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Old 01-05-2009, 12:45 PM   #1
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Stair framing question


Hi,

I'm adding a stairway in an 1920s bungalow which is cramped on space. The existing stair is only 16" wide and more of a ships ladder pitch than an actual stair pitch. Anyway - due to space constraints I'm looking at building a "U" shaped stair with a mid level landing. With my floor to floor height, I need 14 treads (15 risers) to be code compliant. The stairs will be 40" wide which will leave me with roughly a 40" x 84" mid level landing. My question is - Can I split the landing and create a step to count as one of my risers. It would decrease the footprint of my stair and avoid me having to rework a window. I know it's not common, but I'm not sure what the code says about it.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 01-05-2009, 01:10 PM   #2
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Stair framing question


If you leave the landing rectangular and make two larger rectangular steps (<36" in the direction of travel) out of it, it would be illegal due to the run variance. One way that people overcome this obstacle is to bisect the landing diagonally to create two pie-shaped steps, which makes the stair a winder stair by code instead of a landing. Totally legal, but your handrail can't stop at the turn...It has to be continuous, whereas it could stop at a conventional landing.

There's a very good visual interpretation of the stair code on this site...
Check the link on the right side of the page with the red writing.
http://www.stairways.org/codes_standards.htm
Take note of drawings 10 and 11, which illustrates what I'm describing.

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Old 01-05-2009, 01:11 PM   #3
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Actually, if you have 84" to work with, you could make two 42" (+/-) landings with a rise in between. As long as they're 36" in the direction of travel, they can be counted as landings.

A drawing would help, or a picture. I can help you through it from there.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:09 PM   #4
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Stair framing question


By splitting the landing platform in two, my widths would be roughly equal to the width of the treads - around 40". Actually, they would be 2" wider to account for the difference of the stud wall between. I've been playing around in CAD with my stair layouts. I'm attaching a basic pdf file of what I'm planning.

Am I on the right track? Thanks again for the help.
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File Type: pdf stair floor plan.pdf (1.5 KB, 406 views)
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:30 PM   #5
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Stair framing question


Yup, nothing wrong with that at all. That is two adjacent landings with a difference in height. That height difference can't exceed 7-3/4" (International Residential Code) in most areas. You don't need the handrail to wrap the corner by doing it that way. You can stop it when you get to the landing, top and bottom because the single rise between the landings does not require a handrail.

Only thing to make sure of is that each landing is 36" IN THE DIRECTION OF TRAVEL OF THE STAIRS, so a minimum of 36" x 40" in your case.
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:20 PM   #6
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Stair framing question


Ok, I dont know much about stair code but from the conversation it appears that a spiral stair case does not meet coade. Is this correct?
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:12 PM   #7
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Cobb, there is a code that governs true spiral staircases but it differs greatly from the aforementioned stairs. For clarity, a spiral staircase is usually metal, is manufactured off-site, and always has a center post off of which all of the treads are mounted.

Many people confuse spiral stairs with circular stairs and/or winders. Biiiiig difference!

If you need to know the code for true spiral stairs start a new thread and I'll be happy to guide you. The link I posted earlier in this thread probably has good info as well.

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