What I'm Seeing Now


Is This Landing Too Small? Stepping Outside The Door Safely.

Is this landing too small?  Stepping outside the door safely.

On this new construction the landing outside the garage door seemed too small.  At least by the code requirements.

Now this particular landing is not that unsafe.  It is right on the ground!

And if I was buying the house I would not mind what I see here.

But the code is the code.

And stoops and landings should be of particular dimensions.

Sometimes the shape is not square or rectangular

Often the shape mimics the round top of an ice cream cone.

But the code has verbiage to accommodate for that.

From the doorway to the stoop the area should be at least 3' wide and stepping out of the door there should be a minimum 36" platform.

From the International Residency Code:  R311.7.6  Landings and stairways.

There shall be a floor or landing at the top and bottom of each stairway. The minimum width perpendicular to the direction of travel shall be no less than the width of the flight served. Landings of shapes other than square or rectangular shall be permitted provided the depth at the walk line and the total area is not less than that of a quarter circle with a radius equal to the required landing width. Where the stairway has a straight run, the minimum depth in the direction of travel shall be not less than 36 inches (914 mm).

My recommendation:  the code protects people in many ways.  Sometimes it is as simple as a landing outside a door.  But people can also accept what they will.   This was apparently approved by the county, so who is the home inspector to invoke the code?  If the buyers don't mind, the buyers don't mind.






Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 5 commentsJay Markanich • November 10 2016 03:35AM


Thank you for the information. I feel the landing is too small .

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 3 years ago

Good morning Jay. Would not bother me either, but code is code! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 3 years ago

Good call on your part, Jay Markanich. I would expect a proper landing for any entryway to a home.

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc.) over 3 years ago

Especially if the door swings out...

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 3 years ago

Seemed small to me Gita.  But still near to the ground.

Wayne - personal preference!  And I agree with you.

S&N - it appears the county "passed" this but who knows if they actually saw it!

It swings in, Fred.  Swinging out would be fun to watch!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

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