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Old 06-18-2008, 10:35 PM   #1
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Deck Stair Question


I just got sketchup, kinda fun.

Im in the "thinking" process of designing a deck for my house.

Question, will the steps shown work? ie code, If yes, any suggestions other than it needs rails (i know that)

Give me some critiques plz.

:note: deck sits approximately 5 feet off grade and Im looking for something other than a straight run, or typical landing. Asking too much??

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-18-2008, 11:09 PM   #2
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Deck Stair Question


Very unique stair design.

The code doesn't address stairs' widths, as long as they meet the 36" minimum tread width. There's no requirement that stairs in the same run be dimensionally consistent for width...Only rise and run. So if you're going to be 36" wide at the top, you're good.

Here's where the interpretation begins...
The code requires one grippable handrail for each stair. That design is such that there are two very different methods of travel down that stair, because you can go straight down or 90 degrees from straight down. I could make a case for only requiring one grippable handrail for the whole mess, but I don't think it meets with the spirit of the code's requirement.
Personally, I'd probably require two handrails (even though I'd be a little conflicted), unless you ran a handrail right down the middle of the two. It would just be too easy to go up one side of the stairs and not be able to reasonably utilize the handrail if it were set all the way on the other stair.

One other thing that your drawing doesn't indicate...
Since the landing-to-landing height of your stairs is more than 30", you're required to protect the open side of the stairs with a guardrail. Many people misinterpret the code to think that you don't have to provide a guard if the potential fall off the side of the stair is less than 30", and that is not the case. If one side of the stair abuts the house, the house will serve as the guard, obviously. The open side of the stairs toward the outside requires guardrail protection (no openings greater than 4").

Hope this helps. If you need anything clarified, don't hesitate to ask.

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Old 06-18-2008, 11:11 PM   #3
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Deck Stair Question


Welcome to the forum, by the way!
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:49 AM   #4
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Deck Stair Question


It doesn't appear that your stairs are going to actually descend the length of the ones that are pictured in your design rendering. We have built them (that style stair), and they have passed inspections, per the info that thekctermite posted.

Example:



Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 06-19-2008 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:06 AM   #5
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AtlanticWBConst, seeing that picture makes me even more conflicted about whether or not that is one stair or two, and whether or not I'd allow a single handrail. Tough decision. Nice work you do!

It also bears mentioning that the International Code requires that both of those double hung windows to the right of the stairs in the picture would have to be tempered glass.
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Very unique stair design.
Is that the polite way of saying " thats FUGLY"? lol, In all honesty im not crazy about the steps much my self, especially seing it in the picture I posted.

I thank you for the warm welcome, and the info.

The one thing I regret buying the house I did is the slope of the lot and the headache it is causing me over the steps. I would take any suggestions that anyone has, pictures would be helpful...my head works better that way.

Atlantic, nice work indeed, I only wish my deck could be that low.

Thanks
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Old 06-19-2008, 01:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
AtlanticWBConst, seeing that picture makes me even more conflicted about whether or not that is one stair or two, and whether or not I'd allow a single handrail. Tough decision. Nice work you do!
Thanks Kct, we put alot of effort into all our work. We want everything to be even better than code requirements and as perfect as human hands can make it, down to the smallest detail.

About that deck and railings, there was some discussion with the local building dept about this. The discussion was whether they required a railing installed in the middle span of the stairs or not. They ended up letting it slide the way it was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
It also bears mentioning that the International Code requires that both of those double hung windows to the right of the stairs in the picture would have to be tempered glass.
Yes, they are.

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 06-19-2008 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:35 PM   #8
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Deck Stair Question


Atlantic is that deck attached to the house on both sides and if the inspector would have given you a hard time about it could you have not just put a rail on the other side against the house to conform to code??? I really like it though nice job but then again from all the pictures I have seen of your work it all looks very well done
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clasact View Post
...could you have not just put a rail on the other side against the house to conform to code???
Yes he could have, in my opinion. I wouldn't require a rail at the intersection of the stairs in the middle, but a handrail placed in the middle would satisfy the requirement for both stairs.
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Yes he could have, in my opinion. I wouldn't require a rail at the intersection of the stairs in the middle, but a handrail placed in the middle would satisfy the requirement for both stairs.
Yes, to clarify, the discussion of the railing with the local building dept, was about railing placement at the middle (not the intersection).
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Atlantic ....I really like it though nice job but then again from all the pictures I have seen of your work it all looks very well done
Thank you kindly.

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