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Old 09-24-2009, 03:41 PM   #16
 
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Im thinking about remaking the stairs but I know my girlfriend will get pissed.

I dont see how you guy are saying I could easily have my first step as the landing. The ceiling is 84" off the ground. Lets say I did meet code and risers were only 7.75" with the first step being the riser. 84 - 7.75 = 76.25" which is to small. to meet code the landing/ first step would only be 4".

Now I did check and found out that my first riser is not right! I dont know how this happened because I did compenstate for the floor in my models. All my risers are suppose to be 8.125". But now my bottom riser is bigger and my top riser is smaller than the rest. Atleast wanted them all the same.

Damn. My girlfriend is going to think im nuts for doing it again. she loves the stairs. I have to go back to my plans and check them over.
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:16 PM   #17
 
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Ok check it out.

total run = 131.125
total rise = 97.5
riser height = 8.125
risers = 12
treads = 11

If I had the first tread as the landing of 36" that would leave me with 95.125". Because the first tread is accounted for at 36" thats leaves 10. So each tread would be 9.5125". Mine is 9.25. That would only buy me another .25" about. I would have a 36" landing but my head clearance would only be 75.875". OoooooOOOO,... I can create a slope in the ceiling from the landing to the floor. That would give me a head clearance of 81 or so inches.

So the only not to code aspect of the stairs would be the threads are .5" to short and risers are .375" to tall.

My girlfriend is pissed about my wanting to tear the stairs down. she thinks im nuts.
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:22 PM   #18
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You just have to cut the thickness of the existing and finish tread material from the first (bottom) riser. If the top floor is at finish height and the concrete is at finish grade. The first step to a landing would give you closer to a legal landing depth, even if the headroom is not quite there (6'8" min.). You need a variance anyway, just list that too. Much better than old set.

Be safe, Gary
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:38 PM   #19
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At the joist above the new landing, notch (rip) to get required headroom. Double the joist outside from above the landing, making the break point there. The header joist across the stairs- at headroom above the landing and over the landing would be cut (ripped) 4-?" to have headroom plus drywall. Also on the landing, add the drywall (1/2") thickness from the wall to stair nosing (finish). 36-1/2".
Be safe, Gary
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:53 PM   #20
 
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I can make this work. My only concern now is that I have baseboard heating down in my basement. The heater piping would have to pass through the landing. That will be ok? I dont know. All that heat will be inside the stair structure. Will it warp the wood or something? If I leave an opening on each side of the landing you think that will be enough venting for it? I can build a tunnel to heat keep the heat out of the stairs. What do you think?
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:01 PM   #21
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Good info on this thread guys. With remodeling, sometimes meeting code can be a real challenge that many of us deal with on a daily basis. Removal of the existing stair does require replacement to code since it is not a repair. Of course a call to the building department is always prudent before you start the project. Sometimes arranging a meeting with the inspector will help lead to compromise (code variances) before starting work.

I'm contacted ahead of time and can see the existing stair before demolition it is easy to determine if the new stair will be at least as dimensionally safe as the existing stair. In this case I'd have probably opted to require a landing and a 90 degree turn if the headroom would be adequate for the average person. The lack of a sufficient landing at the bottom of a stair is a major concern for safety, but also prohibits you from getting larger furniture items like sofas down the stairs since the guardrail on both sides will close the sides off.

It is also reasonably easy to get nosings on the treads, which are required by code. The addition of 3/4" of tread nosing overhang substantially increases the safety of the stair.

For a first time you definitely didn't do bad on the carpentry aspect. I would also suggest a third stringer in the middle...Pretty much industry standard.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:22 PM   #22
 
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I know what I have to do now. I will post a 3D model of what im planning. Oh I have a walk out basement too. A sliding door so the only thing going up and down the stairs are people. My house is on a slope so the basement is kind of the first floor too.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:32 PM   #23
 
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Hey what about the baseboard heater pipes going through the landing? Is that safe? I dont think its a fire hazard but what about my stairs with the heat buildup? You think it will have any effect?
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:03 PM   #24
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The heating plumbing is not a fire hazard. You could simply insulate the pipes.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:21 PM   #25
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Or put a small vent at each side to allow heat to escape



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Old 09-24-2009, 10:49 PM   #26
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Or put a small vent at each side to allow heat to escape
I'll just strip the heat fins off the pipe and run it through. A hot water pipe running through wont do anything to the landing.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:03 PM   #27
 
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So,... I am wondering. The basement was initially made up into rooms. well there were two official rooms, that being they had doors. The two rooms being a bathroom and an office. I want to recreate the same thing except i want use up all the wasted space by giving it to the rooms. Also,... I want gie one of the area's before a door making it another room. But whats the deal with the windows? Each room has to hae a window or something or some window light?!?!?

All three rooms wont have any windows. Is there anyway around this? Maybe creating like rooms without doors? Maybe like cubicals or something? Halfwalls. The main area or livingroom space has plenty of light seeing theres a huge window and a sliding door. So that room isnt a problem.

What defines a habitable room? Like a bedroom? What about an office? a bathroom? This is driving me nuts. Im under pressure here because my girlfriend wants me to get on with all this. She deosnt care abotu code. The way she see's it, if we sell the house it wont be for a long time. But seriously,.... if we do sell down the road, gutting out the basement and then refinishing it again would suck.
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Old 09-25-2009, 12:47 AM   #28
 
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"Habitable room" means any room used for sleeping, living or dining purposes,
excluding such enclosed places as kitchens, closets, pantries, bath or toilet rooms, hallways,
laundries, storage spaces, utility rooms, and similar spaces.

Sweet. so i dont hae to worry about windows in any of these rooms im making because they are excluded as habitable.

The only thing I am wondering though,... does anyone know what the minimum door height is for NJ? I havent got any good hits with google on this. I read 80", 78", 70". Whats the minimum?

I want to install a door under the main beam but the door would only be about 77". I could move the door over so its next to the main beam flush and that would give me the 80" but the main beam is only 78", LOL. All this code is just crazy to me! I understand it's purpose but seriously.
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:02 AM   #29
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Basements with sleeping rooms must have at least one emergency escape window with a net clear opening of 5 square feet in each room. Opening height must be min 24" and opening width must be min 20". Sill height can not be more then 44" above the floor and you must have a window well equipped with a ladder if the depth is more then 44". The horizontal area in the window well must be a min 9 square feet with a minimum width of 36".

Minimum door height for egress doors is 80".

The building codes are the minimum standards for a structure to be safe. They do not necessarily reflect a well built structure but simply a structure that has conformed to the bare minimum. They are in place to protect the general well being and safety of the public. Failure to meet these standards would mean you have constructed a sub par structure. To put it in laymens terms a structure built strictly to code would have a grade equal to a D in school. Not great but good enough to get by. A structure built below code standards would have an F in school.

You should consult your local building department with regards to building codes in your area. The IRC codes are model codes, local codes may differ from the model codes (typically they are more stringent then the model codes but this is not always the case). You also need to obtain a building permit for the activities you are planning. Your building department may have a basement finishing package with code references and requirements listed in it available to help guide you through the process.
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:07 AM   #30
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If this is Jersey, you really should talk to your inspector. Did you read up on the NJ Rehab Code? That pretty much rules the roost here in NJ for remodels and renovations, and it doesn't lock you into building to the current code requirements in a lot of cases. If I were you I'd go to the web site and read up, and then talk to the inspector.

Also, I have a question: did you pull a permit for this work?
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