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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I have a customer with a set of stairs leading to the basement that is exposed when the door is closed. Pictures attached. I was asked if there was a better solution than what they have now. I had thought of having a solid platform instead of hinged. They don't want a railing or anything else that would create a barrier.

Any ideas???

Thanks.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
IMO, that looks like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Seems your liability would be tremendous.
Just for clarification, I did NOT build that or had anything to do with it. I did some work for them in the kitchen and they asked me about this.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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That was my first impulse, but typically that would be in a hallway where you don't have room to do that. Tough situation without some major rework of the building structure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That was my first impulse, but typically that would be in a hallway where you don't have room to do that. Tough situation without some major rework of the building structure.
It's actually her tv room. I could build it out like Nikko suggested and put a wall of bookcases to fill in the far side of the opening. Whether they have the funds for that is another question.
 

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Design Build
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Do you have any backstory on how the decisions were made to get these stairs and code violation to this condition?

it seems odd that the original set of stairs would be built in such a manner as to extend into the hallway above, originally.

What’s downstairs? What is the elevation change from that floor to the basement floor? Can you demo the stairs and redo them starting at the closed door?

Will you be getting a permit and inspection to ensure that this doesn’t cause problems when they go to sell the house in the future?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Do you have any backstory on how the decisions were made to get these stairs and code violation to this condition?

it seems odd that the original set of stairs would be built in such a manner as to extend into the hallway above, originally.

What’s downstairs? What is the elevation change from that floor to the basement floor? Can you demo the stairs and redo them starting at the closed door?

Will you be getting a permit and inspection to ensure that this doesn’t cause problems when they go to sell the house in the future?
From what I see, it's a converted garage. it's not a hallway. I don't know when the work was done or how long it's been this way. It's a full basement where the homeowner's son is living right now. I have no idea what the homeowner wants to do in the future. I'm just trying to work with what they have without getting too deep into it. Unless the homeowner is okay with spending the money to do it properly.
 

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Radical Basement Dweller
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Totally off topic...
That picture reminded me of a situation in Philadelphia when I lived there.
My fiance and I went to a Halloween party in someone's home. They had a curtain up on a rod in the doorway at the basement stairs.
10 minutes after we left the party, a girl, not even thinking about it, leaned back into the curtain and fell to her death down the stairs.

Whatever you and the homeowner decide...make it safe.

Carry on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Totally off topic...
That picture reminded me of a situation in Philadelphia when I lived there.
My fiance and I went to a Halloween party in someone's home. They had a curtain up on a rod in the doorway at the basement stairs.
10 minutes after we left the party, a girl, not even thinking about it, leaned back into the curtain and fell to her death down the stairs.

Whatever you and the homeowner decide...make it safe.

Carry on.
We have a door at the top of our stairs to the basement. My wife's mother stayed with us one night, got up to pee, and opened the wrong door. Down she went breaking bones. She ended up in the hospital and ended up dying there. This lady did fall down the stairs last year and broke her collar bone. That's why I'd like to get this fixed. To prevent a repeat.
 

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BTW, a grab bar doesn't really meet code, it's pretty specific. As a professional, you presumably know what meets code, and is therefore safe. Not meeting code could be considered negligence.

If you have to have a door, just put it at the bottom of the stairs
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
BTW, a grab bar doesn't really meet code, it's pretty specific. As a professional, you presumably know what meets code, and is therefore safe. Not meeting code could be considered negligence.

If you have to have a door, just put it at the bottom of the stairs
You're correct about the grab bar not meeting code but it's something for the short term until the issue is fully resolved.
 

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Goin' Down in Flames....
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Options:

1-Remove the door.

2-Finish framing out the opening and hang the door where it belongs.

3-Rebuild the stairs with a shorter run, if that can be done to code.

4-Decline the work.


That’s all I got 👍
 

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Design Build
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soooo……..

permit?
Building inspection?
done professionally?
collect sales tax?

or not?

if the person’s budget doesn’t support doing legitimate business, why put yourself in that type of risk. It just makes you become the hack they will refer to their other poor or tight fisted friends.

A great reputation can elevate you to better paying projects.
 
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