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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I am doing a light remodel of an apartment and I would like to reduce the amount of footprint committed to stairs. The short of it is that I am trying to determine what the minimum is for utility stairs that are not generally accessible (behind a locked door and only used for basement access for the purpose of maintenance).

Also, there is another access from the back of the building, and I am considering that maybe we do not need these stairs at all, though I would like to retain them for convenience sake. Removing them would have a basement space with one egress.

On the OSHA site, it says utility stairs can be 50 degrees in steepness and 22 in wide, though I cannot find this in the IRC code.

Anyone out there knowledgeable about this specific area? Thank you.
 

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Civil Engineer
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Your local code official will be knowledgeable about the specific requirements for your area and project. No one on an internet chat forum can possibly have the requisite knowledge of local conditions and regulations required, so I suggest you visit your building inspector with a rough sketch of what you want to do, and talk to them about the requirements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Your local code official will be knowledgeable about the specific requirements for your area and project. No one on an internet chat forum can possibly have the requisite knowledge of local conditions and regulations required, so I suggest you visit your building inspector with a rough sketch of what you want to do, and talk to them about the requirements.
Damn I was worried someone would say that. Frankly I'd really like to stay off their radar. Obviously if I am not getting it inspected I can do all sorts of illegal stuff, but I would rather try to keep things to code. I'm generally of the opinion that the code exists for a reason, even if I don't care for inspectors.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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Making unpermitted/uninspected structural changes is not wise. Could come back to bite you if you go to sell.
 

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The code conditions for rental property in most areas may be even more strict. The stairway is going to have meet standards for egress even if behind a locked door. You also need a stairway beg enough or get any replacement mechanicals down there.
 

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Licensed P.E./Home Insp
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If your insurer ever caught word that you performed unpermitted work that was not up to construction code, and a tenant got hurt, your insurer would say "sorry, can't help you." The tenant would then be free to clean you out.
 

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No reason you can't go talk to your code officials. Just tell them you are considering making some changes and you want to find out what the requirements are before you decide to do it. They're not going to follow you home or watch your rubbage after that.
Mike Hawkins:smile:
 

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Hello,

I am doing a light remodel of an apartment and I would like to reduce the amount of footprint committed to stairs. The short of it is that I am trying to determine what the minimum is for utility stairs that are not generally accessible (behind a locked door and only used for basement access for the purpose of maintenance).

Also, there is another access from the back of the building, and I am considering that maybe we do not need these stairs at all, though I would like to retain them for convenience sake. Removing them would have a basement space with one egress.

On the OSHA site, it says utility stairs can be 50 degrees in steepness and 22 in wide, though I cannot find this in the IRC code.

Anyone out there knowledgeable about this specific area? Thank you.
As daniel said you need to ask your local authoritah.

If your in a big apartment building you need to be using the regular IBC not the IRC or residential code. IRC is for 1 and 2 family dwellings.


That being said the osha reg. you are referring to is for whats known as a ships ladder. osha is for professional situations, professionals can be trained to use a steeper stair way. You dont want to take a 10 hour class just to access your basement do you? The IBC will not allow it in your situation. if IBC is required in your situation the standard rules for your occupancy class will apply.

The IBC states that ships ladders may be use for raised platforms with a small square footage. my interpretation of this is, that the reason it can be steeper in this situation is, that you will only ever be evacuated down hill.

here is the link to IBC if you would like to learn.
http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/icod/ibc/2012/icod_ibc_2012_10_sec009.htm
 
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