How To Look At A House
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The stairs feel too steep. What's the building code?
Thursday, October 4, 2018
The International Building Code places restrictions on the risers (vertical piece) and treads (horizontal piece) of stairs: risers can not be more than 7-3/4” high and treads not less than 10” wide. But if a tread is less than 11” wide, then a nosing must be added this is long enough that the total of tread and nosing is 11”. So, a 10” tread would require a 1” nosing projection. The maximum riser height was reduced a few years ago from 8”; so now 8” or more is considered a problem, but 8” would be acceptable on an older stair.
However a stair can meet these two guidelines and still be awkward to walk. The riser to tread ratio is also important to get right. A rule-of-thumb is that two times the riser plus one tread should equal 24” to 26”. Implicit in the stair ratio is the concept that as the riser gets shorter the tread should grow, and vice-versa. It has to do with having a comfortable cadence walking up and down a stairs.
Also, see our blog post What is the longest stair run allowed?
Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about STAIRS:
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