A Case Of New Not Being Better ... A Stair Story (This is # 3 in a series on a single flipped house.)
The original exterior stairs of this flipped property had only 2 stringers, but they were bigger and longer, which allowed for a more generous tread width. The slots in the concrete pad (C) show us that and being imbedded in the concrete likely is what led to their needing to be replaced.
The treads (D) were probably thicker or there would have been a center stringer (B). We don't see a slot for that.
At (A) we see the treads and stringer directly in contact with the basement wall. This will retain moisture and debris and eventally cause problems here if it is not meticulously maintained. A small gap abpout 1 to 1.25 inches would have allowed air circulation and drainage so maintenance would be minimal. The gap should be kept small enough to not be an ankle turning opening.
The railing post at (E) is a 4x4, actually 3.5"x3.5". It looks substantial, but look at it where it is shaped (F). There it is only about 2" in diameter, so it is actually much less substantial that the first impression makes.
The connector plate used at (G) is going to keep water against both the post end and the tread it is on. This will weaken the wood at the screws and it will fail. This construction is not strong enough, the small screws will not hold when someone falls against this post. This type of connector has been used in other joints on this deck/landing/stairs.
Just because it is sold at a reno - hardware store does not mean that it can be used in place of correct construction and framing methods or approved hardware.
This photo shows 3 other 2nd rate conditions:
A the balusters are nailed on the end of the tread. They do not tie in to the tread surface (pin, dowel, or tennon) or into a bottom railing. You could kick these balusters off with your bare feet.
B My bony knuckles are 4'' across so this spacing is too big for current safety codes. A childs head can get through and be locked between these balusters.
C This stair angle is too steep. A 45 degree angle is acceptable for service accesses that are rarely used, but high traffic routes that are used daily should be better. It looks OK going up but on the way down there is not much tread surface to land on unless you step sideways.
These treads are not even 8" wide. Just because you can buy it does not mean its the right material for the job.
This is # 3 of a series on the same flipped house.
4. Posting soon: A Case Of More Not Being Stronger.....A Stair Story.
5. Posting soon: The LANDING Looked Good But Is There A CRASH In The Future?
6. To come – landing/deck
7. To come – electrical
8. To come - exterior & landscaping
Please remember to have an inspection during the real estate process to help eliminate any of these concerns!
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