Chris' Corner: A New Staircase Isn't Always A Stairway To Heaven

A New Staircase Isn't Always A Stairway To Heaven

In the last few months, I have come across non-standard stairs a number of times, both inside and outside the home.  Jay Markanich, a Virginia area Home Inspector posted this informative blog on stairs.

If you want to reduce your chance of a stairway injury, read Jay's post below. 

If you are looking to buy and/or sell a home in Beeton, ON, call me, Chris Smith @ 1.866.936.3500 for assistance in helping you achieve your real estate goals.

If you want to leave Jay a comment, please click on his link below:

Sometimes new things impress buyers as they walk around a house, and very often a new staircase isn't always a stairway to heaven.

The deck has been there a while. 

The stairs have not.

There are buyers who're sure, all that glitters is gold,
But they're not buying a stairway to heaven.
Oooh, they're not buying a stairway to heaven.

The building code limits the maximum stair tread height at 7 3/4".  BUT THE RISER HEIGHT SHOULD BE UNIFORM.

There are reasons for this code.

When walking up stairs the brain remembers the height of each. 

When things vary it is easier to trip.

This staircase varies from step to step and at the top.

It isn't exactly level either.

Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the stairs you're on.

Looking underneath it appears that the previous staircase looked substantially like this one!

It, too, had been improperly attached to the deck!

The homeowner, or contractor (!), must have looked at how the old stairs were done, and mimicked it!

That stringer, the angled board the new stairs are resting on, is merely nailed onto that beam from the back side.

And they made little triangles to hold the stair treads onto the stringer.

All in all, it looks new, it feels new, it smells new, but it's still not right!

Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know,
The piper's calling you to join him,
Dear buyer, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind.

And it makes me wonder...

I think often about why things are done the way they are.  In this case it might just be that this staircase mimicked a previous one, but that still does not make it correct.  It's best to have an inspection!

Are they terribly dangerous?  No.  But should they be done right?  I think so.  Even now?  I think so.

My recommendation:  Do It Right!  And as we wind on down the road, Our shadows taller than our soul. There walks a buyer we all know, Who shines white light and wants to show...  And if you listen very hard, the tune will come to you at last.  When all are one and one is all -- To be a rock and not to roll.


Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia

Chris Smith CSSBB
          Sales Representative

Interested in Buying or Selling Real Estate?

  ph: 1.866.936.3500

Chay Realty Inc.,

Comment balloon 0 commentsChris Smith • October 04 2011 01:26PM