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    Distance from basement door to edge of first riser

    Distance from basement door to edge of first riser

    New postby Jim Wolfe on Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:57 am

    I am replacing a 30" door that opens to a basement stairwell (kitchen remodel). The door swings in toward the kitchen (away from the stairs). The distance between the door (the face of the door on the kitchen side, when closed) and the row of cabinets is 5"-0". Is there a recommended or required (code) distance from the face of the door to the edge of the first riser (where the riser drops to the top tread)? Thank you so much for your help!
    Jim Wolfe
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:28 am

    Re: Distance from basement door to edge of first riser

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:41 pm

    Hi Jim,

    As I understand what you are saying, you have: A basement stairs going up to a kitchen with a basement door at the top of the stairs and the door swings into the kitchen and not over the stairs.

    A landing is required at the top and bottom of every stair, however, there is an exception - for an interior stair a landing is not required at the top of the stair as long as a door does not swing over the stairs. This applies to interior stairs and also specifically applies to stairs leading to an enclosed garage - this is specifically stated and included as the door from the house to the garage is not considered an interior door. The door from the house to the basement could be considered an interior door, or, if considered something else, then logically the door could be considered the same as the door to the garage as both lead to an enclosed space which is outside the thermal envelope of the house.

    The above means that you could, by code, open the door into the kitchen and the first riser could be right there at the door.

    Now let's make it more complicated: Let's say the top riser is not right at the door, that there is an area of some size on the stair side of the door. That would be the top tread or a landing, which means that top surface would need to be the same depth as all of the other treads in the basement stairs to be considered a tread, or, if different, that top surface would need to meet the requirements for a landing - and a landing shall be a minimum of 36 inches in the direction of travel and be at least the width of the stairs.

    That should answer your question, albeit in a somewhat complicated way, as the answer depends on which of the above conditions is present.
    Jerry Peck - CodeMan

    Construction and Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC.
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    Jerry Peck - Codeman
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    Re: Distance from basement door to edge of first riser

    New postby Jim Wolfe on Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:27 am

    Hi Jerry,

    Thank you so much for your thorough explanation and answer! You answered questions I should have asked, but didn't know any better. Incredibly helpful!

    Thanks again,
    Jim Wolfe
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:28 am

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