Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....

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ctviggen

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Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps should be flogged.  We redid our deck, and the steps went from being open to being closed.  That is, between the treads, there is now a piece of wood, where there was air before. This sucks. We have over a foot of snow (with another 6+ inches expected).  I used to be able to push the snow off the treads.  Now, I have to lift the snow over the railing.  Let the person who changed the codes come out here and do this. 

doorman

Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #1 on: 8 Mar 2018, 12:12 am »
In our neck of the woods, once a project has passed inspection, ( if applicable)
you remove the risers, or whatever.

Don_S

Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #2 on: 8 Mar 2018, 12:59 am »
I imagine the code is to prevent someone's foot from sliding forward and off the step when there is a foot of snow on the tread. Getting a leg snapped between two treads would be quite possible.

jpm

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Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #3 on: 8 Mar 2018, 01:29 am »
I take it starting at the top and shoveling the snow down wouldn't work?

If not, at least you may rest a bit easier knowing that any possible ice build up on the steps won't cause someone's leg or ankle to slip between steps causing a potentially horrific break!

timind

Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #4 on: 8 Mar 2018, 01:31 am »
Glad I didn't know about this "code" when I built my last deck.

srb

Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #5 on: 8 Mar 2018, 01:32 am »
Getting a leg snapped between two treads would be quite possible.

If I were to build a leg snapping device, that would be the preferred simple design.

FullRangeMan

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Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #6 on: 8 Mar 2018, 01:40 am »
This country always surprise me, STM the citizen and major tax payer does not have the freedom to renovate their home the way he want, incredible.

Doublej

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Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #7 on: 8 Mar 2018, 02:06 am »
This country always surprise me, STM the citizen and major tax payer does not have the freedom to renovate their home the way he want, incredible.

Which country are you referring to?

JLM

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Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #8 on: 8 Mar 2018, 12:34 pm »
Not familiar with the building code requirement for riser plates, but I can think of another reason for them: small children falling through open risers.  However code enforcement is woefully under/miss/'over' enforced by the officials having jurisdiction (usually inspectors).  When we built our house 13 years ago the local electrical inspector insisted on having residential smoke detectors even though we had already roughed in commercial units that were superior in nearly every way.  He could of granted a waiver/equivalency, but wouldn't (you end up picking your battles) so we ended up with 19 detectors (have since pulled the residential detectors out).

For 20 years I enforced specialty building codes for various healthcare facilities here in Michigan.  Over those years I also helped update regulations and speciality building codes and I can tell you that it can be harder than you might imagine.  No code/law is perfect, they exist to protect occupants, visitors, and owners.  Codes were originally developed because buildings got more complex and to protect against unsafe construction.

In the last 15 years U.S. the International Building Code (IBC) has become the law nearly everywhere (replacing the Southern Building Code, BOCA, and the Uniform Building Code) for renovations and new construction.  It is updated every 3 years by code enforcers and selected industry representatives, then eventually adopted by state and federal agencies with possible modifications.  (Having one set of codes nationwide overall is a huge benefit for everyone involved.)   Note that building codes do not apply to maintenance of existing facilities or restoration of certain historic properties.   

zapper7

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Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #9 on: 8 Mar 2018, 03:37 pm »
Well said JLM.

Keep in mind that when inspectors look at a project, be it a deck or a whole building, we have to have the minimum code requirements complied with so the NEXT owner is assured of at least a certain level or safety and safe building practices. Working in a building dept you would be surprised at how many "new" owners of existing structures come in with items that should have been complied with to meet minimum codes, now they are having to go back and correct/ fix items that were allowed to slide by. The new owners ask why it was let go, why didn't the original owner have to correct them, etc.

Bizarroterl

Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #10 on: 8 Mar 2018, 11:17 pm »
The arguments against a new code are the same arguments when smoke detectors became required.  How many lives are now saved each year by smoke detectors?  Yeah, it can be a hassle and yes, sometimes the regulations don't seem to make sense or are expensive.  As with anything people do, it isn't and never will be perfect.  But on the whole, they make us a little more safer.

Rusty Jefferson

Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #11 on: 9 Mar 2018, 02:07 am »
I'm not arguing against improved codes, but lets be realistic. Building codes are ramrodded by the insurance industry to maximize profits.  If it was only about protecting people and saving lives, something would get done to stop the slaughter of Americans from Opioid use.  On the order of a quarter million citizens in the last decade.  "The answer to all your questions is money."

FullRangeMan

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Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #12 on: 9 Mar 2018, 02:53 am »
God point, but I sure the Gov Social Security have much interest that all the people living up to 100 years.

JLM

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Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #13 on: 9 Mar 2018, 11:24 am »
Well said JLM.

Keep in mind that when inspectors look at a project, be it a deck or a whole building, we have to have the minimum code requirements complied with so the NEXT owner is assured of at least a certain level or safety and safe building practices. Working in a building dept you would be surprised at how many "new" owners of existing structures come in with items that should have been complied with to meet minimum codes, now they are having to go back and correct/ fix items that were allowed to slide by. The new owners ask why it was let go, why didn't the original owner have to correct them, etc.

+1  That's why I was careful to fully enforce the code.

JLM

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Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #14 on: 9 Mar 2018, 11:32 am »
I'm not arguing against improved codes, but lets be realistic. Building codes are ramrodded by the insurance industry to maximize profits.  If it was only about protecting people and saving lives, something would get done to stop the slaughter of Americans from Opioid use.  On the order of a quarter million citizens in the last decade.  "The answer to all your questions is money."

Life's not fair.  Always follow the money.  Different parties do their own thing (code officials have nothing to do with Opioids).

Yes, the fire code camp has gone 'over the top' as far as I'm concerned.  Saw it in healthcare: exiting, door hardware, separations, detectors/alarms, sprinklers, etc. provide several layers of 'over protection' because seeing someone burn is more news worthy than thousands dying of infection caused by staff not washing their hands or poor reprocessing of instruments.  Fact: we average one death per year in U.S. hospitals from fire, but 15,000 die each year from infections acquired in the hospital.

Kenneth Patchen

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Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #15 on: 9 Mar 2018, 01:35 pm »
Well, just wait until you learn that the code for balusters has also changed requiring you to redo the existing deck to accommodate additional - and more closely spaced - balusters and, any built-in benches must now have raised protective back guards to completely ruin the lovely view while supposedly preventing inebriants from toppling over the existing guards. (Just how much alcohol do people drink and why are they dancing on the benches anyway?) And OF COURSE your existing deck structure, built with care according to the code of the day, can’t possibly be grandfathered in ...

Been there, done that.

Don_S

Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #16 on: 9 Mar 2018, 03:53 pm »
Since this thread has gone slightly off the topic of decks I have one construction item I absolutely do not understand. Is it a code requirement?

Why are there useless windows in showers?  My new home has 9' ceilings.  The shower window is so high there is no way I can open or close it.  My main concern is mold.  I can't even reach high enough to wipe it dry and remove any condensation that accumulates at the bottom of the window.  All the window does is add to the cost of the home, reduce energy efficiency, and create a potential problem in the future.

My showers have smart fans that don't turn off until they reach the set humidity level.  The second shower does not have an outside wall so no window.  Is the window in the master shower with an outside wall a code requirement?  Aesthetically it is ugly from the outside due to its small size and shape.

Bizarroterl

Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #17 on: 16 Mar 2018, 03:14 pm »
It may be, though as it is too high it isn't usable in the context of a "method of egress".  In some places all rooms over a certain square footage require a "method of egress" in case of fire.  Of course, if the builder has a close relationship with the inspector the rules may be interpreted differently.    :o

Don_S

Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #18 on: 16 Mar 2018, 03:33 pm »
It may be, though as it is too high it isn't usable in the context of a "method of egress".  In some places all rooms over a certain square footage require a "method of egress" in case of fire.  Of course, if the builder has a close relationship with the inspector the rules may be interpreted differently.    :o

My shower is huge (6'x7') but not quite large enough to require its own evacuation route. :lol:
Besides, there is no way I would fit through that skinny window. :shake:

Folsom

Re: Whoever changed the code for outdoor (deck) steps....
« Reply #19 on: 16 Mar 2018, 05:19 pm »
I imagine the code is to prevent someone's foot from sliding forward and off the step when there is a foot of snow on the tread. Getting a leg snapped between two treads would be quite possible.

Ya but what's next? Sidewalk rails?

I have big feet, and I greatly prefer steps that don't have backs.

This stuff is getting out of hand... like benches needing backs? I'd obviously be putting in benches AFTER the inspector came if I so deemed how I wanted my benches to look.

This stuff is adding up fast to a bunch of people needing to go fuck themselves. You can't count how many existing structures meet no code at all, and have been around as long as you've been alive... Now I'm for some code, mainly electrical (minus some new useless shit), but the cosmetic stuff is going too far. This coupled with the downright highway robbery of forced place insurance SCAM makes people not want to even own a place anymore... That is probably the goal, ultimately, is to just make it impossible for people to own anything.

Personally I'm really interested in design for homes. And "coding" my aesthetics might lead to war.