Door at bottom of stairs

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by jetlag, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. jetlag

    jetlag New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Ga.
    I wanted to put a door at the bottom of a stair case but I wont have room unless I raise the landing up level with the first step and then have one step off the side to step down to living room. My other option is put the door at the top of the stairs but it will open back against a closet door and would have to be closed to open the closet. If I swing it the other way the knob would be on the side where a wall is and would have to step back out of the way when you open the door. Id rather have door at the top but wondering how bad it is to open against a closet door. It is large walk in closet and door could swing in if had to. That way the bedroom door would not have to be closed completely to go in closet. Any opinions
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  2. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Nope. 3' minimum landing at the top and bottom of any stairs. 2 exceptions:

    exception 1: The top of an interior flight of stairs, only if the door doesn't swing over the stairs

    exception 2: an outside door, only if that is not the main entrance/exit for fire exit, and only if it's 2 steps or less.
  3. jetlag

    jetlag New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Ga.
    Thanks frenchie

    I had already read the code but was still confused about if a door could be between the steps and the 3' landing at the bottom. So you say it cannot. I did understand about the landing at top . The door will not swing over the steps but into a bedroom . The prob is a closet door will be behind the door when it opens against the wall. How bad do you think that is ? Also the last riser steps up onto the floor level. Can I put the door frame right out to the edge of the floor level
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  4. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South of Boston, MA
    Lots of older houses had doors at or on the bottom step
    No longer meets code
    Going up you need the 3' landing to stand on when you open the door
    -no risk of falling down the stairs

    At the bottom you also need a 3' landing...then the door
    Imagine an older person leaning forward while on the stairs & opening the door
    Slips & falls...or doesn't exactly let go of the door knob & falls
  5. jetlag

    jetlag New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Ga.
    Thanks Scuba
    That makes sence. But you agree no landing required at the top if door swings into room and not back over the steps , right . Thats on interior door only. Also what do you think about the door will swing back against a closet door? I dont have any choice
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,613
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    door

    If this door and stairway are in a bedroom, there is no way I would want the door at the bottom of the stairway, unless my wife was being a "pain in the neck" and I told her I needed a drink of water from the kitchen, hoping she would forget where the stairway was in the dark.
  7. jetlag

    jetlag New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Ga.
    funny

    I dont have to worry about the wife anymore someone else does. But after a few beers I could forget the stairway is there myself without the door to have to open first. As far as going for water I will have a small kitchen area for the master bedroom . Thats one of the problems . The door at top of stairs will open back against the door to kitchenette . How bad is that ? I dont have much choice.
  8. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,777
    Location:
    USA
    Now that Sir, is a bedroom.
  9. jetlag

    jetlag New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Ga.
    Master Suite

    The master suit is on the 3rd level by itself. Double tile shower. Double jetted tub . Computer room and office . Kitchen room with counter top frig . microwave and sink.
  10. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Daym, that's no bedroom, that's a studio apartment!

    AFAIK, there's no code against having the door swings overlap - although it'll be irritating, I can tell ya that.
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,990
    Location:
    New England
    The only thing about overlapping door swings is if it is possible to get the handles caught or locked together so if say, you were in the bathroom, and the stairway door was opened, you couldn't get the door opened because the handles locked together. Then, you'd be stuck in the room until someone unstuck them.
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,613
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    door

    With that room, why do you need a stairway? Just nail the door shut and work from home. If you need something, have it delivered and pull it up with a rope and a basket.
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,990
    Location:
    New England
    If you could change one (or both) of the doors to be sliders, the swing would become immaterial. I'm a fan of pocket doors, but you often need to plan ahead, since plumbing and wiring can make their retrofit hard. They do make surface mounted tracks (sort of like a barn door) that can work as well which avoid the problem of wiring inside, but could cover up an outlet or switch when opened.
  14. jetlag

    jetlag New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Ga.
    Thanks French

    You guessed it, I will be living up there , The rest will be for company when and if they come. Staying 2 years I wont have to pay income tax when I sell it. Good loophole for a retired contractor. Forgot to mention the covered 10 x12 Deck , with a view of lake , its 25 ft above grade. I didnt think I would be able to get the kitchen in the attic of another roof that butts to the wall of the master suite but I was able to , thats why I didnt plan on a door there.
  15. jetlag

    jetlag New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Ga.
    thanks jadnas

    The doors are not there yet , all is new, The slider at top of stairs would solve the prob but I would nt want that on bedroom door . It wouldnt help to put on kitchen door because I still have to close the other dooor to get to the slider. There is no problem with the door knobs . The main door swings in right against the kitchen door which also swings in right into kitchen. I dont even have to put a door on the kitchen but would still have to partly close the bed door to get to opening.. I know this sounds confusing
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  16. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    No, it actually clears up a concern I thought of today. If the kitchen door was in a position to block your stair access, then that wouldn't be okay.

    I'm not sure where it is in the code book, and I can't find it at the moment: but I got dinged once for a door swing that might / could block egress.
  17. jetlag

    jetlag New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Ga.
    egress

    Let me know if you find that , I cant find it either. There are lots of places in electrical where working spaces have to be kept clear . And the NEC requires means of egress be kept clear in a commercial electrical room..
  18. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Commercial! The magic word!

    Reminded me which job that happened on.

    Meeting space & office, had to flip the office door because it could have blocked the hallway.



    Doh! - no wonder I can't find it in the resi codes...
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