• Welcome to the new and improved Building Code Forum. We appreciate you being here and hope that you are getting the information that you need concerning all codes of the building trades. This is a free forum to the public due to the generosity of the Sawhorses, Corporate Supporters and Supporters who have upgraded their accounts. If you would like to have improved access to the forum please upgrade to Sawhorse by first logging in then clicking here: Upgrades

Define "Landing" (Exterior Door Requirement)

bill1952

Sawhorse
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
427
Location
Clayton NY
“We don't want to spend money on concrete or decking here, precisely because no one will use this as a door.”
"The occupants would strongly prefer to see decorative landscaping in the view from this glass/aluminum sliding door than a concrete or wood landing."
 

e hilton

Bronze Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
2,003
Location
Virginia
“The occupants would prefer”. Yeah, and many occupants would prefer to ignore numerous codes to make their house special.
 

bill1952

Sawhorse
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
427
Location
Clayton NY
Luckily ICE answered the question of what is required: "The gravel is sufficient to meet the code requirement for a landing."
 

Rick18071

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
3,235
Location
Poconos/eastern PA
Code is not requiring a "hard" surface for a landing. It requires it to be "solid" but no definition of solid. Water or mud would not be solid.

When I was a green inspector one of my first inspections their was a stairway with with grated steps. Going by the code I failed it thinking they are not solid. They attached thin plywood on top of the steps for me to pass it. To this day I'm not sure what is meant by "solid" in the code.

Stairways and landings are the only things that I can find in the code that are required to be "solid". Foundations, floors, buildings, roofs are not required to be "solid".
 
Last edited:

e hilton

Bronze Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
2,003
Location
Virginia
Code is not requiring a "hard" surface for a landing. It requires it to be "solid" but no definition of solid. Water or mud would not be solid.
So if one were to inspect the house in question after a heavy rain, would you fail the landing because it was muddy? Or slippery in the mornings because of dew on the grass?
 

Beniah Naylor

Sawhorse
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
171
Location
Manhattan, Kansas
I think that "firm" might be a better word than "solid" in this application. Personally, when I look at mud, I would classify it as either a liquid or a solid depending how wet it is, also see post #19.

Would you be in favor of allowing gravel? The individual pieces of gravel are solid, but they aren't fused together, so are they still "solid"?

I like the word "stable" - maybe add a little language specifically about being stable in wet conditions?

Maybe also remove the word "stair" also - instead of saying "Stair landings at grade", just say "Landings at grade", as occasionally you may see a landing that is not located at a "stair".

This is a good clarification to add, thank you for working on this.
 
Last edited:

mtlogcabin

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
8,385
Location
Big Sky Country
INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTIAL CODE Page 1 of 1 CHAPTER 3 BUILDING PLANNING SECTION R311.7.6 2012 Edition IRC Interpretation 71-13 Issued 4-23-2014 RE_12_71_13 R311.7.6 Landings for stairways. There shall be a floor or landing at the top and bottom of each stairway. The minimum width perpendicular to the direction of travel shall be no less than the width of the flight served. Landings of shapes other than square or rectangular shall be permitted provided the depth at the walk line and the total area is not less than that of a quarter circle with a radius equal to the required landing width. Where the stairway has a straight run, the minimum depth in the direction of travel shall be not less than 36 inches (914 mm). Exception: A floor or landing is not required at the top of an interior flight of stairs, including stairs in an enclosed garage, provided a door does not swing over the stairs. R311.7.7 Stairway walking surface. The walking surface of treads and landings of stairways shall be sloped no steeper than one unit vertical in 48 inches horizontal (2-percent slope). ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Q: Can the landing at the bottom of an exterior stairway be the ground or a gravel surface that slopes not more than that permitted in Section R311.7.7?

A: Yes. The code does not regulate the type of material to be used as the landing for an exterior stairway. The code does not prohibit the ground or gravel surface serving as the landing as long as, at the time of final inspection, it complies with the required dimensions and slope. ___________________________________________________________________
 

Paul Sweet

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
1,838
Location
Richmond, VA
Gravel should be crusher run or equivalent, with a lot of fines to fill the voids. Gravels that are mostly one size don't provide firm footing.
 

Rick18071

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
3,235
Location
Poconos/eastern PA
So if one were to inspect the house in question after a heavy rain, would you fail the landing because it was muddy? Or slippery in the mornings because of dew on the grass?
I probably would pass it unless it's obvious that it is a wet area
I like the word "stable" - maybe add a little language specifically about being stable in wet conditions?
I don't live in CA with all it's earthquakes but is the ground considered "stable" there?
 

Beniah Naylor

Sawhorse
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
171
Location
Manhattan, Kansas
Code proposal that is being submitted for the Committee Hearings in March/April.

View attachment 8491
fatboy, not trying to dog out your code proposal here. It is good that you are addressing this.

I realized after my comment that the landing section is in the stair section, so eliminating the word "stair" as I suggested is completely irrelevant.

Rick 18071, fair point.
 

fatboy

Administrator
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
6,439
Location
Northern CO
We debated over three days on the wording, settled on simple. Is it debatable what the meaning is? Sure, like half of the code book. And we know that we will get beat up in Rochester, but maybe be able to come back at the Public Comment Hearing with a solution. Obviously this is a problem, folks enforce all over the spectrum.
 

bill1952

Sawhorse
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
427
Location
Clayton NY
We debated over three days on the wording, settled on simple. Is it debatable what the meaning is? Sure, like half of the code book. And we know that we will get beat up in Rochester, but maybe be able to come back at the Public Comment Hearing with a solution. Obviously this is a problem, folks enforce all over the spectrum.
When you say it's a problem, do you have any statistics or reports of injuries caused by the lack of a stable or solid or whatever in landing?
 

Rick18071

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
3,235
Location
Poconos/eastern PA
Why do we need the word solid anyway? Would not the required load table be enough if it is about structural? Code doesn't say floors are to be solid so why would landings and stairways need it?
 

mtlogcabin

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
8,385
Location
Big Sky Country
[BE] STAIR. A change in elevation, consisting of one or more risers.
So one step up from the ground to the deck is a stair and I now need to meet the landing size requirement along the entire width of the stairs as shown in post #16?
 

Rick18071

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
3,235
Location
Poconos/eastern PA
[BE] STAIR. A change in elevation, consisting of one or more risers.
So one step up from the ground to the deck is a stair and I now need to meet the landing size requirement along the entire width of the stairs as shown in post #16?
R311.7.6 Landings for stairways. There shall be a floor
or landing at the top and bottom of each stairway. The
width perpendicular to the direction of travel shall be not
less than the width of the flight served.
Landings of shapes
other than square or rectangular shall be permitted provided
that the depth at the walk line and the total area is
not less than that of a quarter circle with a radius equal to
the required landing width. Where the stairway has a
straight run, the depth in the direction of travel shall be not
less than 36 inches (914 mm).
 

bill1952

Sawhorse
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
427
Location
Clayton NY
R311.7.6 Landings for stairways. There shall be a floor
or landing at the top and bottom of each stairway. The
width perpendicular to the direction of travel shall be not
less than the width of the flight served.
Landings of shapes
other than square or rectangular shall be permitted provided
that the depth at the walk line and the total area is
not less than that of a quarter circle with a radius equal to
the required landing width. Where the stairway has a
straight run, the depth in the direction of travel shall be not
less than 36 inches (914 mm).
For the full width of the stair? Looking at photos in #16 it's a big landing - like 30' x 3'.
 

Jenks

Registered User
Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Messages
49
Location
Mass.
The stairs from my dugout going up…is my baseball field a good enough landing? Sometimes gets muddy.
"The occupants would strongly prefer to see decorative landscaping in the view from this glass/aluminum sliding door than a concrete or wood landing."
 
Top