BCAB #1384 - Winders in Exterior Stair, Sentence

Last updated on March 24, 2016

March 15, 1995

BCAB #1384

Re: Winders in Exterior Stair, Sentence

Project Description

This appeal involves a set of exterior stairs leading up from the driveway to the front door of a new single family dwelling. The second, third and fourth treads from the bottom are 30 winders.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence says that "winders may be used within a dwelling unit". This appeal concerns the meaning of the word within.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the wording in the 1992 Building Code is different than in the 1985 Code and implies a different intent. Where the 1985 Code seemed to say winders could only be used if they were within a dwelling, the 1992 Code says they may be used within a dwelling unit if they meet specified requirements but there is no indication that they cannot be used outside.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that Clause requires winders in stairs to conform to Sentence which in turn says they may be used within a dwelling unit. This restricts winders to stairs inside a dwelling unit.

Appeal Board Decision #1384

It is the determination of the Board that Sentence limits winders to the interior of a dwelling unit. Winders are known to be more dangerous than straight or tapered treads. The Board considers the intent of the Code is to limit winders to the interior of dwellings where they are used primarily by a single family who quickly become familiar with them. Exterior stairs serving dwelling units are used by people such as delivery personnel who are not familiar with the stairs.

George R. Humphrey, Chair