The Way to Calculate the Floor Space Needed

You will need just basic math skills — and if your middle-schooler needs additional math practice, make him perform the calculations for you to figure the area for your stairs. California has strict building code regulations in connections to stairwells and stairs. This offers you a clear set of numbers to plug into a simple equation to determine distance needed to construct them and how many stairs you need.

Assess the distance from the ground at the bottom of the stair place to the ground near the peak of the stair place. This is the entire increase of the stairs. Don’t utilize this room’s elevation. There could be small variances in the elevation or adjustments for floor joists not contained in the measurement.

Divide the entire increase by the estimated unit increase height. The unit increase elevation is tall you want your stairs. It has to be between 4 to 7 inches tall, according to this 2012 California Building Code. If your equation equals a non-whole number, for example 12 1/2, then round up to the nearest whole number. In cases like this, that would be 13. This is the entire number of risers.

Divide the entire increase by the entire number of risers. This determines the riser height.

Multiply the number of risers from the width of your treads. At the State of California, treads may not be more narrow than 11 inches broad. The amount of your equation determines the entire run length of the stairs.

Assess the entire run length to find out whether any stairs will be found underneath the floor. The 2012 California Building Code requires 78 for spiral staircases, or a minimum of 80 inches headroom. Adjust the elevation of your risers and the width of your stair tread until you come up with a formula that supplies that clearance if 80 inches isn’t available. This modification will affect the angle, or steepness, of the stairs.

Assess the width of the handrail. The distance between the other end of the stair tread and the handrail has to be at least 36 inches and the handrail must not float the tread by more than 3 1/2 inches. Add this span to the treads to determine how broad the stair area has to be In case your handrail is broad. Add 1/2 inch to the entire area needed for stairs to accommodate this addition, if drywall hasn’t yet been placed on the wall at the stairs.

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