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Old 08-15-2018, 04:09 PM   #1
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Minimum Width required on Stairway landing?


I've got a stairway that's open on one side. My plan is to close it up and put a wall there leaving only a doorway to access the stairs. What's the required minimum width for the doorway? 36"?


thanks!
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:36 PM   #2
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Re: Minimum Width required on Stairway landing?


Everything to do with the stairs is 36 inches but the door usually is not.
Rough framing usually comes in 3" on each side to leave room for door trim, then the slab door is 2" smaller than the rough opening. So then you start cheating to get the rough opening to 32" to use a 30 inch door.
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:08 PM   #3
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Re: Minimum Width required on Stairway landing?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
Everything to do with the stairs is 36 inches but the door usually is not.
Rough framing usually comes in 3" on each side to leave room for door trim, then the slab door is 2" smaller than the rough opening. So then you start cheating to get the rough opening to 32" to use a 30 inch door.

Neal,
Sheesh, you're everywhere. Thanks for all the help you've given me on a variety of issues this last week or so.

Sorry I wasn't more clear. I'm not putting in a door, just a doorway. A doorway without a door. I'm concerned about getting furniture up and down the stairs if the passageway is too narrow. 30" sounds pretty tight. Is there any kind of code or rule of thumb that specifies a certain width? Is there an official minimum width?

That said, the lower step is currently closer to the opposite wall than 36", so when I put the doorway in place, looking at it head on, you'll see the bottom step stick out a little bit. Would this be considered a normal look? In the image, it's 36" between the opposite wall and the right edge of the 2x4.



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Old 08-15-2018, 06:29 PM   #4
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Re: Minimum Width required on Stairway landing?


Quote:
Originally Posted by petermole View Post
Neal,
Sheesh, you're everywhere. Thanks for all the help you've given me on a variety of issues this last week or so.

Sorry I wasn't more clear. I'm not putting in a door, just a doorway. A doorway without a door. I'm concerned about getting furniture up and down the stairs if the passageway is too narrow. 30" sounds pretty tight. Is there any kind of code or rule of thumb that specifies a certain width? Is there an official minimum width?

That said, the lower step is currently closer to the opposite wall than 36", so when I put the doorway in place, looking at it head on, you'll see the bottom step stick out a little bit. Would this be considered a normal look? In the image, it's 36" between the opposite wall and the right edge of the 2x4.
The 36" is from the nose of the tread to the stud before drywall and it hasn't always been that big.
Any way that wall is always a choice in how it constructed but if you open that wall you will find the stringer went in first then the wall was built to match so you would normally cut the treads back and fill in the wall flush with the lower wall and for moving furniture the landing and all or part of that first step is exposed.
But for the choices that are there you have the most expensive to build right now.
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:38 PM   #5
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Re: Minimum Width required on Stairway landing?


can't find a good sample.
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Minimum Width required on Stairway landing?-80.jpg  
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:22 AM   #6
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Re: Minimum Width required on Stairway landing?


Quote:
The 36" is from the nose of the tread to the stud before drywall and it hasn't always been that big.
Right now I'm measuring that distance at 33 3/4" (but that's against stud finished with drywall). House was built in 1950s.

Hmmm... Well, my biggest concern is being able to move furniture through that passageway and then making a hard upward turn. Not sure if there's a rule of thumb for that, but I think I'll just create a 36" opening (finished wall to finished wall) very similar the photo I posted. I guess that will work.

Thanks (again!)
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:27 AM   #7
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Re: Minimum Width required on Stairway landing?


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Originally Posted by petermole View Post
Right now I'm measuring that distance at 33 3/4" (but that's against stud finished with drywall). House was built in 1950s.

Hmmm... Well, my biggest concern is being able to move furniture through that passageway and then making a hard upward turn. Not sure if there's a rule of thumb for that, but I think I'll just create a 36" opening (finished wall to finished wall) very similar the photo I posted. I guess that will work.

Thanks (again!)
36" is the standard so it should be alright.
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:33 AM   #8
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Re: Minimum Width required on Stairway landing?


Could there be a fire code that prevents such a wall? It looks like a trap to me.
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Old 08-16-2018, 10:45 AM   #9
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Re: Minimum Width required on Stairway landing?


I think ADA requires 36", but other than that I'm not aware. That said, if there's a fire code or some other restriction, I'd sure like to know about it! Likewise, if you'd like to make your case for how it's a "trap", I'm listening.
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Old 08-16-2018, 03:30 PM   #10
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Re: Minimum Width required on Stairway landing?


One way that it might be a trap is if smoke is rising from a lower floor, the wall creates a tunnel. I live on the second floor of an apartment building. The stairs are not near my door. I bought a rope ladder & keep it by a window next to where I sleep. Call me paranoid but that's the way I see it.
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Old 08-16-2018, 03:54 PM   #11
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Re: Minimum Width required on Stairway landing?


Guap0,


I'm not calling your paranoid. You're just trying to help. However, I actually thought non-open or non-exposed stairways were pretty common.



Any volunteer firemen out there?
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Old 08-16-2018, 03:59 PM   #12
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Re: Minimum Width required on Stairway landing?


I wasn't taking offense. While that type of stairway maybe common, it doesn't mean that it's good or I have to like it. I should have asked you why you want to close it? How does it help you?
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Old 08-16-2018, 04:39 PM   #13
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Re: Minimum Width required on Stairway landing?


Guap0,
? No one's saying you have to like it. While I'm not yet convinced it's a fire trap, I actually hate the way a closed stairway will look on both a cosmetic and functional basis. You can't see behind the 2x, but there's also a nice semi-custom built wrought iron railing that will have to go once it's closed off.

Closing it helps me because I'm married and it's what my wife wants. Find me a legitimate safety reason not to do it, and you'll be doing me a favor!


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Old 08-16-2018, 05:03 PM   #14
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Re: Minimum Width required on Stairway landing?


Quote:
Closing it helps me because I'm married and it's what my wife wants. Find me a legitimate safety reason not to do it, and you'll be doing me a favor!
Okay, I fully understand. I can't find a code that prohibits you from enclosing the stairs. It's only my opinion. May I ask why your wife want's it enclosed?
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Old 08-16-2018, 05:24 PM   #15
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Re: Minimum Width required on Stairway landing?


Quote:
Okay, I fully understand.
lol

It's a whole thing... She wants an open design, which is fine, but the orientation is weird. The kitchen "triangle" is all off. It requires me to make a walled in section for the fridge and mircrowave, the back of which will be the wall closing off the stairway and the hallway accessing the rest of the first floor. When it's all done, the fridge will be almost 12' from the sink and the entire traffic flow of the house will be rerouted through the center of the "triangle". Oh, and to the immediately right of the closet door you see in the photo is my FRONT door entering the house which to me is just kinda weird.


I'm not telling you this because there's any hope of talking her out of it. I've accepted my fate. You're little more than a bartender to me at this point. lol.
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