Step construction for handicapped?

Concrete front porch rises 10 inches above ground level. Rather than having a ramp put in for someone who is having trouble ascending those 10 inches, I am thinking of maybe having 3 or 4 concrete steps extended out with short risers of 2 1/2 or 3 inches high that would make it easier to get up to the porch. The tread depth would be 8 or 10 inches. The top step would be 30 or 36 inches wide. Each lower step would wrap around the two sides, as shown in this top view (hopefully):
<------- porch -------> I___________________________________________I I I I_______I I I I I______________ I I I_____________________ _I
Assuming that the diagram turns out properly when this is posted and that anyone is able to understand what I am thinking about here, does this sound feasible and/or practical or would these multiple low risers present other problems?
Thanks in advance.
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As I suspected, the diagram did not turn out as I had intended, at least on my browser. Both sides should be of equal dimensions.
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Well, it obviously wouldn't qualify as "handicapped accessible" in a legal sense. If you are just doing this for a family member who can't manage normal steps but could manage the lower rise, then that's something else. If it is for a family member that is so infirm that they can't manage normal risers, then the lack of sturdy handrails on both sides is an issue that needs to be addressed. Preferably, the person should be able to reach BOTH handrails while ascending and descending the stairs.
On Tue, 17 Mar 2009 08:45:36 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@ymail.com wrote:

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On Mar 17, 12:06 pm, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

This would have been for an octagenarian family member in her own home, but reading everyone's input I am seeing that it is not a very practical alternative to a ramp which to me is not very attractive. The issue of the railings would be important. She uses porch supports now to stabilize herself as she steps on to the porch now, so the railings would be essential. Also the observation that shorter rises can be more troublesome for some reminded me that I have found steps with short rise awkward myself and I am considerably less than octa-, though maybe not in as good shape as our mother who exercises regularly :(
Thanks for all the input. Back to the drawing board...
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snipped-for-privacy@ymail.com wrote: ...

And, thinking ahead only a little, if there's any plan at all to try keep the person in the home as long as possible, then may as well plan for the eventuality of requiring wheelchair access while at it rather than waiting (like so many, btdt).
--
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There is nothing wrong with properly designed low angle stairs. But your suggestion of 2 1/2" or 3" rise with a 10" run is completely unacceptable and would be very awkward.. The ratio of rise to run must be designed such that a typical stride is taken into account. There are several formulas to calculate rise and run. Unfortunately, they diverge when such a shallow angle is used.
Lets use 2 1/2" since that gives you four equal height steps. One formula is that the sum of the rise and run shall equal 17" to 18". So that gives you a run of about 15".
Another formula is two times the rise plus one run should equal 25.5" So that formula gives a run of about 20".
You might try mocking up a few steps using runs of 15" to 20" and see how they work.
--
Dennis


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On Mar 17, 11:45 am, snipped-for-privacy@ymail.com wrote:

I'm no code expert, but I'm sure that risers that short are against code. People are actually mode likely to trip over a short riser like that. If you have someone who can't manage a 10" riser, I would say go with a ramp. Everyone will be happier in the long run. Make sure you have the slope of the ramp correct. I know there is a restriction on the maximum slope, I just dont know exactly what it is. And please don't say you're not worried about code, codes are there for a good reason.
Ken
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Pic fine enough to tell what you are looking for. I take it this is for residential home use right? It wont work for anything commercial.
(For commercial, pretty much anything you change/fix has to be at least in that portion, accessable which means a ramp. Sometimes, you have to covert everything but check your state and local laws).
Main concern there is anyone who's not stable with a 10 inch rise, will need handrails. Preferably one on each side within reach at the same time but that isnt always possible. Consider bringing the side portion in with a rail? One on the building wall, one out there leading up the steps. Best of all would be to ramp the side portion where the rails are then do the nice steps up the rest of the entrance.
Keep in mind if the person with problems with the steps has anything 'progressive' (such as old age etc), it will likely get worse so the ramp may be needed (no longer optional) in a few years.
A side mounting ramp can look quite nice and especially if you spend a little extra for a nice wrought iron rail then out some plants in pots on the steps on the other side towards the street.
Now, since you didnt add all the information I'd like to have, I'll address other possible issues you may have but didnt mention.
If this is a commercial site, you may find not all entrances have to be ramped (but this is area and state dependant! Check your local codes!). Say you have 2 entrances, one can be with steps if the other has a ramp. Most require any emergency exit lit spots, be with ramp. In a small establishment with a separate entry and exit, in some states you can have only one of them accessable but it must be clearly marked that those with need use the one for both (normally it would be the entrance they would use for both entry and exit).
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snipped-for-privacy@ymail.com wrote:

I can understand how a wheelchair would descend in a most hilarious manner, but how would it get up?
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wrote:

http://www.cvfsupplycompany.com/hanpowpulcom.html
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snipped-for-privacy@ymail.com wrote:

Nice thought, but I think such low steps would pose a tripping hazard. I have a friend who has low steps on the walk to his front door, and I nearly broke my arm tripping on one. The riser isn't enough to be plainly visible, and folks with poorer eyesight might have trouble. Just a thought. If you use a ramp, be sure to consider how slippery it will be.
In our condo, the living room is one step lower than the hallway and dining room. Ours has rails along the step except where you go from one area to the next (lower). Some neighbors have taken out the rail - can't count the times I have stepped off the edge like I was walking on flat floor when visiting the other units, although I am well aware the step is there. I'm just accustomed to "step and rail", I guess.
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On Mar 17, 11:45�am, snipped-for-privacy@ymail.com wrote:

There are buildings somewhere around you that have steps of which you want. Take the person to them and see what they think about them as compared to a ramp. Function is more important than appearance. My wife is ugly but she works hard. :-)
If you go with a ramp, it should elevate 1 inch for every 12 inches. I am pretty sure that is National code for handicaps.
Hank <~~~~more function than apearance too
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snipped-for-privacy@ymail.com wrote:

If everybody can use a ramp and only some people can use stairs shouldn't everything be ramps? Why have stairs at all?
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