Landing Placement for Building Stairs

July 22, 2016

Proper positioning of stairway landings ensures that staircases are accessible and safe, and because landings are so important, building codes define where they have to be put and how big they ought to be. Even though the specifics of code conditions differ from place to place, most codes follow a few common guidelines for landing design.

Landing Locations

Staircases should have a landing in both the bottom and top so that users have a place to “land” when they step off the staircase. Landings must be as deep as the stairs are wide, as measured at the direction of travel in the last stair. A minimum opening depth of 36 inches is given at most building codes. Generally speaking, a landing demand not be heavier than 4 feet, however wide the staircase are, if it’s in the end of a straight run of stairs. If the stairs covers more than 12 vertical feet, it should possess an intermediate landing so that there is not greater than 12 feet between landings.

Landings With Doors

Most building codes require that there’s a landing on both sides of a door that opens on a stairs. If a door opens so that it swings above the staircase, the door can not take up over 7 inches of this landing’s required minimum dimension when the door is completely open. For example, if the landing must be at least 36 inches deep, there must be at least 29 inches of clear space on the landing when the door is open. While some codes do not require a landing at the top of staircase if the door swings away from the staircase, a landing on both sides of the doorway is almost always a good idea.

Landings With Windows

A window at a wall that borders a landing constitutes a security hazard as a user that falls down the staircase may be wounded if her or she impacts the glass. Therefore, many building codes, such as the California Building Code, require that windows using glass less than 36 inches above the walking surface of a landing be made using hardened safety glass if the window is within 36 horizontal ins of this landing’s walking surface. Windows in the bottom of a staircase must be made with safety glass if they are less than 60 flat inches from the bottom step.

Exterior Landings

Landings that are exposed to weather are subject to the exact same positioning and dimension conditions as interior landings, but they have to also be equipped with drainage in your mind so they don’t produce a slip hazard. Landings must be sloped so that they don’t accumulate standing water, and they should be pitched away from the building.