Building Code and Building Construction - Questions and Answers
Or when you want to know how construction is supposed to be done.

The following Codemen are available to answer your questions:
All Codes and Standards - Jerry Peck, Codeman

Q&A Board links

  • FAQ



  • View New Questions

  • View Unanswered Questions

  • View Active Questions/Answers

  • Mark Questions as read

  • View Your Questions

  • Go To Your User Control Panel

  • Links to:
  • Construction Litigation Consultants

  • Florida Building Commission

  • Florida Building Codes Online

  • International Code Council

  • ICC Codes Free Online

  • Building Officials and Administrators of Florida

  • Product Approvals
  • Florida Product Approval

  • ICC Evaluation Reports Search

  • Miami-Dade NOA Search

  • Inspector and Contractor License Search
  • Search Florida Licenses

  • Technical links
  • Technical Information page

  • Contact Codeman

  • Custom Search

    cellar stair questions

    cellar stair questions

    New postby nkelly on Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:56 pm

    In a home (an old New England Farmhouse) we are planning to buy, I want to move the stairs that go to the cellar (non living space, mechanical only) to another area. According to current codes, there is absolutely no way to make the stairs legal because the bottom of the floor joists (ceiling in cellar) is only 6' from the cellar floor. Should I leave the existing stairs where they are or can I put in something steep like an attic ladder where I want the interior access to be? There is exterior access to the cellar through a 3-4' wide root cellar door that was used for harvest and coal deliveries back in the day.

    We only have to follow Maine code and that is the same as the national code for stairs.
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:53 am

    Re: cellar stair questions

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:26 am

    The following is from here: (bold is mine)
    - MUBC (Maine Uniform Building Code) consists of:
    - - 2009 International Residential Code (IRC)
    - - 2009 International Building Code (IBC)
    - - 2009 International Existing Building Code (IEBC)
    - - 62.1 - 2007 (Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality)
    - - 62.2 - 2007 (Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings)
    - - E-1465-2006, Standard Practice for Radon Control Options for the Design and Construction of New Low-Rise Residential Buildings

    From the 2009 IRC:
    - R305.1.1 Basements. Portions of basements that do not contain habitable space, hallways, bathrooms, toilet rooms and laundry rooms shall have a ceiling height of not less than 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm).

    From the 2009 IEBC
    - - 404.1 Scope. Level 2 alterations include the reconfiguration of space, the addition or elimination of any door or window, the reconfiguration or extension of any system, or the installation of any additional equipment.
    - - 404.2 Application. Level 2 alterations shall comply with the provisions of Chapter 6 for Level 1 alterations as well as the provisions of Chapter 7.
    - - 405.1 Scope. Level 3 alterations apply where the work area exceeds 50 percent of the aggregate area of the building.
    - - 405.2 Application. Level 3 alterations shall comply with the provisions of Chapters 6 and 7 for Level 1 and 2 alterations, respectively, as well as the provisions of Chapter 8.

    Relocating the stair and door makes the alteration at least a Level 2 Alteration by itself, with the other work you are proposing, the alteration will be a Level 3 Alteration.

    All new work will basically follow the 2009 IRC.

    Based on the above, relocating the stairs to the basement will open a can of worms and I would wait until you address your plans with the architect. Raising the entire structure (the extent of you proposed work makes raising the entire structure a viable option) will solve that issue along with allowing for other options.
    Jerry Peck - CodeMan

    Construction and Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC.
    User avatar
    Jerry Peck - Codeman
    Site Admin
    Posts: 1109
    Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:06 pm

    Return to Stairways, Ramps, Handrails and Guards: Stairways, ramps, handrails, guardrails, landings, entry stoops/porches, recessed floor areas

    Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest