that I would need a building permit.

But, I think that's only half the story; my city has an exception for projects under a $500 dollar 'value' (depending on the nature of the project). I'm not sure how 'value' is calculated, but my deck work is not on the list of things that are excluded.
I think this is your "out" if you just want to close in the stairs
I'd say the value is under $500
Better safe then sorry

Only other thing I can think of is PVC (?) lattice that may fit under the existing tread overhang

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Old 05-13-2009, 10:38 PM   #17
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http://www.stairways.org/pdf/2006%20...C%20SCREEN.pdf 2006,your good till they change.

http://www.ci.apple-valley.mn.us/Ins...ck_handout.pdf Pages 6-8, enjoy. Check with your local B.D. Be safe, G
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:26 AM   #18
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Deck Stairs....


Thanks again for the all advice everyone. Some really great information in this thread.

I'd always had the impression that building permits where really expensive and that building inspectors were 'the devil'. But as it turns out, they seem pretty friendly, knowledgeable and reasonable.

After talking again with the building folks, the impression I'm left with is that adding risers wouldn't require a building permit and I wouldn't need to bring the entire deck up to code. Just the risers.

The permits are also a lot cheaper than I'd expected. $25 dollars for a project valued at $500 or less (it scales up beyond that). And, even if you don't need a permit, for $25 dollars you can go through the process and you get an inspector to make sure that what you are doing (and the things around it) are safe and done correctly. It actually seems like pretty good deal.

My plan now is to add the risers (since I've already bought and hauled the lumber). But my deck is tiny (5x5 maybe - and stairs). So, what I really want to do is rip it down and build a new, bigger, nicer, up-to-code deck.

Cost is an issue - so it'll probably happen next spring; but I think it'd be a lot of fun.

EDIT: Not a very good picture - but I've added the risers. Ignore the mess, there is a lot of cleanup to be done

Last edited by Robdude; 05-14-2009 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:34 PM   #19
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Looks good, glad it worked out

Bye Bye spammer "Stepper"
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:47 PM   #20
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Just wanted to thank everyone for the help. It took a while, but I think we're done with the deck for now.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:22 PM   #21
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Glad to hear you had a good experience in dealing with the inspections department in your city. Some people choose to make it an adversarial relationship and I'm glad that you didn't do that...Worked out great!
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:29 PM   #22
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Looking good!! Just install a graspable handrail on the 2x6 on edge, and you'll be code compliant. Page 10 and 11, your choice of looks, then notify your Insurance Carrier of the upgrade. http://www.stairways.org/pdf/2006%20...C%20SCREEN.pdf
Be safe, G
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:30 PM   #23
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Amazing what some paint/stain can do to an old deck
Even with snow here I like closed steps w/risers - mainly due to my son
Start planning & designing the new deck
I've found that starting way in advance & running ideas past people on a forum like this can be a great benefit
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:08 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
One word of advice in keeping with Dave's idea of not going with just minimums. Get 12 inch stringers out of your mind. Use 14" material anyway. All you need to do is look at how little wood is actually left after the stringers are cut. It ain't much, usually just at or even less than 4". Once it's cut into the shape of a stringer, you are not standing on a 2 x 12 any longer, but more like a slightly fat 2 x 4. So it never hurts to "sister" those stringers with additional 2 x 4's along side.

Still, that's no substitute for going ahead and using a 2 x 14 or larger for your stringers.

Never mind trying to make up for insufficiencies by adding more stringers. That's a band-aid approach. Use good, wide stringers, and (here's the key) use thick treads and thick risers.

Back before we began getting greedy and cheap, trying to cut back on spending coin on good lumber, millions of excellent stairways were made with only two fully adequate stringers of sufficient width..... Why? Because they used good, thick treads and risers, and that's all that was needed. How many grand old houses have you ever been in where the stairs bounced?
I've used an adjustable stair bracket system too that's ICC-ES approved. It also uses 2 stringers. What's nice about it is that it's easy to install and I've saved $$$ by using it. If you go to the EZ Stairs website, you can see how it works. The stairs I've built with it are strong and don't squeak either.

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