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I deliver the lecture on stair profiles so often that the boiler plate resides on the top of my head.

Here is the latest rendition, of which prose I am proud after so many repetitions.[:-graduat

8.5) Stairs

8.5.1) Seventeen risers with two turns lead from the main level down to the basement.

8.5.2) Sixteen risers with two turns lead from the main level to the upper.

8.5.3) Both of these staircases exhibit a list of code violations. All risers in a flight or series of flights are supposed to be of identical height within 3/8? of each other.

I found a range of riser heights in each stairway that covered up to an inch and a half difference.

8.5.4) ?Winder? treads that turn should measure no less than six inches depth. Each stairway had at least one that diminished to zero inches.

8.5.5) Stair handrails should be continuous from top to bottom, broken only by newel posts. Both stairways had considerable gaps in continuity, but all the handrail pieces did feel securely mounted.

8.5.6) The basement stair lacks headroom where one of its flights passes below the main floor framing. Headroom at all points of a tread should be min. 80 inches. I measured 69 here.

8.5.7) Builders often struggle trying to shoehorn stair flights into buildings because the total length of opening needed is not available to them due to floor plans.

The result is the kind of irregularities these stairs exhibit.

Stairway standards are important because the eye and the feet struggle to make adjustments to irregularities, and the chance of falling goes up.

8.5.8) Unfortunately these defects are usually not practical to correct because of structural limitations. Occupants of a building usually adjust through repeated use, but their eventual comfort cannot be passed onto guests, who have to bear the temporary discomforts of traverse.

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My favorite part is "......the chance of falling goes up".

You're pretty good with words, but "having to bear the temporary discomforts of traverse" needs work.

I've been studying reading forms and reading habits for a few years now, and there's a complete disconnect between information gathering forms that folks adopt and how HI reports are getting written. Opposite ends of the spectrum.

Are HI's immune to having to consider how people (meaning the general public, not me or my best friends) read and consume information nowadays?

I'm not proposing reports with clickbait to celebrity sites, but it seems the profession is going against the tide.

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My favorite part is "......the chance of falling going up".

You're pretty good with words, but "having to bear the temporary discomforts of traverse" needs work.

I've been studying reading forms and reading habits for a few years now, and there's a complete disconnect between information gathering forms that folks adopt and how HI reports are getting written. Opposite ends of the spectrum.

Are HI's immune to having to consider how people (meaning the general public, not me or my best friends) read and consume information nowadays?

I'm not proposing reports with clickbait to celebrity sites, but it seems the profession is going against the tide.

How about an example or two of these 'information gathering forms'?

Marc

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Any of the current forms....Twitter, Facebook, agglomerated news feeds, Reddit, any of the news agglomerating organizations stuff.....they collect and present information in bite size amounts with links for those wanting to go deep.

This is how people read and gather information nowadays. It's a 140 character world, like it or not.

I'm not proposing reports ala Twitter, but I am proposing HI reports might want to pay attention to where the world has gone. That folks don't know what I'm talking about when it's exploding all around them speaks to how disconnected we are.

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Neither of the staircases are safe as:

1. Riser heights are different outside the normal range

2. Treads are too narrow at the inside of the corners

3. Handrails, while securely mounted, aren't continuous

4. Inadequate head clearance at the basement stairs

They are a trip and fall hazard. Consult a stairway guy and repair/replace as you and he agree would be best for your family and guests safety. Your family, your guests, your insurance, your choice.

For more information, follow the link below:

https://www.inspectorsjournal.com/forum ... SCREEN.pdf

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Thanks for the feedback, guys.

I do have trouble dumbing down expression because I do enjoy prose style for its own sake.

Seriously, though, Erby, I do not consider stairs like these to be practically fixable. As every carpenter knows you cannot "fix" messed up stringers. You just have to start over. When there is not enough total run you just cannot squeeze in enough treads and meet code.

State of GA allows up to 3/4" diff for bottom and top risers in a given flight, but these even flunked those.

What happens a lot around here is that builders buy a floor plan and an exterior elevation, and call that a full set. Then they start adding 9 and 10 ft ceilings to make their houses trendy. Where stairs should have landings at turns, they squeeze in winders that end up being pie slices.

Also lots of trouble with stairs leading to "bonus rooms" above garages, where not enough run gives stairs that end right against a door frame at the bottom.

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I've been developing a bunch of content for a site, and yes, it's really easy to go off in prose. I handed off the stuff to an editor, and they didn't even work it....they just handed it back and said "try again".

I mashed it down by 2/3's, handed it back, and then they started editing. If we're going to be relevant, we have to rethink how we do this thing.

And yes, screwed up stairs can't be fixed without tearing it out. Builders with their silly cartoons masquerading as plans are a big part of the problem.

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That's not quite what I meant, but it's good to see someone is paying attention.

You guys drilled this through my skull years ago. Less is more. Pictures with arrows and circles are king.

I'm a firm believer in the practice of "Erbonics."

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I don't care if they ever fix them, Jim.

I'm an educator, not an enforcer.

I recommend. They choose.

That's why it says "repair/replace as you and he agree would be best "

And yes, as Kurt said, stairs can be fixed.

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Thanks for posting the pdf illustrated, Erby. It was an update from one I had on file.

I thought Kurt agreed with me that screwed up steps cannot be fixed without tearing them out. Even if you do tear them out, you still don't have enough total run, which leaves you cutting into the floor system after moving some walls, if the floor plan allows it.

The last thing I want to do for my clients is tell them to "call somebody". I get paid for more than that. People use google to find out who to call.

I use code references as a way to declare things unsafe. The code reference simply indicates the gravity of the situation, because codes cannot be enforced in retro. The lawyer for an AHJ I worked for said that after the CO is issued the local authority should not touch it with a ten foot pole.

I don't care if they ever fix them, Jim.

I'm an educator, not an enforcer.

I recommend. They choose.

That's why it says "repair/replace as you and he agree would be best "

And yes, as Kurt said, stairs can be fixed.

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The last thing I want to do for my clients is tell them to "call somebody". I get paid for more than that. People use google to find out who to call.

Exactly. I seldom refer to anyone.

Marc

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  • 11 months later...

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