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Old 11-20-2011, 09:44 PM   #1
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deck stairs


Due to some other construction projects, I had to remove the stairs to my deck. Now I'm ready to rebuild the stairs, but it's going to be in a much different configuration than before. For one thing, I'm moving the stairs to a different part of the deck to free up more space. Anyways, I've got a couple of questions.

1) What is the "ideal" stair tread width? The rise of each is going to be a little under 7.5", but I have some flexibility wrt the run, so I was wondering what people think is best. I'm thinking 11" or maybe 11.25".
2) I'm going to have 17 steps and so I think I need a landing. Is there any requirement (or rule of thumb) as to when a landing is required/recommended, or how many steps there should be after/before the landing? I'm thinking 9 or 10 steps up from the bottom to a landing, since that would be fit in with my overall scheme.

Again, it's pretty flexible at this point, so if something else might be better, I'm all ears (eyes, actually). Thanks.

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Old 11-21-2011, 04:21 PM   #2
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as you stated you want 17 total rises. one thing to consider with this is you tread width.. the more steps the longer the stair will be. regarding a landing you have to have a resting point as soon as a flight of stairs has 13 or more rises. typically landings are at the midway point so you'd be looking at having the landing as the 8th or 9th rise. with this being said you have to determine your exact riser height as every riser must be within 1/8" of each other so to not create trip hazard, this goes for the landing also

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Old 11-21-2011, 04:39 PM   #3
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Woodworkbykirk is right. I would go with the 11.25'' treads if you have the horizontal space, and a landing would be ideal. Australian code requires a maximum of 18 straight risers before you need a landing at least 4' in length, but I consider this extreme if you have room for an intermediate landing. The thing about stairs is that the danger is going down stairs and the likelihood of tripping. If the tread width is too narrow, and you find the tip of your shoe extends over the nosing, then its possible to pivot your foot with the consequence this has to propel you forward with each step. Elderely people find this dangerous, and if they break the rhytmn, could easily fall forward, with serious injury consequences. I suggest you fit handrails to both sides, not everyone is right or left handed so going up or down doesn't require different handing to what your used to.

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Old 11-21-2011, 06:47 PM   #4
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deck stairs


I am not familiar with any code that mandates a landing at a particular interval of risers here in Calif. or in the IRC.

Kirk, if you could point it out to me that would be great. I think a landing is great idea though.

Are you getting any permits or going to have the stairs inspected?
There are of course a lot more things to consider other than just tread width and depth when building a competent set of stairs. like the width between handrails, what the handrails are made of, how they attach, if you want open risers etc.
Do you have plans?

Andy.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:52 PM   #5
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another thing i almost always ask when building a set of stairs is if there will be small children or elderly regularly using the stairs.. reason being i will make the risers lower than normal so to accomodate smaller feet and those who arent as limber using the stair.

a smaller rise makes it more comfortable and easier for them to climb
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:31 PM   #6
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Under the IRC:”R311.7.5 Landings for stairways. There shall be a floor or landing at the top and bottom of each stairway. A flight of stairs shall not have a vertical rise larger than 12 feet (3658 mm) between floor levels or landings. The width of each landing shall not be less than the width of the stairway served. Every landing shall have a minimum dimension of 36 inches (914 mm) measured in the direction of travel. From: http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...011_par014.htm
Work around in that site, JHB and the rest is here: http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6-09.pdf

1003.3.3.5 Landings. There shall be a floor of landing at the top and bottom of each stairway or stair run. Every landing shall have a dimension measured in the direction of travel not less than the width of the stairway. Such dimensions need not exceed 44 inches (1118 mm) where the stair has a straight run. At least one intermediate landing shall be provided for each 12 feet (3658 mm) of vertical stairway rise measured between the horizontal planes of adjacent landings. From: http://centralcoaststairs.com/codes.htm

Of course check locally as only 20 States are under the IRC, 24 under the IBC and

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Old 11-22-2011, 04:57 PM   #7
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hey andy. yah sorry about that.. im in canada we require a landing when stairs have more than 13 rises which typicially works out to a total rise of 9' usually which after a 8 ' wall and the floor system. the location of it usally is dictated by the drawing. on some houses the landing is midway on others its a L shaped stair where the landing is the 4th rise on others its just before the final 3 rises
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:01 PM   #8
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Thanks Kirk, it is interesting the differences you find in codes between such similar countries.

Andy.

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