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Thread: Circular Stairs

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cave Creek Az
    Posts
    965

    Default

    Hey Starweld, I figured this one out, "have a question about the handrail. If this is pipe what causes the diameter variations? The bumps almost make it look like segments that are put together somehow".
    He is asking about the balusters on the upper deck railing. I was so puzzled about that I came back 3 or 4 times to see if he'd repost and clarify his question.
    Also, here in the wild wild west I have been required to follow the IBC 2009 for handrail size and grippability thing on residential too, so no 3/4" stock for me. I think each inspector has 3 or 4 little bits of code that they think they know and try to stick every contractor on those things, the rest are overlooked due to ignorance, or laziness. Now if I could just figure out those 3 or 4 things before I bid each job...

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    835

    Default

    This is not a commercial application.
    This is a residential standard covered by the International Residential Code, which Indiana has adopted (assuming this is in Indiana). I think it's in sections R311 and R312, but I don't have a code book in front of me.

    Handrails smaller than 1.25" and larger than 2" in diameter are not as easily gripped with the kind of force necessary to recover balance.

    Openings larger than 4 inches allow small children to get body parts through, and if much larger, their entire bodies, as well as allowing entanglement of an adult sized leg during a fall.

    Sorry if I came across as a smart aleck, but honestly, building stairs that don't meet code requirements is the mark of an amateur.

    Stairs are the second most likely place a person will be injured or killed from an accident in their home, second only to drowning in tubs and pools. They deserve more attention than just making them look good. There are certain dimensions that must be right for them to be safe. Maybe I just care more about this because I used to be the guy that strapped people on a backboard after they fell down the stairs.

    Don't get me wrong, they look great. But they aren't code compliant and that's going to be bad news one day.
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  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,949

    Thumbs up Right On

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodybagger View Post
    This is a residential standard covered by the International Residential Code, which Indiana has adopted (assuming this is in Indiana). I think it's in sections R311 and R312, but I don't have a code book in front of me.

    Handrails smaller than 1.25" and larger than 2" in diameter are not as easily gripped with the kind of force necessary to recover balance.

    Openings larger than 4 inches allow small children to get body parts through, and if much larger, their entire bodies, as well as allowing entanglement of an adult sized leg during a fall.

    Sorry if I came across as a smart aleck, but honestly, building stairs that don't meet code requirements is the mark of an amateur.

    Stairs are the second most likely place a person will be injured or killed from an accident in their home, second only to drowning in tubs and pools. They deserve more attention than just making them look good. There are certain dimensions that must be right for them to be safe. Maybe I just care more about this because I used to be the guy that strapped people on a backboard after they fell down the stairs.

    Don't get me wrong, they look great. But they aren't code compliant and that's going to be bad news one day.
    Very well stated! How true.

    Dave
    "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    234

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by starweld View Post
    This is not a commercial application. It is always nice hearing from a know it all.
    No residential building codes out there? If that's the case, sweet. Where I live, it's 4" centers, max.

    Code issues aside, that staircase looks great. I'm itching to try something like that.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Delhi, Ontario:
    Posts
    1,963

    Thumbs up Universal Codes !

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodybagger View Post
    This is a residential standard covered by the International Residential Code, which Indiana has adopted (assuming this is in Indiana). I think it's in sections R311 and R312, but I don't have a code book in front of me.

    Handrails smaller than 1.25" and larger than 2" in diameter are not as easily gripped with the kind of force necessary to recover balance.

    Openings larger than 4 inches allow small children to get body parts through, and if much larger, their entire bodies, as well as allowing entanglement of an adult sized leg during a fall.

    Sorry if I came across as a smart aleck, but honestly, building stairs that don't meet code requirements is the mark of an amateur.

    Stairs are the second most likely place a person will be injured or killed from an accident in their home, second only to drowning in tubs and pools. They deserve more attention than just making them look good. There are certain dimensions that must be right for them to be safe. Maybe I just care more about this because I used to be the guy that strapped people on a backboard after they fell down the stairs.

    Don't get me wrong, they look great. But they aren't code compliant and that's going to be bad news one day.
    Bodybagger, Hi;

    I think those codes you stated are Universal Codes !
    We here in Ontario must abide by the Identical Codes !

    Saftey Above All Else !!

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  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks MO
    Posts
    3,537

    Default

    Also the space between the steps is huge so that needs to be addressed as well.
    I worked at a fab shop in my early twenties and made several steps like that. they were a big deal then. I hated "screwing" them thru doorways etc
    It would be cool if they made a comeback. I would only make high end/elaborate ones tho.
    I think the codes would make for a much better looking design if approached correctly.
    Btw I've spent a LOT of time around spiral stairs like that and they really do have way more stumbling and falling incidents than normal stairs. Many times they are used as a space saver. They work well when they are made extra large/wide.
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  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Rushville IN
    Posts
    50

    Default Check this out

    http://www.theironshop.com/vicpic_01.htm

    These guys build hundreds of these!!! Maybe they need all you critics for consultants....

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Island Falls Maine
    Posts
    562

    Default

    you do good work.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    miami
    Posts
    262

    Default stair rail

    i think forming the rail in the vice is probably a little difficult but if it worked for you then great. i am only wondering why not slab was poured at the base.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    103

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by starweld View Post
    http://www.theironshop.com/vicpic_01.htm

    These guys build hundreds of these!!! Maybe they need all you critics for consultants....
    I noticed only the first one with the big spaces. I have build massive teak carved spirals with no outside railings for an estate, but for inspection the owner had temp spirals in place that met code. once all the other building was done he had the illegal ones put in. Some filthy rich South African, he could care less what the laws were as far as i could tell.

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