Stairs - built today the code requires a newer standard.
It used to be that stairs were higher and narrower. They were supposed to be no higher than 8 1/4" and the tread 9" wide. And the height of each step could not vary by more than 3/8"
Things have changed. Built today the height requirement is 7 3/4" or less (baby boomers with bad knees wanted that one I bet) and to accommodate larger feet the tread width is extended to 10". Still the height of each step should not vary by more than 3/8".
I said "built today."
"Built today" is a term in our vernacular, our way of speaking, our everyday language that means "currently," or "in our time."
It does not literally mean built today...
I say that because on a pre-drywall inspection I saw a new staircase built last month.
That qualifies it as meeting the standard of "built today."
IT IS MADE OF CONCRETE.
The stair height varied from 5" at the bottom to 10" at the top! The tread depth varied from 8 1/2" to 5"! And the width on the side nearest the camera is different than the far side!
Built today the code requires a newer standard, but neither the older or newer code would approve of this! Is this a joke? Maybe it's a test to see if people are paying attention.
I can hardly wait to see how this one is resolved (short of tearing this out and starting again). Concrete cannot be veneered on top of other concrete if it is less than 4". It will crack and break. It will not stick long term. If they try that I know what the final inspection report will say.
And if it says that, guess who the builder will be angry with?
My recommendation: people often ask me what things are typically found on a pre-drywall inspection. The answer is - nothing is typical! There is no consistency of findings. Things found can be anything and everything! I don't remember seeing a front porch staircase like this, so this might be atypical. But still, it lends to the fun of the experience! My job never gets dull. Especially the way things are built today...
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560