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    Stair Landing Height below Porch Threshold

    Stair Landing Height below Porch Threshold

    New postby brogers on Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:35 pm

    I am building a new screen porch, and have a question regarding the height of the landing for new stairs from new screen porch to yard.

    I have a code compliant landing at "required exit door" (my front door). For appearance purposes, I would like to lower the height of stair landing on the screen porch. It will be a 36"x36" landing with a 36" door. Floor of porch is about 30" about finished grade.
    After reading several posts, am I correct in assuming my porch exit landing can be 7-3/4" below the floor level of my porch, as long as landing is as wide as my screen door?

    Does the screen porch exit door have to open in towards the porch for this to be code compliant, or can I have it open out to the yard, as long as I have a 3x3 landing? I live in Virginia, if that helps.
    Thanks,
    brogers
     
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:21 pm

    Re: Stair Landing Height below Porch Threshold

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:39 pm

    Hi brogers,

    brogers wrote:I have a code compliant landing at "required exit door" (my front door). For appearance purposes, I would like to lower the height of stair landing on the screen porch. It will be a 36"x36" landing with a 36" door. Floor of porch is about 30" about finished grade.


    First, the screen porch door becomes a second "required exit door" as egressing through the existing required exit door (your front door) will no longer take you outside of the structure, you will still be inside the screen porch.

    Starting off with your statement that you currently "have a code compliant landing at "required exit door" (my front door)" leads to a question: what is the height difference between the landing you currently have and the level of the screen porch floor?

    You stated that the height of the screen porch is 30 inches above finished grade, is that the same height as the existing landing, or lower?

    After reading several posts, am I correct in assuming my porch exit landing can be 7-3/4" below the floor level of my porch, as long as landing is as wide as my screen door?


    Yes, the landing must be as wide as the screen door. Both the screen door and the landing must be at least 36 inches wide minimum.

    Does the screen porch exit door have to open in towards the porch for this to be code compliant, or can I have it open out to the yard, as long as I have a 3x3 landing?


    The *screen door* can open outward over the landing. The prohibition is for a door other than a screen door or a storm door, with the presumption being that there is another door there (i.e., such as if you installed a screen door or storm door at your existing front door - the existing front door would be required to swing inward is there is a riser on the exterior side but a screen door or storm door would be allowed to swing outward over that riser).

    I was missing some information needed to precisely answer your question, and hopefully the presumptions I made to arrive at my answers were correct - with the unknown being the height difference between the existing door landing and the new front porch being the remaining question - which would only allow me to visualize your description better, most likely not have a bearing on the answer.
    Jerry Peck - CodeMan
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    Re: Stair Landing Height below Porch Threshold

    New postby brogers on Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:01 pm

    Jerry Peck - Codeman wrote:Hi brogers,

    brogers wrote:I have a code compliant landing at "required exit door" (my front door). For appearance purposes, I would like to lower the height of stair landing on the screen porch. It will be a 36"x36" landing with a 36" door. Floor of porch is about 30" about finished grade.


    First, the screen porch door becomes a second "required exit door" as egressing through the existing required exit door (your front door) will no longer take you outside of the structure, you will still be inside the screen porch. First of all, Thank you for your great response and your help. The new porch door is in the back, I am replacing an old deck. No changes in front door configuration.

    Starting off with your statement that you currently "have a code compliant landing at "required exit door" (my front door)" leads to a question: what is the height difference between the landing you currently have and the level of the screen porch floor? See Above

    You stated that the height of the screen porch is 30 inches above finished grade, is that the same height as the existing landing, or lower? No existing landing, I am replacing a deck in back yard with the screen porch. I want to make my new landing lower than the height of the porch floor for appearance, and to reduce the number of stairs required and save a little space in yard.

    After reading several posts, am I correct in assuming my porch exit landing can be 7-3/4" below the floor level of my porch, as long as landing is as wide as my screen door?


    Yes, the landing must be as wide as the screen door. Both the screen door and the landing must be at least 36 inches wide minimum.

    Does the screen porch exit door have to open in towards the porch for this to be code compliant, or can I have it open out to the yard, as long as I have a 3x3 landing?


    The *screen door* can open outward over the landing. The prohibition is for a door other than a screen door or a storm door, with the presumption being that there is another door there (i.e., such as if you installed a screen door or storm door at your existing front door - the existing front door would be required to swing inward is there is a riser on the exterior side but a screen door or storm door would be allowed to swing outward over that riser). The screen door in my new porch will be the only door on the porch, except for a door that leads inside the house. My "primary" exit would still be my front door. Does that mean that my porch door can open over the new landing?

    I was missing some information needed to precisely answer your question, and hopefully the presumptions I made to arrive at my answers were correct - with the unknown being the height difference between the existing door landing and the new front porch being the remaining question - which would only allow me to visualize your description better, most likely not have a bearing on the answer.


    Thanks again.
    brogers
     
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:21 pm

    Re: Stair Landing Height below Porch Threshold

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:14 pm

    Hi brogers,

    Okay, I completely missed the location where you were installing the screened in porch, I figure the front door statement was a clue that it was going there, but you were simply stating that you had that covered.

    Got it now.

    brogers wrote:The screen door in my new porch will be the only door on the porch, except for a door that leads inside the house. My "primary" exit would still be my front door. Does that mean that my porch door can open over the new landing?


    Yes, as long as the porch door is a screen door, the code does not address screen doors as to whether or not they are "the only" door.

    However, keep in mind that the code's INTENT is to have *A door* open in at the top of that landing and then "the screen door" becomes an accessory door, someone having already opened the main door.

    The code is a "minimum" requirement and cannot address all possible conditions.

    Can the screen door swing out over the landing and stairs from the screen porch and be code compliant? Yes.

    Should the scree door swing out over the landing and the stairs from the screen porch being as it is *THE ONLY* door? Doing so makes for a less safe installation.

    You will need to be the one to weigh minimum code compliance with safety for your family and guests.

    The codes are also subject to "interpretation" and although no "interpretation" is necessary for this section - it is clear is what it requires, your local AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction - your local building department) may well state that "the intent" of the code is as I have stated and require that screen door to swing in.
    Jerry Peck - CodeMan
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