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Old 06-25-2012, 08:22 AM   #1
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deck egress width


On a deck where there is railings (more for design) but no stairs, i.e the opening to the deck is on a cement landing, does the width rule of 36" for a stair tread or landing still apply? I wanted the opening on the deck to the landing to be 31"..

-- Joe

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Old 06-25-2012, 01:56 PM   #2
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deck egress width


Ummmm...Can't answer that without more info, but here's some general info on the topic:

Egress widths are based on occupant loading and egress path characteristics. The dimensional requirement for a doorway or flat-surfaced walking surface is calculated by dividing the occupant load by 0.2". For a stair, you divide by 0.3". Simple algebra can give you the equations for amount of people per width of each element.

Example: a 36" wide flat hallway (0.2"/person) can accommodate 180 persons.
Width = People x Surface Factor
36" = People x 0.2"
36"/0.2" = People
180 = People

Minimum widths are typically 34", though that can be reduced provided the length of the reduction is less that 24".

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Old 06-26-2012, 09:46 PM   #3
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deck egress width


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Originally Posted by AGWhitehouse View Post
Ummmm...Can't answer that without more info, but here's some general info on the topic:

Egress widths are based on occupant loading and egress path characteristics. The dimensional requirement for a doorway or flat-surfaced walking surface is calculated by dividing the occupant load by 0.2". For a stair, you divide by 0.3". Simple algebra can give you the equations for amount of people per width of each element.

Example: a 36" wide flat hallway (0.2"/person) can accommodate 180 persons.
Width = People x Surface Factor
36" = People x 0.2"
36"/0.2" = People
180 = People

Minimum widths are typically 34", though that can be reduced provided the length of the reduction is less that 24".
Ok, So. The deck is 20x20. It has a slider into the house.

Now typically, decks are raised and have stairs and hand rails. This deck is under 30", and has no stairs. You simply step off the deck onto the ground.

However, I want railings. If you look at the attached illustration from the deck codes (derived from the IRC) you will see the minimum stair width is 36" (and therefore the opening/egress to the stairs).

On my illustration to the right that I added, you have an opening with no stairs. So my question is, does the 36" rule apply to this opening when no stairs are present, or can the opening be smaller?

-- Joe
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:16 PM   #4
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deck egress width


When you say the deck is under 30", do we assume you mean the deck height above grade is under 30" ... How much under? Chances are you still need at least a couple of steps otherwise that's one big single step down. Intrigued as to why you are concerned about the extra 5" for a 20' deck ... I would say make the gap a decent width regardless of minimum code in your area (wherever that is) so that you can get larger items on to the deck easily, for example.

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Old 06-26-2012, 10:33 PM   #5
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When you say the deck is under 30", do we assume you mean the deck height above grade is under 30" ... How much under? Chances are you still need at least a couple of steps otherwise that's one big single step down. Intrigued as to why you are concerned about the extra 5" for a 20' deck ... I would say make the gap a decent width regardless of minimum code in your area (wherever that is) so that you can get larger items on to the deck easily, for example.

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Deck is under 30" in height, but over 7 3/4", so what I will do is pour a concrete pad so the step off the deck is down about 7", and then finish the grade.

I'm concerned because I put the posts in for the railings, and the decking down, got that inspected and am finishing the railings and now the wife wants the opening in a different spot. I had intended on a 57" opening, and where she wants the new opening is 32" between posts.


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Old 06-27-2012, 12:02 AM   #6
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deck egress width


Ask your local AHJ. I'm guessing; unless the deck has egress windows from a sleeping room (that require width of egress (36") route) you are able to do whatever you desire. If you have a front door that meets egress requirements, the slider/door (not egress route) is a moot point.

One egress door required: http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...011_par004.htm

Egress door, hit "previous" and "next section": http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...011_par006.htm

It does have to comply with "exterior door landings", whether "egress" or not: http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...011_par006.htm

Gary
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
Ask your local AHJ. I'm guessing; unless the deck has egress windows from a sleeping room (that require width of egress (36") route) you are able to do whatever you desire. If you have a front door that meets egress requirements, the slider/door (not egress route) is a moot point.
Hi Gary,

I can go see him. I just hate bothering those guys with stuff like this.

Thanks!

-- Joe
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:40 AM   #8
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deck egress width


You should be able to look up your local code online. From what my local code book the 30" height has nothing to do with stairs, only the handrail. Unless you are flush with the ground or are less than a single riser you must still meet code for your steps, which includes being min 36" wide.

You could just always tell the wife no. But you may find it easier to convince your inspector.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:15 AM   #9
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You should be able to look up your local code online. From what my local code book the 30" height has nothing to do with stairs, only the handrail. Unless you are flush with the ground or are less than a single riser you must still meet code for your steps, which includes being min 36" wide.

You could just always tell the wife no. But you may find it easier to convince your inspector.
The town goes by IRC 2009 if I recall. No amendments or anything.

In my application there is no actual 'steps', Just a deck, and a cement landing.

I guess I'll give him a call.

-- Joe
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:20 AM   #10
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