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Do basement stairs have to be enclosed?

whitenack | Posted in Building Code Questions on

Hi all,

Just checking code. I will have a basement, and at the top of the basement stairs I will have a door. Does the staircase down to the basement have to be enclosed, and a door at the bottom of the stairs?

If it matters, I will have engineered I-beam floor joists between the basement and 1st floor, which I understand have a little bit different fire code requirements?

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    As far as I know, there is no requirement for basement stairs to be enclosed. Of course, every stairway needs a guard on each side (generally, at a minimum, a guard with balusters with a space of no more than 4 inches between balusters) and at least one graspable handrail that meets code requirements for graspability.

    You also have to follow the tread and riser rules for uniformity, as well as for minimum and maximum dimensions.

  2. whitenack | | #2

    Right. Thanks.

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