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Old 04-03-2008, 07:54 AM   #1
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Useable width of Staircase


What is the minimal usable width of a staircase? I was thinking 3' but can I go any smaller than that?

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Old 04-03-2008, 09:11 AM   #2
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Useable width of Staircase


You're probably battling small house restrictions as I am. Minimum in Massachusetts is 36". It might be different in your area.

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Old 04-03-2008, 01:01 PM   #3
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Useable width of Staircase


It's 36" (not less than 36").

This falls under the "Means of Egree" Section of the building code.

Specifically: IRC Section R311.5 Stairways
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Old 04-03-2008, 01:04 PM   #4
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Useable width of Staircase


Atlantic, do you know if that applies to non-livable basement space as well?
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Old 04-03-2008, 01:23 PM   #5
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Useable width of Staircase


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Originally Posted by Clutchcargo View Post
Atlantic, do you know if that applies to non-livable basement space as well?
If you are referring to bulkhead stairways, then they are exempt from the R311.5 Code requirements.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:23 PM   #6
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Useable width of Staircase


Thanks for all the replies.

My next question is what's the steepest uasble I can use? Is an 8" rise X 9" run too steep for the average bear?
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:30 PM   #7
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Useable width of Staircase


Your local code might be different but again in Massachusetts the max riser is 8.25" and the max tread is 9."
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:47 AM   #8
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Useable width of Staircase


Massachusetts building code 5311.5.3.1 Riser height maximum: 8.25 inches.
Massachusetts building code 5311.5.3.2 Tread Depth: Minimum tread depth: 9 inches.

There's more descriptions in the code, but those dimensions are the basics.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:44 AM   #9
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Thanks for the responses.

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