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STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS
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Winder stairs, angled, or curved stair specifications: this document defines winder stairs refers to building code specifications, construction specs, and inspection details for winder, curved or angular stairs: stairs that make a turn without a landing. We include sketches, photographs, and examples of defects used in inspecting indoor or outdoor stairs, railings, landings, treads. The angled stairs shown at page top are not "winders" but also involve irregularly-shaped stair treads. That photo shows angled stair treads squeezing a stairway onto a New York City sidewalk.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Definition & Properties of Winder Stair Hazards
In our sketch below you can see that a 90 degree turn is effected by three sequential triangular stair treads. Walking near the inside corner of this turn is difficult because of the irregular and small step area. At right are stairs that make a 90 degree turn accomplished over the rise of the entire stairway. In either case, there is no intermediate landing.
For a complete list of articles on stairs, railings, and ramps, their inspection, trip hazards, and good design, see STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS - INSPECTIONS, CODES. Also see Building Safety Hazards Guide. Here we include references to key documents on building codes and stair and railing safety.
In sum, stairway winders or turns involve triangular treads to complete the turn as you can see in our photo at right (note the handrail which is not grasp-able and not child safe).
As the sketch above left shows, courtesy Carson Dunlop, in a staircase that actually makes a 90 deg. turn (as opposed to the curved stair at right) only one set of winders should be allowed in a staircase, and the dimensions shown address tripping hazards.
Of course more turns may be involved in a stairway, such as a circular stair. Our photos below illustrate two very steep winding attic access stairways. At below left, storing items on the stairs is of course another trip/fall hazard, while at below right you will note that the vertical stair ascent is so steep as to nearly comprise a ladder - a difficult stair to negotiate, exacerbated by the absence of any grab rail.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions & answers or comments about winder or curved, turned or angled stairways & landings.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.