Questions re: entry steps?
#11
  
Should add a handrail to these steps? The house was built in 93, we bought it 2+ years ago, the inspector didn't mention it so I assume it is to code. I'd want to put the rail on the left side due to the taper on the right. Also, the first step is 6", second 7" and into the house is 8". Should they all be the same?

I really don't care about the code, I just want the entry to be safe for our guests and us.

   

Thanks,  g
I've only had one...in dog beers.

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#12
  Re: Questions re: entry steps? by shoottmx (Should add a handrai...)
This was interesting enough for me to look this up.  It is not entirely clear to me, but it seems that #4 says that the landing outside the door has to be 36" deep.  Your landing seems to be about 12" deep, and is essentially a step.  I might be misreading this however.

https://inspectapedia.com/Stairs/Stair_Landings.php
  1. There shall be a landing or floor on each side of each exterior door.
  2. The width of each landing shall be not less than the door served.
  3. Every landing shall have a dimension of not less than 36 inches (914 mm) measured in the direction of travel.
  4. The slope at exterior landings shall not exceed 1 /4 unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (2 percent).
http://crsstairs.com/files/STAIRWAYS-IRC-2009.pdf

COMMONLY USED RESIDENTIAL BUILDING CODESINTERNATIONAL RESIDENTIAL CODE (2009)form revised 5/10 STAIRWAYS46. LANDINGS. Section R311 IRC 2009R311.7.5 Landings for stairways. There shall be a floor or landing at the top and bottom of each stairway. Exception: A floor or landing is not required at the top of an interior flight of stairs, including stairs in an enclosed garage, provided a door does not swing over the stairs. A flight of stairs shall not have a vertical rise larger than 12 feet (3658 mm) between floor levels or landings. The width of each landing shall not be less than the width of the stairway served. Every landing shall have a minimum dimension of 36 inches (914 mm) measured in the direction of travel. R311.3 Floors and landings at exterior doors.

There shall be a landing or floor on each side of each exterior door. The width of each landing shall not be less than the door served. Every landing shall have a minimum dimension of 36 inches (914 mm) measured in the direction of travel. Exterior landings shall be permitted to have a slope not to exceed 1/4 unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (2-percent). Exception: Exterior balconies less than 60 square feet (5.6 m2) and only accessible from a door are permitted to have a landing less than 36 inches (914 mm) measured in the direction of travel.
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#13
  Re: Questions re: entry steps? by shoottmx (Should add a handrai...)
(06-24-2020, 12:05 PM)shoottmx Wrote: Should add a handrail to these steps? The house was built in 93, we bought it 2+ years ago, the inspector didn't mention it so I assume it is to code. I'd want to put the rail on the left side due to the taper on the right. Also, the first step is 6", second 7" and into the house is 8". Should they all be the same?

I really don't care about the code, I just want the entry to be safe for our guests and us.



Thanks,  g

We had a very similar situation at our house when we moved in six years ago.

Bottom line #1:  Folks who don't get around so well will definitely appreciate a hand rail.  I always discounted the need for a handrail for shorter stacks of stairs, until I started getting older myself.  

Bottom line #2:  Yes, make the steps a consistent height.  Another thing I didn't pay much attention to until I replaced the back porch steps.

Edit to add one more thing: I'd consider putting that handrail on the side of the steps where the door handle is. Putting the handrail on the hinge side could makeit awkward for somebody who would reach for the door jam to steady themselves. I know that makes the current steps seem strange.
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#14
  Re: Questions re: entry steps? by shoottmx (Should add a handrai...)
I'll defer to others on code questions, but I'll throw my two cents in here anyway.

I don't think those stairs "require" a hand rail since there are three or less steps.

I would raise that entire stair portion 1" to make all the steps 7" in height. Consistency is key.
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#15
  Re: Questions re: entry steps? by shoottmx (Should add a handrai...)
I agree with Cooler.

Although a handrail will be nice, most of the accidents will be a result of the narrow top step (landing). 

With the door opening in, you will not be "swept off" the steps while standing on them and opening the door.  However there will be a whole different problem coming out the door.  It will be necessary to close the door, step down, maintain a hand hold on the door knob (or future hand rail), and not fall down the steps while doing so.

It sure would be nice to have a place to stand while you are trying to do all of that.

Since you really need to make the rise the same on all of the steps - and will have to do some modification to do so, you just as well add a landing outside the door.

An additional advantage to the landing is that the delivery service will have a place to put your packages and all you will have to do is open the door to retrieve them.  No more going up and down the steps to get your packages.
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#16
  Re: Questions re: entry steps? by shoottmx (Should add a handrai...)
All good points.

The steps are both 16 1/2" deep-- 3ea 1x6's. I could remove 1 board from the first step making it 11" deep then add that board to the top making it about 22" deep. Not a 36" landing but better than what we now have.

I agree re: handrails for older folks. I'm getting there, more quickly that I like. Putting the rail on the right presents more issues. If I run it into the side of the house to anchor it will be way to the right of the door due to the sidelight. There is a stringer roughly in line with the jamb, maybe I can anchor to that?

Raising the steps so that they are a consistent  7" makes sense.

Thanks for your thoughts,  g
I've only had one...in dog beers.

If hummus is made from Garbanzo beans, why isn't it called Garbanzus?
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#17
  Re: Questions re: entry steps? by shoottmx (Should add a handrai...)
My experience in installing similar steps is:

Make all rise heights the same. That is the safest fix since most folks muscle memory is 7".

The best place for the railing is on the right(as you look at the door) because that is the side most people would exit that door(closer to the right because of the way the door opens. Plus, having the railing on the right side allows a person to hold the rail and open the door more easily. You could leave the design the same and use the angle for the potted plant.

If you should decide to add a storm door, that step design would not be safe. You would need to extend the first step out at least 4 feet and install the storm to have the handle on the left side to make opening the storm safe. That would also mean a railing should be on the left side so a person could hold the rail and open the storm door.




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#18
  Re: Questions re: entry steps? by shoottmx (Should add a handrai...)
(06-24-2020, 01:42 PM)K. L McReynolds Wrote: If you should decide to add a storm door, that step design would not be safe.

Hmmmmm. We're planning to do just that before winter. Thank you for pointing out the issues with the lack of a landing.

g
I've only had one...in dog beers.

If hummus is made from Garbanzo beans, why isn't it called Garbanzus?
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#19
  Re: Questions re: entry steps? by shoottmx (Should add a handrai...)
I 2nd (or 3rd?) that those steps need to be redone so the risers are a constant height. Differing heights = trip hazard. While you are doing that, add a landing
Janus was a disaster, coming or going -   K. L, McReynolds 07/01/2015
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#20
  Re: RE: Questions re: entry steps? by shoottmx (All good points. ...)
(06-24-2020, 01:25 PM)shoottmx Wrote: ...

I agree re: handrails for older folks. I'm getting there, more quickly that I like. Putting the rail on the right presents more issues. If I run it into the side of the house to anchor it will be way to the right of the door due to the sidelight. There is a stringer roughly in line with the jamb, maybe I can anchor to that?
...

If you're going to add that storm door, you're going to need a 36" landing.

My situation was similar to yours in that I only had steps going into the house at the back door.  But there was already a storm door there.  When I wanted to enter the house, I had to grab the door, back out of the way to swing it open, and then enter the house.  Not good, even for an able-bodied person.  Getting items off the grill and into the house became a two-person operation, particularly if the weather was bad.  

I put a 36" landing out there, along with a handrail.  But I didn't attach it to the house.  It's a free-standing unit on treated 4x4 posts that rest on the concrete patio.  There's about 1/2 inch clearance between that landing and the house.  The structure is anchored to the patio concrete with lags sunk into anchors in the concrete.  It doesn't move, and I didn't add any penetrations to the siding on the house.
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