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Postby Steve Nelson » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:56 am

Code requires a landing on both sides of a door. Exception for exterior doors less than 30 inches. Since the landing is not required, is a stair? Does the door have to be blocked if less than 30 inches above grade since there is not a requirment for a landing? Or a stair? And why, since the hazard of a fall from the stair is probably worse than a fall of less than 30 inches from an interior landing? Any opinions?
Steve Nelson
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Re: Landings

Postby Scott McCarty » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:25 am

Assuming you are talking about section R311.4.3.2 of the state amendments, if you have an exterior door that you want to use as a door then you need a landing on the exterior side of that door (unless you meet the exceptions for not providing a landing i.e. stairs only). If you don't want to provide anything on the exterior of the door then it can not be used as a door and must be blocked. Even if the threshold is less than 30" above grade.
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Re: Landings

Postby Jeff » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:50 pm

I say nothing is required.
Similar to the carbon monoxide detector/alarm, in a residential situation I would just mention as a written comment that the door should be blocked if no stairs are installed.
In reality if you demand the blocking it is probably just one screw the home owner would take out anyways when you leave, plus now they are pis*** because they have a hole in their door assembly. Again, this is for less than 30" to grade doors.
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Re: Landings

Postby ghokans » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:12 pm

Unless the door falls under the three R311.4.3.2 exceptions I would require door be blocked until corrected.
State amendment in section R311.4.3.2 exempts landing only if stairway on exterior less that 30” high or when only a storm or screen door installed which does not swing over the exterior landing.
If you only use exception 3 - a porch with a sliding or in-swinging screen door would not require landing nor have height restriction as long as you did not put stairway outside of it.
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Re: Landings

Postby mkaehler » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:46 pm

I have always applied the 7 3/4" rise to something outside the door area, either a set of stairs or a landing/floor/ground.
But R311.4.3.2 exp 3 seems to say you may not have to block a patio door at all if it is less than 30".

Thanks Steve!!!
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Re: Landings

Postby Steve Nelson » Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:37 am

yeah, thats how it reads to me. it says OR which makes it sound like nothing is required. thanks for your responses.
Steve Nelson
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Re: Landings

Postby JG MCP » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:16 pm

Mick, exception 3 says “only a storm or screen door” and a patio door doesn’t fit. I think Scott McCarty answered the question correctly. Exception 2 was introduced to accommodate builders that didn't want to block the patio door closed and wanted to let an owner construct a deck later on a low (less than 30”) height situation. Blocking a potential egress path was felt to be more dangerous than the stair. If we didn’t allow the stair, a landing would have to be constructed that would be wasted upon construction of the deck. The stair would be easier to remove with possible reuse as part of the deck.
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Re: Landings

Postby mkaehler » Mon May 03, 2010 12:46 pm

OK, let me see if I’m following this……………………

1. The landing can be 7 ¾” below the top of the threshold as long as the door does not swing over the landing. Got it.
2. Don’t’ need a landing if stairs are installed and the stairs are not over 30” high. Feelin’ it now baby.

and finally..............

3. Don’t need the landing if they installed the screen or storm door. ( Not sure here…… if they have the screen on the patio door installed, do they still need a stairs and can the stairs be as high as they want or do I still apply the 30” as stated in condition #2,……… or they don’t need to have anything on the exterior side of the door as long as the screen is installed)

I think I will continue to “block” anything greater than 30”. Maybe I will even make them block the front door just for spite.

Just kidding :)
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Re: Landings

Postby C.Block » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:53 am

So how about a sliding glass door with a sliding screen?
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Re: Landings

Postby Paul Heimkes » Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:20 pm

I agree with what Scott says, but then we all know this code section is really screwed-up. Personally, I believe any/all codes should not be this difficult to interpret/apply. If something is unclear, it needs to get re-written to assure that it is clear - ASAP. I assume CCLD staff will be fixing this somehow if the new 2012 IRC does not fix it itself (I'm sure it will).
I guess I have to fall back to what the intent of the code is for a "door" first. This is not totally a landing issue, or a step/stair issue, it is a door first. I then apply the landing provisions to the door, then I apply stair provisions (if need be), then I apply guard provisions if necessary.
If I refer to the IBC for an additional reference, I see that it essentially states that if a door/opening is provided, you then apply all of the provisions relating to a door from the code - whether it's a required door or not. [See IBC 1008.1] With that in mind, I'm not sure I can simply ignore a door if there was a drop of 18" outside the opening. Something needs to be there to provide basic life-safety protection. Right or wrong, this is how I've always applied this. ...My $.02
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Re: Landings

Postby lundy » Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:41 pm

My fealing on this is the door has to be blocked shut if over 7 3/4" to grade. A landing is not required if less than 30" from grade, but a gripable handrail would be on one side if four or more risers are used.
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