Do we have to install stairs when building a deck.

by Scott Matheny
(Wilkesboro NC)

We are building a deck on the second story of our house and want to know if there is any reason we must have stairs. Does building code require stairs?

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Jun 20, 2011
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The IBC says something about stairs
by: Editor-Rich Bergman

I am not aware of any requirement in the IRC for a mandatory staircase in balcony as you describe in a residential setting. However, don't take my word for it. You must verify this locally.

The one thing I am aware of is that the IBC - which applies to commercial settings - is that certain standards exist for egress - People have to get off of a deck safely in the event of emergency. In these cases exit points are required and Chapter 10 of the 2006 IBC talks about this.

Bottom line is my estimation is you are fine BUT call your local building department to make sure.

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