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Old 05-11-2010, 11:00 AM   #1
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Build a 20-foot high structure with stairs


I need to build approx 20-foot high structure that will be attached to a water slide. It needs to have stairs. i need to know how wide it will have to be and make sure it is sturdy enough.....thanks.

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Old 05-11-2010, 05:58 PM   #2
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Build a 20-foot high structure with stairs


You need to talk to an engineer, not a bbs for the proper answer. No one can give you an answer to your question, because 1) They do not have a way of seeing the site plan; 2) Have no knowledge of soil density; 3) Have no knowledge of what your ordinances allow, etc.


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Old 05-11-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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Build a 20-foot high structure with stairs


20 feet high is way up there. I wouldn't build an open structure of any kind - Anything goes wrong and someone could die. This really is a time for profesional design with user safety of utmost concern.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:39 AM   #4
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Build a 20-foot high structure with stairs


I did not say that it would be an open structure. It will have railings and will be enclosed with 4 foot high section just like a deck. I already have an engineer designing it for me. So thanks for your concren.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:42 AM   #5
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Build a 20-foot high structure with stairs


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I did not say that it would be an open structure. It will have railings and will be enclosed with 4 foot high section just like a deck. I already have an engineer designing it for me. So thanks for your concren.
Super, so you know how wide it needs to be to be sturdy enough.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:38 PM   #6
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Build a 20-foot high structure with stairs


out of curiosity....is there a ratio of h to w....for wood.....
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:44 PM   #7
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Build a 20-foot high structure with stairs


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Super, so you know how wide it needs to be to be sturdy enough.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:47 PM   #8
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Build a 20-foot high structure with stairs


Gnasium - Unfortunately the answer is no. As everyone else has said, a project like this needs to be engineered by a professional. There's some serious math and science involved in keeping a 20' structure upright. No one here is going to be able to help you with the design, though I am sure you can get ample help with how to build it.

I am in the process of designing/building a 3 story addition to my rowhouse. I will likely do just about all the work myself. That said, best investment I've made is hiring an architect. Honestly the design is all mine and I've been feeding her ideas and materials the whole way. But she understands the physics of it all and how to make sure this won't topple to the ground.

I am not sure where you're at, but I cannot think of many places where this type of work would not require a permit. And that permit is going to require drawings and more likely than not, those drawings are going to need an engineers stamp. This project is too big to guess, people are going to get hurt.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:57 PM   #9
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Build a 20-foot high structure with stairs


gnasium: Please listen to the good advice you've received. It's plain that you have not really engaged the services of an engineer...I'm sure you inadvertantly blurted that off after reading the responses, realizing you were not getting the info you wanted.

And that's good....it quickly became evident you were in over your head, and people did not want to contribute to a situation where you, and likely children, would be injured.

If you're determined to proceed with this project...do so with professionals. If not, I hope you have a large umbrella policy, for its limits will be tested.
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:25 PM   #10
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Build a 20-foot high structure with stairs


best investment I've made is hiring an architect.
Can you give an idea of what an architect costs? Do they charge hourly or is it by the job?
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:26 PM   #11
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Build a 20-foot high structure with stairs


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out of curiosity....is there a ratio of h to w....for wood.....
The ratio will be what it is designed & engineered to be built
It could be designed to be 4'x4'....or 30'x30' at the top
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:28 PM   #12
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out of curiosity....is there a ratio of h to w....for wood.....
As with most things... the answer starts with "well that depends".

While not suitable for any sort of a commercial slide, I've seen online where a guy built a tree house (actually stilts house, as no tree was involved) where the primary support was four 20' 4x4s (so the final structure was over 25' tall). But I've more commonly seen tower "tree houses" built using old telephone polls.

If you're looking for a structure that's going to be used commercially, you REALLY need an engineer that can make sure something is designed right to withstand the abuse such a structure is going to take.

If you're looking to build something that kids are going to play on and you insist on doing it as a DIY, the best suggestion I can given you is to do some research on tree-houses.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:17 AM   #13
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Build a 20-foot high structure with stairs


Well just for a very loose idea, 20' high will need 32 risers at 7 1/2". If you do that in 4 sets of stair stringers that is 8 treads at 10" which is 6'-8. a landing each end of 3', the stairs length is now at 12'-8 long. Width will be 3' for each stair 2 wide will be 7' so your looking at a stair tower of 12'-8 X 7'-0. This is why the repeating of get an engineer to look at it. (not many people will like to climb a 20' ladder)
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:32 AM   #14
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What are the odds this guy is preparing to star in a Youtube video?
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:45 PM   #15
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Build a 20-foot high structure with stairs


A lot to consider--- 12' maximum rise between landings, 36" wide (one set if you go down the slide), Insurance Rider required so you don't loose the house and cars: http://www.staircraft.com/R311%20&%2...he%2003IRC.pdf

Be safe, Gary

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