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Thread: width of stairs?

  1. #1
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    width of stairs?

    what is a standard or even a comfortable width for a set of stairs. i am starting to think of the stairs in my future home that will be built next year. they will be a very open modern design with a wall on one side and rail on the other. i believe i saw on a code sheet that the minimum would be 36". this seems like it could feel kinda tight. i was thinking at least 42"

    i am gonna sketch my idea for the stairs in sketchup because that is a totally different question....whether my idea is veasible.

    thanks for any help
    chris

  2. #2
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    i agree with steve.....36" is a cramped stair.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
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    Check you local building codes as they probably vary, here the minimum is 36" but like Steve and Tod already mentioned they can be a bit tight.

    Also (if it matters) you will need a minimum of a 36" landing at bottom and top of stairs, but again check your code...they vary.
    A very wise man once said.......
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  4. #4
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    thanks tod and steve....i am already trying to stretch the plan to make the stairs wider. i had planned to go with a spiral stair when the 2nd story was just going to be a loft office, but it has since changed to a bed and bath up there. so i was thinking of bigger furniture and getting it up there...not easy with a spiral stair. so i am thinking at least 42" maybe even 48

    i'll post the design when i have it done.

    thanks

  5. #5
    Different areas have different standards, 36" is normal stair treads for assending and decending the basement and the upstairs and all these are not "Tight" just normal. Given that the 42" or 48 " tread is a more comfortable width but it requires an additional Stringer and a hand rail is require on Both sides where the 36" only "Requires" one side. In some communities any larger stair width may require a center handrail as well.

    Most home construction includes the 36 tread because the builder can get by with only two stringers, a minimum of 36" is necessary to allow for moving appliances (Washers, dryers, etc are usually in the 32" width which will allow 2" clearance on either side.

  6. #6
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    Most code areas don't require a rail on both sides until you get to 60" wide.

    Richard

  7. #7
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    I think you will find 42" to be a good size. My work takes me in a lot of homes and I agree that a 36" is adequate but small. If would shoot for 42" assuming it's a straight shot.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Mire View Post
    i had planned to go with a spiral stair when the 2nd story was just going to be a loft office, but it has since changed to a bed and bath up there. so i was thinking of bigger furniture and getting it up there...not easy with a spiral stair.
    I detest spiral stairs. In addition to being very tight to move around, I usually find that they have inadequate head room. (I'm 6'3")

    Thankfully they aren't common, so I admit I haven't climbed that many of them. But every time I've climbed a standard (ie: a tight circle) spiral stair, I have to do so with my head at an awkward angle.

    That'd be a deal killer for me in looking at a house.

  9. #9
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    sketchup model...sort of

    ok here is a really quick-n-dirty (if i can steal a phrase from marty) model of what i would like to do for a stair case in my future home. basically it would be 3 stringers (i know i only show 2 but) and instead of the open stairs i have seen before where the treads are mortised into the sides, i want to cut slots in the stringers and slip the treads in, therefore the tread would kinda be cantilevered out a few inches past the stringer. hope that makes sense.

    Attachment 11590

    does anyone see any pitfalls or obstacles in this design.

    one that i can think of is finding a nice hardwood long enough for the stringers. i really want to use walnut, but doubt i can get it that long.

    as always thanks for the help and info
    chris

  10. #10
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    chris, the pitfalls i see right up front is that both the treads and stringers if cut out of solid will try their darndest to warp.......if you where to use a glue-up for the componants they`d be much more stable and if done correctly hardly noticable...
    tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

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