Open Tread Stairs - Stair Design And Construction
Open tread stairs usually don't have any risers. The picture below provides you with a perfect example of a set of stairs that's using a single stair tread, without any risers. There are plenty of different stairways that have been designed over the years with open stair treads, but that might not be the case in the future.
Building Code Problems With Open Stairs
Most of the building codes used today in the United States require most
stairs to have closed treads. I built an industrial stairway that
required 2 x 6 risers to be installed, specifically for fire protection.
This isn't the only case I've ran into, where open tread stairs wouldn't be permitted. While I was building stairs, I ran into a variety of different situations. The architect would draw the stairs, I would build the stairs and then the building inspector would make the necessary building code changes.
This didn't happen often, but when it did, it could be a nightmare.
According to most building codes, you're not allowed to pass a 4 inch sphere through any part of the stairway or protective handrail. I would imagine, that it wouldn't be difficult to pass a 4 inch round ball, in between the stair treads, in the picture above.
Special Note To Do-It-Yourselfers: If you're going to build a set of stairs, it wouldn't be a bad idea to familiarize yourself with stairway building codes. These building codes are designed for safety and to reduce the amount of accidents that people have, while occupying buildings or using stairs.
Stairs / Stair Glossary
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