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Bcoleman6 06-25-2008 02:46 PM

Stairway landing code question.
We are planning on remodeling our basement. After speaking to the local code guy, he told us to check our stair measurements, it doesn't appear our stairway landing is to code. It is only 28" long. Unfortunately there is an interior concrete wall at the other end of the landing. So it goes bottom stair, 28", concrete wall.
There is a door way cut into the wall, if there is no door in the doorway can this be considered stair landing?
Or even though the basement is unfinished, because the stairs were built under a different code cycle would they be grandfathered?
I am of course going to talk to the codes guy, just wanted a little feed back before I do.


Forgot to mention we are under IBC 2006

Termite 06-25-2008 04:05 PM


Your codes guy is right about the current code. The first thing you hit at the bottom of the steps is a landing, and it has to project 36" and be as wide as the stairs are. A door jamb would intrude, but some jusrisdictions might buy it if it were simply a cased opening.

Your stairs, walls, and door shouldn't have to be brought up to code unless you do work on them. If they're left original, they shouldn't be brought up in your inspection. This should apply to the landing, as well as the stair rise and run dimensions. The rise and run probably doesn't meet current code either...Is he going to make you change that? I bet your stairs' headroom doesn't meet current code either. He's opening a big can of worms. As an inspector I wouldn't, unless you replaced the treads or were completely gutting the stairs.

I don't have a 2006 IRC handy, but the 2003 IRC section R102.7 pretty much covers you in my opinion...Not sure if this changed in the '06.

Existing Structures:
The legal occupancy of any structure existing on the date of adoption of this code shall eb permitted to continue without change, except as is specifically covered in this code, or as is deemed necessary by the building official for the general safety and welfare of the occupants and the public.

To me, that means you're ok as long as you don't change anything with the stairs. But it also gives the inspector a loophole..."as deemed necessary."

Bcoleman6 06-25-2008 05:19 PM

Thanks for the info.

I think we will be ok, I just dropped off the plans and he didn't seem to concerned. The rise and run are both a little off, but not as much as the landing. We are putting in a new hand rail and laying new carpet, otherwise we are leaving the stairs untouched. I will find out by Monday.

If I put the current measurements in the plans and they are approved could you fail inspection due to the same measurements?


Termite 06-25-2008 09:36 PM


Originally Posted by Bcoleman6 (Post 133687)
If I put the current measurements in the plans and they are approved could you fail inspection due to the same measurements?

Code overrides plans, not matter what the plan says. But if this happens, you can make a heck of a case for their lack of catching the current measurements. Fact is that the building inspector can basically make you get them current, but it wouldn't be reasonable. Your best course of action is to ask them the question and not guess what they'll do.

Bcoleman6 06-26-2008 09:43 AM

Thanks for the info. We did ask the question and I'm hoping it won't be an issue.

Keeping our fingers crossed until Monday.


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