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Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Circular or curved for 1 last update 2020/07/13 stairs:Circular or curved stairs:
This document assists in building or inspecting indoor or outdoor circular or curved stairs, railings, landings.
Circular stairs have been used for centuries to ascend or descend towers or to provide access between floors where there is not enough horizontal space for a conventional straight-run or single-turn stairway. But circular and curved stairs present some special trip and fall hazards that should be carefully addressed. The circular stairs shown at page top were installed by the author in 1978.
The traditional circular stairway shown in our photo at left was observed in Barcelona, Spain.
This circular stairway accesses four floors in a building and uses stone treads that gave good traction except when they were wet during cleaning. The hand-rail was grasp-able and enclosed. Our opinion was that this was a good stair design.
1009.7 Circular stairways.
Circular stairways shall have a minimum tread depth and a maximum riser height in accordance with Section 1009.3 and the smaller radius shall not be less than twice the width of the stairway.
The minimum tread depth measured 12 inches (305 mm) from the narrower end of the tread shall not be less than 11 inches (279 mm). The minimum tread depth at the narrow end shall not be less than 10 inches (254 mm).
Our photo (left) illustrates a circular stairway installed outdoors in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. We had a welder double the number balusters to the as-built stair to correct an unsafe (too wide) spacing between those elements.
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for A benefit of that safety improvement was increased overall rigidity in the entire stair assembly.
Our spiral stair photograph (left) illustrates this design in a building in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico.
[Click to enlarge any photo]
1009.9 the 1 last update 2020/07/13 Spiral stairways.1009.9 Spiral stairways.
Spiral stairways are permitted to be used as a component in the means of egress only within dwelling units or from a space not more than 250 square feet (23 m2) in area and serving not more than five occupants, or from galleries, catwalks and gridirons in accordance with Section Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for 1014.6.
A spiral stairway shall have a 7.5-inch (191 mm) minimum clear tread depth at a point 12 inches (305 mm) from the narrow edge.
The risers shall be sufficient to provide a headroom of 78 inches (1981 mm) minimum, but riser height shall not be more than 9.5 inches (241 mm). The minimum stairway width shall be 26 inches (660 mm).
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for
Below: tread dimensions for winder stairs. [Click to enlarge any image]
Above; minimum tread dimensions for a Winder stairway, adapted from the 2006 IRC as published by Juneau AK IRC R311.5. Details are at WINDER or ANGLED STAIRS
Circular stair kits such as the 1978 kit shown in our page top photo and in our sketch at left are a quick way to add a stairway between floors. that stair was produced by the Iron Shop, a Pennsylvania company in the U.S.
Companies offering stair kits offer an advantage to inexpert stair builders: the stair manufacturer knows a lot about stair codes, dimensions, trip hazards, and tips and tricks for installation.
Which way to face the circular stair:
The sketches at left show the basic construction of a typical circular stair kit. The right-hand sketch explains a "right hand" circular stair layout. Notice that for most circular stairwells, the user enters and exits the stairway facing in the same direction.
This "direction facing" detail for circular stairs is important when determining where to place the stairwell, since you don''s we had intended to save floor space by ordering the smallest-diameter available circular stair that we could buy.
The stair company''5".
My architect says min. is 6''2". Can someone clarify for me? I would like to do this before the snow flies outside Rochester, NY. And this 150-yr-old house deserves an entry that is not a cob-job!!
This question was originally posted
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Deb: from my reading, the BOCA Code, UBC Code, IRC Code, and IFC codes all specify: [We use the terms circular stairway and spiral stairway synonymously and assume there is a center post - a feature not present on some custom circular or spiral stairways].
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for If your architect has found a different citation requiring 6-foot diameter circular stairs as a minimum, please ask her for it and share that with me - we need to know about it.
Or perhaps the architect''t fit on the stair treads.
Users can grab onto a vertically-hung knotted rope as they swing out into space while attempting to arrest a fall down these steps - I had to let go and totter on these steps while taking the photo. Imagine having to run up and down these stairs carrying bows and arrows, lances, or buckets of hot tar!
Angled or Curved stair treads are a particular trip hazard, especially because of the lack of uniformity and because the tread width at the inside of the curve can be too small for safe walking.
Above we provide a photo and below a sketch of a curved stairway with unsafe railing enclosures and of curved stair tread designs.
The sketch of curved stair treads is courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates and shows the minimum tread width and radius for curving stair treads such as the stairs in our photograph.
See CIRCULAR CURVED & SPIRAL the 1 last update 2020/07/13 STAIR CODES - 2006 IRC & othersSee CIRCULAR CURVED & SPIRAL STAIR CODES - 2006 IRC & others
Our photos illustrates a sample of measurements of the tread on a conventional iron-framed circular stair (below left) and the width of the stair baluster opening (below right).
At about 12-inches from the center post the stair tread provides 9 1/2" of tread width. At 5-inches from the center post, the treads are just 6-inches wide and not safely walk-able. You can observe from the stair tread wear pattern that users step in a space between 8-inches and 16-inches away from the center post.
If you (click to) enlarge the photos you can get an idea of the dimensions of this circular stairway and the spacing between its balusters (an un-safe 12-inches).
On our 1970''s legs - along the outer edge of this stairwell.
Notice also that users tend naturally to walk along the outer portion of the stairway the 1 last update 2020/07/13 where the treads are widest.Notice also that users tend naturally to walk along the outer portion of the stairway where the treads are widest.
The small-width turning stairwell shown above uses triangular treads in the turn-area that is so steep that the stair builder included a vertical hand-hold (at the right side of my photo).
I like this idea because the hand-hold also literally blocks clumsy people like me from stepping on the narrowest portion of the stair treads where falls are more likely to occur.
Above my daughter Michelle is showing where her sister should have been holding on when descending these curved stairs at the Poughkeepsie NY Galleria mall. Mara, tripping on these steps, tried to grasp the too-fat upper guardrail top and instead, fell. Later the builder added the lower and more graspable handrailing that Michelle is demonstrating.
As we elaborate at HANDRAILS & HANDRAILINGS, while a good handrail is important at every stairway, on curved or circular stairs where treads are not uniform in tread depth, railings are more likely to be grasped by stair users - and are perhaps even more critical.
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for See the detailed model building code specifications for proper dimensions for circular, curved, and spiral stairs, railings, platforms at CIRCULAR CURVED & SPIRAL STAIR CODES - 2006 IRC & others
(Nov 26, 2012) salah said:
how would you design or if there is a code for U shaped stairs without a landing?
Take a look at the circular or curved stairways in the article above. Stairs that make a single turn may do so by a curve or by building two straight runs that make the turn at a landing.
Continue reading at STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS - INSPECTIONS, CODES or select a topic from the closely-related articles below, or see the complete ARTICLE INDEX.
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Or see CIRCULAR CURVED & SPIRAL STAIR the 1 last update 2020/07/13 CODES - 2006 IRC & othersOr see CIRCULAR CURVED & SPIRAL STAIR CODES - 2006 IRC & others
WINDER or ANGLED STAIRS - stairways that include a turn without a landing platform.
CIRCULAR & CURVED STAIRS at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention for 1 last update 2020/07/13 advice.CIRCULAR & CURVED STAIRS at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.
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