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  • Stair Code

    I am on the warpath on bad stairs today because I had to correct someone's non-compliant stairs that caused a fall and injury.

    This is a very concise guide to stair requirements from the Stairway Manufacturers Association.

    http://www.arcways.com/pdfs/IRC2006.pdf

    It's not just an idea or a better way. It's code. It's not flexible and if it doesn't meet it, it is wrong.

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  • #2
    They're a little bit outdated on some of their standards, for California anyways.

    Balcony & stair rail height is no longer 34"-36", it's now 42".

    I believe the minimum balcony height a rail is required on is no longer 30", it's now 18", if I remember correctly.
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    • #3
      Seems to me if your building stairs the IRC or IBC guide book would be a reasonable purchase. It definitely pays for its self in time saved repairing substandard work and possible resultant lawsuits. 18" sounds correct.

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      • #4
        If it’s residential you better follow your county codes! Or you’ll never pass inspection!
        Commercial, FED OSHA is a good start.
        Caution!
        These are "my" views based only on “my” experiences in “my” little bitty world.

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        • #5
          That is an awesome guide. That information is hard to decipher from the IBC, and there are no pictures, so to have it all spelled out in one place with pictures diagrams is great.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bodybagger View Post
            I am on the warpath on bad stairs today because I had to correct someone's non-compliant stairs that caused a fall and injury.

            This is a very concise guide to stair requirements from the Stairway Manufacturers Association.

            http://www.arcways.com/pdfs/IRC2006.pdf

            It's not just an idea or a better way. It's code. It's not flexible and if it doesn't meet it, it is wrong.
            Thanks for the link. I'm curious why you seem to be upset. It seems to me that you got a job (repairing someone elses noncompliant work) and that is good. Someone being injured is bad, but getting work where and when you can should make you happy.

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            • #7
              I accept with information: That information is hard to decipher from the IBC, and there are no pictures
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Desertrider33 View Post
                They're a little bit outdated on some of their standards, for California anyways.

                Balcony & stair rail height is no longer 34"-36", it's now 42".

                I believe the minimum balcony height a rail is required on is no longer 30", it's now 18", if I remember correctly.

                you sure about that... 42" above the nose of the tread? That's fricking high! Here in Maine, there is no "state" code like there is in NH... Here every town adopts their own building code which can be a severe pain in the ass, especially the ones who adopted IBC2000....
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                • #9
                  In california rail height is 42" minimum and if it's in and industrial setting it must have a toe board.

                  FYI check with the local fire dept. as they govern paths of egress.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kcstott View Post
                    In california rail height is 42" minimum and if it's in and industrial setting it must have a toe board.

                    FYI check with the local fire dept. as they govern paths of egress.
                    The toe board is new to me. What do they define as 'industrial setting' ? What are the dimensions of the toe board?
                    Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
                    Millermatic175
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                    HTP MIG200
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                    -F350 CrewCab 4x4
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                    -PassportPlus/Q300
                    -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
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                    -Suitcase12RC/Q300
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                    • #11
                      code requirements for rail

                      http://www.wagnercompanies.com/Building_Codes.aspx

                      this link is from r b wagner a national distributor of rai products. i have done a lot of commercial rail work over the years. as a shop owner and as a field installer working piecework. it is not an exact science and code is subject to interpretation. several times i have engaged in disagreements as to whether a situation called for rail or guard rail. the difference in cost being substantial. or how to terminate at the bottom of a stair the ends at a pedestrian walkway. private residences are a cake walk, they get away with things in a home that would never pass on a commercial site.


                      i remember getting called on the 36 in width requirement on a hallway where the contractor had put the walls to close to eachother and it was impossible to maintain the width and install the rail the way it was supposed to be installed. hard to believe the guy wanted to fail me; cooler heads prevailed once the site super was called in. they had to move the wall.

                      there's good money to be made in rail; better if you can stick with short runs, approved designs, odd materials etc.

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                      • #12
                        rails

                        even better as a couple of the marine fabricators on here will tell you is boat work. no code; as long as it looks really shiny and professional done anything goes. no permits, no inspectors etc. unless it is a commercial vessel that will be taking passengers.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Desertrider33 View Post
                          The toe board is new to me. What do they define as 'industrial setting' ? What are the dimensions of the toe board?
                          Like a Mezzanine. I think it only applies when there is a work space under the platform where the rail is located. We got dinged on it a while back. Inspector would not pass the mezzanine unless it had a toe board installed.
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                          • #14
                            kick plate; aka edge protection

                            kick plates on a ramp, also known as edge protection were instituted as a result of the americans with disabilities act. ADA ; each situation has to be evaluated but basically since it is a ramp and not a walkway or stairway it has different requirements.

                            the edge protection would prevent your crutches or cane from slipping over the edge if you should somehow lose control going up or down the ramp. however each ramp condition has to be evaluated.

                            the link for the florida building code seen below is pretty good, i have used it often. it is a good idea to be able to distinguish between guard rail requirements and railing requirements.




                            http://www2.iccsafe.org/states/florida_codes/

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                            • #15
                              mezzanine

                              "Like a Mezzanine. I think it only applies when there is a work space under the platform where the rail is located. We got dinged on it a while back. Inspector would not pass the mezzanine unless it had a toe board installed."


                              good example; why would you need a toe board on the mezzanine if you have already built your rail according to the two inch rule; that the bottom of your rail will no exceed two inches from the floor. aka the coke bottle rule. here you are at the mercy of the inspector or local code.

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