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Old 04-08-2016, 06:02 PM   #1
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Minimum Stair Width - for deck access


Hello and thanks from California.

Problem:
2 story house with roof deck. 2nd story has a deck off the kitchen.

I would like to put stairs from the second floor deck to the roof and prefer not to have a spiral staircase. Total distance is 13 steps / 108" high.

This second floor deck, when built, was reinforced with beams to accomodate the load of a metal staircase or spiral and all was done via city permit.

I have read different articles about the MINIMUM width a stair case needs to be and wanted some insight from the forum on if I could get by inspection with a 30" wide staircase or if 36 is the minimum allowed.

The spiral that was there was a 60 inch spiral but .. I hate spirals.

Looking for a better alternative. The second floor deck is 70" wide from house by 16'

Thank you.
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Old 04-08-2016, 06:06 PM   #2
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Re: Minimum Stair Width - for deck access


No doubt your local building inspector will be pleased to discuss the project with you, and is certainly the most informed person on the issue of minimum code mandated stair width.
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:27 AM   #3
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Re: Minimum Stair Width - for deck access


I have spoken with them about this and past projects, "most informed" is subjective as I have seen building inspectors who are great at their job and some who made me nervous when they left the house.

I am looking for some creativity or justification with regards to either:
A. minimizing stair width or
B. an alternative solution to a spiral staircase.

For instance:
If you take a spiral stair case and make it square instead of round do (when looking down from above) do you still get the flexibility of 30" width?
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:20 PM   #4
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Re: Minimum Stair Width - for deck access


For instance, this line from the Cali Building code:

Private stairways serving an occupant load of less than 10 may be 30 inches wide
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Old 04-09-2016, 01:04 PM   #5
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Re: Minimum Stair Width - for deck access


Quote:
R311.7.1 Width.
Stairways shall not be less than 36 inches (914 mm) in clear width at all points above the permitted handrail height and below the required headroom height. Handrails shall not project more than 4.5 inches (114 mm) on either side of the stairway and the minimum clear width of the stairway at and below the handrail height, including treads and landings, shall not be less than 311/2 inches (787 mm) where a handrail is installed on one side and 27 inches (698 mm) where handrails are provided on both sides.

Exception:
The width of spiral stairways shall be in accordance with Section R311.7.10.1.
http://codes.iccsafe.org/app/book/co...apter%203.html

From what this says you could possibly go as little as 27 in. as long as it has a 36 in clear area above the hand rail. as others have said its up to the inspector whether they will allow it or not.

Last edited by Mingledtrash; 04-09-2016 at 01:10 PM.
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