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    Steps, landings, & handrails

    Steps, landings, & handrails

    New postby waterspor on Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:21 pm

    I have 2 out swinging, exterior doors that lead to my patio on the back of my house. 1 is a 3' door that has a 34" wide landing and a 5" rise from the landing into the house. The 2nd is a 5' french door with a 38" landing with a 3.5" rise into the house. There are 4 total risers from patio to the the house. There are no hand rails on either. We live in a R1 San Diego neighborhood. Is this to code?
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    Re: Steps, landings, & handrails

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:16 pm

    I am contacting my California Codes person for your answer, in the meantime would you provide the following additional information:
    - The year the house was built, or at least a guess as to its age.
    - You said the width of the landing, to clarify: you mean the width in the dimension of the door, right? For example, the 5 foot wide French door has a 38 inch wide landing as I read your post, however, a 5 foot wide French door requires a minimum 5 foot wide landing, the same applies for the 36 inch wide with a 34 inch wide landing. The landings need to be at least as wide as the door.
    - The depth of the landing in the direction of travel is to be 36 inches minimum.

    Also sounds like you may have issues with riser height uniformity in that the riser heights are to be within a maximum of 3/8 inches from the highest riser to the lowest riser, and 3/8 inches between adjacent risers.

    Your post gives just enough information to give rise to many questions.

    waterspor wrote:1 is a 3' door that has a 34" wide landing and a 5" rise from the landing into the house. The 2nd is a 5' french door with a 38" landing
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    Re: Steps, landings, & handrails

    New postby waterspor on Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:39 pm

    waterspor wrote:I have 2 out swinging, exterior doors that lead to my patio on the back of my house. 1 is a 3' door that has a 34" wide landing and a 5" rise from the landing into the house. The 2nd is a 5' french door with a 38" landing with a 3.5" rise into the house. There are 4 total risers from patio to the the house. There are no hand rails on either. We live in a R1 San Diego neighborhood. Is this to code?


    The house was built around 1940. However, the renovation put in the doors and patio. In width, I mean from the wall out to the edge of the landing (depth would the correct word) The French door is 2 doors witha combined width of 60". Each door is 30" the depth of the landing is 38"

    Are you saying the riser from the landing to the threshold is to be within 3/8 inch of the height of riser of the steps to the landing?

    Andy
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    Re: Steps, landings, & handrails

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:53 pm

    Hi Andy,

    waterspor wrote:
    waterspor wrote:Are you saying the riser from the landing to the threshold is to be within 3/8 inch of the height of riser of the steps to the landing?


    If the landing does not meet the requirements for a proper landing, then, yes, all risers must be within the 3/8 inch maximum variation of each other. However, if the landing does meet the requirements of a proper landing, then the riser height can be more than 3/8 inch different than the other risers. This is because the riser heights in each "flight of stairs" must be the same or within 3/8 inch of each other, and a single riser is a single riser "flight of stairs", and all "flights of stairs" are required to have a landing at the top and the bottom. The landing allows one to (for lack of a better way to say it) 're-compose' themselves as they descend or ascend the stairway and then start down or up the next flight of stairs.

    A stairway consists of all flights of stairs and their landings. A stairway can consist of one single riser with a landing at the top and the bottom, and those 'landings' are the lower floor and the upper floor the riser is between.
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    Re: Steps, landings, & handrails

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:19 pm

    This is from my California codeman - he was unable to get to where he could post it himself:

    [quote]2007 California Building Code – Chapter 10 Means of Egress
    - 1008.1.4: Floor Elevation:
    - - There shall be a floor or landing on each side of a door. Such floor or landing shall be at the same elevation on each side of the door. Landings shall be level except for exterior landings, which are permitted to have a slope not to exceed 0.25 unit vertical in 12 units horizontal. (2-percent slope)
    - - - Exceptions:
    - - - - 1. Doors serving individual units in Group R-2 and R-3 where the following apply:
    - - - - - 1.1. A door is permitted to open at the top step of an interior flight of stairs, provided the door does not swing over the top step.
    - - - - - 1.2. Screen doors and storm doors are permitted to swing over stairs or landings.
    - - - - 2. Exterior doors as provided for in Section 1003.5, Exception 1, and Section 1018.2, which are not on an accessible route
    - - - - 3. In Group R-3 occupancies not required to be adoptable or accessible, the landing at an exterior doorway shall be no mare than 7.75 inches below the top of the threshold, provided the door, other than an exterior storm door or screen door, does not swing over the landing.
    - - - - 4. Variations in elevation due to differences in finish materials , but not more than 0.5 inch.
    - 1008.1.5 Landings at Doors: Landings shall have a width not less than the width of the stairway or the door, whichever is greater. Doors in the fully open position shall not reduce a required dimension by more than 7 inches.
    When a landing serves an occupant load of 50 or more, doors in any position shall not reduce the landing to less than half its required width. Landings shall have a length measured in the direction of travel of not less than 44 inches.
    - - Exception: Landing length in the direction of travel in Group R-3 and U and within individual units of Group R-2 need not exceed 36 inches.

    - 1009.3 Stair Treads and Risers:
    - - 4. In Group R-3 occupancies, within dwelling units in Group R-2 occupancies, and in Group U occupancies that are accessory to Group R-3 occupancies or accessory to individual dwelling units in Group R-2 occupancies; the maximum riser height shall be 7.75 inches; the minimum tread depth shall be 10 inches; the minimum winder tread depth at a walk line shall be 10 inches ; and the minimum winder tread depth shall be 6 inches.

    - 1009.10 Handrails: Note; In Group R-3 occupancies a continuous run of treads or flight of stairs with fewer than four risers does not require handrails.
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    Re: Steps, landings, & handrails

    New postby LStratton on Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:55 am

    I have an outswing door to a deck that may have a code problem. The house is in MA, built in 1904, but deck/stairs are newer. The door is 2-6 and swings out to a landing that is 44in in the direction of travel, and is > 4ft wide. This is the 4th door to the first floor so does not need to count as and fire egress door. The problem is that there is a 6 1/2 in step down to the landing. Is this OK?
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    Re: Steps, landings, & handrails

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:10 pm

    LStratton wrote:I have an outswing door to a deck that may have a code problem.

    The problem is that there is a 6 1/2 in step down to the landing.

    Is this OK?


    It is not okay as it is a safety hazard / trip and fall hazard. There is a remote (very remote) possibility that it was allowed at some point in time in your area, but that is a very remote possibility - making it more like 99.94% that it was not allowed by code.

    It is more probable that: a) the deck was not permitted; b) the deck was permitted and the door changed from in-swing to out-swing without a permit; or the door added without a permit (provided this is not the only door to that deck); c) other unpermitted changes may have been made.

    Regardless of whether it was 'allowed at one time' (which it most likely was not) the fact remains that today (and for the recent past) that is recognized as being an unsafe condition which is not allowed.
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