You can pad an I-beam and paint it orange, and shine a light on it. Not
that big a risk, compared to falling. I'm 6'3", and routinely have to
duck at the bottom of residential basement stairs, and even on a couple
of landings in the stairwells of the 1928 wing of the offices where I
work. But yeah, if you make the stairs into an L, the stairwell usually
wants to be L-shaped as well.
There is always 'put the basement stairs in the garage' option, if you
have the room to spare out there, and are willing to punch the slab and
dig a hole. I've seen it done before.
Good idea. My handyman friend thought about that. Problem is that it
can't be done---there are horizontal, load-bearing steel I-beams that
mean there wouldn't be enough head clearance.
Might be able to put a couple of posts in and remove 3 or 4 feet of steel.
You are mistaken: no "general rule" requires that safety-relevant
improvements comply with the current code for new buildings.
The general rule is that owner-executed changes need not
comply with any code. The main exception (in many jurisdictions)
is that fire-relevant changes (e.g. chimneys, e.g. electrical work)
must always comply with the code for new buildings (even in
owner-occupied old buildings.) In some places you may be
obligated to upgrade in order to comply with the Fire Code
(subset of the building code.)
Your city or county office that controls building permits can
answer your questions (without charge.)
A minor change like removing 'worn' carpeting etc, does not mandate bringing
For the long run since you might sell, you may want to investigate a
prebuilt spiral type which won't eat kitchen space and will probably take
less space up than you are now. This may have the advantage of creating
ancillary storage in the kitchen depending on your design.
You've gotten a LOT good replies / suggestions.
The non-uniform construction is probably the most problematic issue
with the stairs and VERY unsafe......uniformity is key to having a
Its bad enough to have a starting or ending rise that's too tall or
too short but a "curveball" mid-stairway.....might as well grease the
treads or leave marbles on the stairs.
Have your handy friend work on the stairway to make it uniform (all
within 1/4" of each other or better).
Good lighting will help a lot.
As Rico mentions good handrails (on both sides, if possible) would be
a big help
If oyu still have problem after its been given the "quick & dirty"
fix, consider a steeper stair with better tread depth.
With good tread depth at least you can place your foot safely on each
This stairway situation is one that requires attention sooner rather
here is a stair calculator I've used....it will let you "customize"
the stair to fit your situation...
If oyu post again....could oyu post the total rise & run of the stair?
I did not have carpeting on my stairs and slipped a few times. Then I stuck
on that Anti-Slip Traction Tape (feels like sandpaper on the top) to the
edge of each tread and have not slipped since. I also have big size 13 feet,
so that may be part of the problem.
Examples of this tape...
"woger151" wrote in message
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