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Old 08-14-2012, 09:40 PM   #1
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The contractor installed my new stairs made of Brazilian teak (he had contracted someone else to install the floors) and he made two big mistakes, in my opinion. I've read your blog on stairs and found it to be very helpful. Thank you. Now I need to have the contractor/installer come back (I haven't paid him totally yet, so have a bit of a hold over him, I guess) but I want to prove to him that he did them wrong. They are much like one post from 2009 that says his bottom step is six inches high and the top step is 11 inches high. I have seven steps and every person who climbs the stairs trips on that top step! My 7-month pregnant daughter-in-law will be visiting in a few weeks (with my son) and I certainly can't risk her tripping and falling. The second "goof" is that he cut the vertical board (riser?) then saw that his board was too narrow so he then patched it with another cut board but this bottom part (of about 1-1/2 inches from top to bottom and it extends across the full width of the step on the riser part) is a totally different & very light shade..way off the rest of the much darker stair. Can I just explain to him nicely that this is poorly done or do I have to prove to him that it doesn't meet code or how do I approach him and get him to fix both of these issues? He's done lots of projects in my house and has done very good work before this. I don't know what happened. He's sent me two reminders of the amount due from this bill. What I don't understand is why he thought he could get away with this!

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Old 08-14-2012, 09:47 PM   #2
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Judi K.;988837]The contractor installed my new stairs made of Brazilian teak (he had contracted someone else to install the floors) and he made two big mistakes, in my opinion. I've read your blog on stairs and found it to be very helpful. Thank you. Now I need to have the contractor/installer come back (I haven't paid him totally yet, so have a bit of a hold over him, I guess) but I want to prove to him that he did them wrong. They are much like one post from 2009 that says his bottom step is six inches high and the top step is 11 inches high. I have seven steps and every person who climbs the stairs trips on that top step! My 7-month pregnant daughter-in-law will be visiting in a few weeks (with my son) and I certainly can't risk her tripping and falling. The second "goof" is that he cut the vertical board (riser?) then saw that his board was too narrow so he then patched it with another cut board but this bottom part (of about 1-1/2 inches from top to bottom and it extends across the full width of the step on the riser part) is a totally different & very light shade..way off the rest of the much darker stair. Can I just explain to him nicely that this is poorly done or do I have to prove to him that it doesn't meet code or how do I approach him and get him to fix both of these issues? He's done lots of projects in my house and has done very good work before this. I don't know what happened. He's sent me two reminders of the amount due from this bill. What I don't understand is why he thought he could get away with this!

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Old 08-14-2012, 09:56 PM   #3
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That is unacceptable and dangerous. Stairs need to be within 1/4" of each other to pass code. The intent is that each "rise" is exactly the same. This will be impossible to correct without removing all the steps, but it must be corrected.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:00 PM   #4
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A job like this was suppost to have a permit, is there one? If there was the inspector would nail him on the differant thread heights but could do nothing about the riser problum.

You gave us no real facts, figures or even a picture, just of a mention of it was like another post.

Someone here is going to need the acual measuments from the top of one tread to the next one.
The treads also need to be level in both directons and have an over hang at the front of the threads. How do your look?
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:13 AM   #5
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Judi, Welcome to the Forum.
Please post some pics. The old saying about a thousand words is really true.
Here is one source on How to post Pics
If you have problems posting the pics (e.g. Picture size too big) then ask us.
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:37 AM   #6
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Take a look at this link Judi, page 5 covers your situation. http://www.arcways.com/pdfs/IRC2006.pdf
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
Take a look at this link Judi, page 5 is covers your situation. http://www.arcways.com/pdfs/IRC2006.pdf
Thanks Ron, this will be of help explaining stairs in some posts.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judi K. View Post
The contractor installed my new stairs made of Brazilian teak (he had contracted someone else to install the floors) and he made two big mistakes, in my opinion. I've read your blog on stairs and found it to be very helpful. Thank you. Now I need to have the contractor/installer come back (I haven't paid him totally yet, so have a bit of a hold over him, I guess) but I want to prove to him that he did them wrong. They are much like one post from 2009 that says his bottom step is six inches high and the top step is 11 inches high. I have seven steps and every person who climbs the stairs trips on that top step! My 7-month pregnant daughter-in-law will be visiting in a few weeks (with my son) and I certainly can't risk her tripping and falling. The second "goof" is that he cut the vertical board (riser?) then saw that his board was too narrow so he then patched it with another cut board but this bottom part (of about 1-1/2 inches from top to bottom and it extends across the full width of the step on the riser part) is a totally different & very light shade..way off the rest of the much darker stair. Can I just explain to him nicely that this is poorly done or do I have to prove to him that it doesn't meet code or how do I approach him and get him to fix both of these issues? He's done lots of projects in my house and has done very good work before this. I don't know what happened. He's sent me two reminders of the amount due from this bill. What I don't understand is why he thought he could get away with this!
Chances are he didn't know stairs well. We don't know the exact difference between the first and last step in height, but the way you described it it is way out of code and very dangerous. You could tell him that you are going to contact the authoritatives about the stairs and see if he will get back and correct them, other wise he may just walk and forget the rest of what you owe him. It depends if there is enough money left to warrant him coming back to correct. He should correct it even if you owe him nothing but some people don't think that way. I am sure it would cost way more to have the stairs corrected than what you owe him.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:47 PM   #9
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Judi,

here is the section of the code from the 2009 International Residential Code for variation is riser height in a flight of stairs http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...9_3_par147.htm
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:11 AM   #10
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Well, I wonder how the OP solved her problem that she posted here, we probably won't ever know.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:24 AM   #11
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So sorry I haven't posted to, first of all, THANK YOU all for such very well written and very helpful posts regarding my stairs. You've been extremely professional and overwhelmingly helpful. Second, the issue hasn't yet been resolved. Thanks to you, I was able to print out the Builders' Code, preparing myself for the confrontation with the contractor. This will take place on Friday, no time set yet. This is just one part of a $50,000 repair project due to an ice-maker that burst over the Xmas holidays while I was gone for a month. Again, because someone took the time to post how to repair the stairs, another took the time to send me the link to the relevant part of the Builders' Code and others took the time to reinforce the concept that something wasn't right....all have given me the courage and the ammunition to face this guy. I'll get back to you after Friday. I still owe the guy over $3,000 so maybe he'll see things my way. Thank you.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
A job like this was suppost to have a permit, is there one? If there was the inspector would nail him on the differant thread heights but could do nothing about the riser problum.

You gave us no real facts, figures or even a picture, just of a mention of it was like another post.

Someone here is going to need the acual measuments from the top of one tread to the next one.
The treads also need to be level in both directons and have an over hang at the front of the threads. How do your look?
Sorry, joecaption, but I'm just learning how to reply and haven't yet tried to post pictures. So many new things to learn. Will get back to you with details as soon as I can because I have so many other things to deal with: not only the stairs, but regarding repairs to my house due to the flood and now my a/c has gone out. First of all, I have to get the contractor to redo his faulty job on the stairs.
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:35 PM   #13
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Judi, I apologize for the remark I made, many times a person will ask a question and we will take time to answer, then the OP never comes back or tells us how it turned out, we do appreciate you coming back.
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Old 08-21-2012, 04:32 PM   #14
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Jim, no apologies are necessary!I totally understand how you feel about this and I completely agree with you. Several times I've had trouble finding the place where I press so I can write a reply and I haven't taken the time yet to figure out how to post photos, although someone kindly sent me a link for that, too. You guys are simply incredible! The web site is extremely friendly and easy to figure out but I'm sometimes just very tired and very stressed out over all this. Again, thank you, all of you, for some very professional and very useful advice. You're knowledgeable, you sound concerned, you're specific with your expert advice and you're FREE! Unbelievable!
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:15 PM   #15
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Thanks to you gentlemen, my stairs have been redone and done correctly this time. I was able to print out the Builders' Code and show the contractor that I am fully aware that what he left me with was a poor and an unacceptable job and that he had to correct it. Not only did I have the Builders' Code behind me but my house is one unit of a condo group and he does all kinds of jobs out here and, without threatening him, he knew that I wouldn't hesitate to let others know that he left me with a shabby and dangerous job and would take him to small claims court if necessary. I'm not so naive to think that he repaired my stairs out of the goodness of his heart nor because he was "suddenly aware" that he left me with a dangerous top riser but because of the other factors that I just mentioned, meaning that I held the aces. I mainly want to THANK ALL OF YOU for having taken the time and made the effort to walk me through all this and to have given me the courage to insist that this be done right. You guys are true professionals who work under a high ethical code and I thank you for your dedication to your profession.

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