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Virginia Countryside CottageFarmhouse Living Room, Richmond

photo by Becky Harris

Farmhouse living room photo in Richmond —  Houzz
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This photo has 2 questions
gj's / Glenda Hunter James wrote:Apr 10, 2012
  • martininthefuture
    Hi Glenda, sounds like you are having significant misunderstandings with your contractor? Maybe you need a different one? Anyway, I notice you've posted a few questions about stairs. While I don't know what the goals of your project are, it is true that staircases tend to take up a lot of volume and tend to have lots of code rules attached to them. The white staircase you have pictured above is too steep to meet code in most places, especially if it is going to a living area instead of a storage area.

    That doesn't mean you can't have such a thing. If the attic is classified as a storage area a nonstandard stair might not matter. Or (not that I recommend this) you could always do the rest of your renovation and then build the too-steep staircase later without a permit. Or you could go the hard route and try to have a nonstandard stair permitted via whatever appeal process is available in your area. Whether you get a permit or not, make sure you feel the thing is safe. In particular, I feel nonstandard stairs should have good railings, possibly on both sides, that extend beyond the top of the stairs so they can be grasped before one heads down.

    Good luck!
  • Becky Harris

    This was at my friends' house. It was very likely illegal, they did it themselves as a temporary solution, and the second floor had no railings around this room, as you can see. So that's why a contractor probably wouldn't do this for you. Now that they have kids, this is gone!

roslintsaie wrote:Dec 3, 2012
  • sgrube12
    wanting to get measurements on this style of loft ladder

What Houzz contributors are saying:

Sarah Phipps Design added this to Love the One You're With: Honoring a Home's Original CharmSep 7, 2013

Working with a small footprint can mean making compromises, like a steep ladder to an attic bedroom. But saving an original building means getting a built-in light quality and history that don't come with new construction.

Becky Harris added this to Houzz Tour: Virginia Wine Country CottageAug 6, 2011

A staircase leads to the master loft upstairs, which used to be the attic. When necessary, railings and a safer staircase will be added, but at this point they are not needed.

What Houzzers are commenting on:

Peter added this to storage nookFeb 7, 2018

Simple but do it in natural wood

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