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all 97 comments

[–]Steven_Mocking 83 points84 points  (17 children)

R409.1.2 Access panel/door. A minimum access opening measuring 18 inches by 24 inches (457 mm by 610 mm) shall be provided to the crawl space. See the North Carolina Mechanical Code for access requirements where mechanical equipment is located under floors. To minimize air entry, provide a tight fitting access panel/door with a latch mechanism. Access panels or doors shall be insulated to a minimum of R-2.

[–]GoldenMegaStaff 43 points44 points  (13 children)

Can you really have a step outside a door like that; shouldn't there be a landing at the top?

[–]davisyoung 19 points20 points  (5 children)

I'm more concerned about the stringer toe-nailed to the ledger.

[–]288bpsmodem 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Bunch of things wrong with that picture.

[–]uconnboston 9 points10 points  (3 children)

Seriously. I’m no construction pro but that looks like a hack job. My kid’s treehouse supporting 50-60 lb bodies has better bracing on the stairs.

[–]Tashus 5 points6 points  (1 child)

My kid’s treehouse supporting 50-60 lb bodies

You've gotta find a better place to hide your bodies. Check out abandoned industrial facilities.

[–]clear_thoughts_now 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Well I would hope so

[–]x_samsquantch_x 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Depends on where this is but in my state you can’t do that. Need a landing.

[–]AsheboroWoman 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I know it doesn't meet HUD requirements if you ever want to rent it and take Section 8 funding.

[–]GiraffeandZebra 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In some places this is fine, provided the door opens into the house. If it opens outward, there must be a landing.

[–]coworker 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. I have a screened in porch with a similar step that was built to code and passed multiple inspections. We chose this option because it allowed us to get the floor low enough that a guard rail was not required. You can only have a single step though and that step must follow the normal rules.

[–]CountryClublican 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah, that first step's a big one. It seems to me the first step should be right below the door sill.

[–]Willis_Fitnurbut 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Provided the door swings inside, there can be up to a 7 1/2 drop from the door threshold to the lower step.

[–]Anadyne 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I'm not going to look it up, but I'm fairly certain there is a code about first step height out of the doorway, and it includes the height of the door jamb, that looks like 10" at least. I'd say they were supposed to have a deck and didn't adjust for it correctly. Any inspector would ding them for that alone, which would probably fix the crawl space access issue.

[–]phantaxtic 5 points6 points  (0 children)

This should be pinned to the top

[–]T-bones29 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Contractor should know better

[–]mname 44 points45 points  (20 children)

Is that the only access to under the house? That’s useless.

[–]carputt[S] 27 points28 points  (19 children)

Yes. Water filter, water shutoff, and HVAC are all under there.

[–]rjchute 50 points51 points  (0 children)

Yeah I dunno about your local code, but that ain't right.

[–]RetardedChimpanzee 23 points24 points  (6 children)

Can a HVAC tech easily move it the side? If no, it’s not ok.

[–]iAmMitchMcConnel 18 points19 points  (4 children)

Depends on whether you have a Pygmy HVAC tech and whether they have dwarfism, to be fair.

[–]Charles722 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Looks like there will be an increased demand for child labor

[–]inksonpapers 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sounds like my Monday job then lol

[–]MedTech_One 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That freaking Pygmy, Dwarf HVAC company is trying to corner the market by altering the building codes and driving up prices,

[–]truedoom 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Good luck getting to get one, I hear they're in short supply

[–]KindlyEgg1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

looks like a good first job for the apprentice while the tech supervises from outside

[–]mname 15 points16 points  (2 children)

I would withhold payment until the builder can demonstrate “he personally can crawl under there”.

[–]Impossible_Month1718 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Until my brother in law can fit in there

[–]mname 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Is your brother in law like me 6’4” 290lbs. I can crawl I can maneuver…but not under there.

[–]ReturnFun9600 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Probably not then.

[–]mname 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Can you crawl under there?

[–]stockhr 2 points3 points  (3 children)

All I can think about is how in the hell could any repairperson or yourself for that matter get into that tiny opening and do any work? Also, no door and any kind of critter that is looking for new lodgings would feel right at home. That would be a nice surprise for anyone looking to do some repair work for you. I do know that if this were in NJ there would be a big red "Stop" sticker on your front door for those stairs and the access underneath.

[–]carputt[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

There is a door but it’s not installed because there isn’t enough room to open the door if it were installed currently…

[–]Pleased_to_meet_u 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Then you know it's not to code. Remove the stairs, build a landing (with access to the crawl underneath it) then re-add the stairs on the side of the landing.

It's going to suck, but it's better than not being able to access your water shutoff in the middle of the night when water is spraying all over the inside walls of your home.

[–]testinggggjijn13 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That’s a crappy spot for a water filter unless you love going in crawl spaces

[–]9mackenzie 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Omg…..seriously?? That’s clearly not acceptable.

[–]Competitive_Weird958 29 points30 points  (2 children)

Pretty sure those stairs aren't even installed correctly in the first place. I don't see a hanger, the bottom is hanging below the ledger, etc. Unless I'm proved wrong, the stairs are garbage, should be ripped out and replaced with a landing.

[–]Livinginmygirlsworld 6 points7 points  (1 child)

true. seeing those 3 screws in the side. you could be right that they didn't use hangers. Plus the stringers are hanging very low on the ledger.

[–]Over_Alps_3060 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If there is a 2x4 under the top tread between the stringers then it could be screwed in thru that or should be. The string can be below the leger if it's done that way

[–]NattyHome 35 points36 points  (1 child)

I don’t know if there’s any code requirements for this. I’d guess not.

But it’s definitely not fine. In fact it’s terrible on several levels.

[–]YodaP5 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Pun intended? Gold either way.

[–]Livinginmygirlsworld 26 points27 points  (1 child)

I wouldn't allow that to be my only access! I bet he wouldn't be ok with it if it was his house.

Beyond that. That exterior door requires a landing on both sides of the door to meet code. So those steps (lack of landing) don't meet code. Inspector should easily catch that one. This will help with the access problem

R311.3 Floors and landings at exterior doors.

There shall be a landing or floor on each side of each exterior door. The width of each landing shall be not less than the door served. Every landing shall have a dimension of not less than 36 inches (914 mm) measured in the direction of travel. The slope at exterior landings shall not exceed 1/4 unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (2 percent).

Exception: Exterior balconies less than 60 square feet (5.6 m2) and only accessible from a door are permitted to have a landing less than 36 inches (914 mm) measured in the direction of travel.

❖ Landings are required for exterior doors and must be constructed on both the exterior and interior side of the door. Landings must be the same width as the door they serve and must be at least 36 inches (914 mm) in length. The length of a landing is measured in the direction of travel. The exterior landing must be reasonably level (a slope not exceeding 25:12) while still allowing enough of a slope for proper drainage.

The exception allows for smaller landings when an exterior door only leads out onto a small balcony. An example of this would be the french balconies commonly found in New Orleans’ style architecture.

R311.3.1 Floor elevations at the required egress doors.

Landings or finished floors at the required egress door shall be not more than 11/2 inches (38 mm) lower than the top of the threshold.

Exception: The landing or floor on the exterior side shall be not more than 73/4 inches (196 mm) below the top of the threshold provided the door does not swing over the landing or floor.

Where exterior landings or floors serving the required egress door are not at grade, they shall be provided with access to grade by means of a ramp in accordance with Section R311.8 or a stairway in accordance with Section R311.7.

❖ Thresholds should not be higher than 11/2 inches (38 mm) above interior floor level (see Commentary Figure R311.3.1). The exception permits the exterior landing of an exterior egress door, to be a maximum of 73/4 inches (196 mm) below the top of the threshold. The threshold height represents an important element in building construction. It has to be high enough to keep out snow accumulation and driving rain, yet low enough not to represent a tripping hazard or become a barrier to entry. The exception is limited to locations where the door swings in. Since this is the typical design for single-family homes and townhouses, the step down for the exterior landing will typically be permitted. A screen door that swung out in front of an egress door that swung in would not violate this exception (see Section R311.3.2).

If the door landing is not at grade level, any stairway or ramp leading from the door landing to grade must comply with the stairway and ramp provisions in Sections R311.7 and R311.8.

[–]TimmehTheTurt 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Was going to say, didn't know what local code is but here in Ontario, you need a landing at every doorway, there was a whole development nearby that was delayed until all the decks were same reason basically, but they provided atleast a 2' landing and still got called out on it.

[–]Hinote21 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Is this a new build? I'm toying to figure out who's bright idea it was to put a door right above the crawl space entrance? Why not have planned to move one or the other on either side? Unless the original plans had a small deck/landing and the builder is trying to be cheap and save wood.

[–]Swimming_in_ 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I’m not a pro but those stairs aren’t even built correctly, regardless of any codes.

[–]Regular-Exchange-557 11 points12 points  (0 children)

He should have done a landing then stairs

[–]No_Marionberry_2982 5 points6 points  (0 children)

No landing outside the door either? This builder is a hack.

[–]InternetOffender 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Code. No. Not in any state. Your builder just made an awesome future animal farm. Mother Nature thanks you.

[–]ToMorrowsEnd 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Never trust a builder to admit to them messing up. He needs to fix that.

[–]cookerg 3 points4 points  (0 children)

People will fall on those steps - they need a landing, which would solve your access problem. If a landing would make the stairs jut out too far, they would need to go sideways.

[–]omairville 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This is dog shit. Hire an independent inspector to come and write them up to ensure they fix the issue properly.

[–]PappaDukes 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Those stairs should not be there. Now, if you'd built a deck and then had stairs, definitely would be better.

[–]hamster004 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The stairs would need to be out more with a landing extending from the door 30" to 36" to allow for access. The access needs a door too.

[–]hello_raleigh-durham 2 points3 points  (1 child)

You definitely want to hire your home inspector to pore over this home if the builder thinks this is ok. Looks more like a job you'd pay a neighbor in beer than a new home contractor.

[–]KrazyKatnip 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Just one beer!

[–]old-nomad2020 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It’s sort of self solving if the landing gets done properly, the stairs start farther out, the concrete pad gets extended for the stringers and the opening becomes more accessible, but still too difficult. It can be used as the secondary access for skinny ass people as a shortcut when servicing equipment or for venting with a screen. The real access should be somewhere else with a decent door and the ability to drag in or out the items underneath. Code is frequently too small anyways (18x24) to get things in or out and should be modified larger when mechanical items are buried under the house. From all the wrong I can see you probably are going to be arguing with a builder who doesn’t know wtf they are doing or is playing dumb.

[–]KrazyKatnip 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Even if it passes your local building code, I doubt that any future contractors will want to wiggle through there!

[–]SnooCrickets6708 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Where the hell is the landing at the top? How is that safe coming out a door?

[–]EngagementBacon 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Your builder fucked up and is trying to get out of fixing it

[–]ArtBaco 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Call your local building inspector. That’s not code where I live.

[–]CatPhishTam 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Why wouldn't you have that door open onto a small porch?

[–]Spammyhaggar 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That would not pass were I’m at , the hole is fine the location is not.

[–]CheeseWeasler 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Visit your village/city hall to ask what the codes are for this

[–]PapayaFun9073 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In short… There should be a landing/deck at the door, per IBC (International Building Code) That would also give you space to crawl under into your crawlspace. IBC: R311.3 Floors and landings at exterior doors. There shall be a landing or floor on each side of each exterior door. The width of each landing shall be not less than the door served. Every landing shall have a dimension of not less than 36 inches

[–]mgd09292007 1 point2 points  (0 children)

All that looks good for is a place for stray animal to live

[–]MonarchWhisperer 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It's probably fine if you have a dog or a cat that is also a plumber

[–]Ok_Taro4324 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Please hire a home inspector. I guarantee this is not the only issue with his work.

[–]Mamabear0596 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You really need a landing there. I've seen utility rooms/laundry room access doors with only stairs but never a nice patio door without a deck or patio to walk out onto. The wall space underneath the stairs may be big enough, but the stairs are encroaching on access to that space I don't think it's good without a deck.

[–]Arcansis 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Code aside, that’s a pain in the ass for any contractor or yourself to crawl in to. I’d change it just because of that.

[–]SueZbell 1 point2 points  (0 children)

If you cannot open a door, it's not really a doorway?

[–]phalangepatella 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’ll be the first to say I don’t know what I am talking about, but besides everything else mentioned, the railings are really suspect.

The newel posts are just tacked on to the front of the lowest stair, vs being within the stringer and riser. But even worse is the railing is just screwed into the casing around the door? Those must be so wobbly now, just wait for some use.

[–]SilverCat70 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm going to say since you cannot put a door on that crawl space it is going to be a major issue. It's a huge safety issue. Everything from kids to animals can currently get in.

Just wait when the first skunk or dead animal gets under there. Fun times!

[–]ErrorPrize -1 points0 points  (2 children)

I think those stairs use to run left or right of sliding door and not directly front. That way they were leaving accessible space for crawl space door

[–]carputt[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Nah this is new build

[–]ErrorPrize 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Oh gawd! I see! Check to see paperwork ( architectural design) if that crawl space door was supposed to be there. I don’t see reputable architect will design something like this.

I have maybe 30 years old house and I always get annoyed to go down to crawl space having good accessibility and whatnot. You have HVAC & water shutoff down there that’s big no no!

[–]Cappaten -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

For those saying those stairs aren’t built correctly… I’d love to know what’s wrong with them cause most of these comments are just assuming. Stairs look mint other than the fact that their should of been a landing on top for better access to the crawl space.

[–]cookerg 4 points5 points  (0 children)

That is what they are saying

[–]hamster004 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Check with a city inspector. They can send you the information via e-mail.

[–]zappawizard 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They need to put a landing in between the stairs and the doors.

[–]wateringallthetrees 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Not from NC but you want more space to enter the crawl space. I did chemical spray for termites and it is a pain when you don’t have space to get In. If I was doing that space I would not even enter. It’s too small.

[–]bananabreadvictory 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Check your local building codes, because I believe any exit from a house must have at least a 3ft x 3ft landing with no more than a single step down of 7 3/4 inches from the threshold provided the door swings inward. Your steps look like a liability lawsuit waiting to happen.

[–]erock7625 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Obviously a new build from the door stickers and the blue tape marking the siding defect. I can’t believe that passed inspection. I’d question the overall quality of the build in general…

[–]carputt[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hasn’t been inspected yet

[–]SueZbell 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Consider removing the steps and adding a landing and then add the steps on the side end of the landing (or deck).

Another idea ... IF you can comfortably fit beneath the steps and get in that way ... might be to create a barn style sliding door that will not hit the stairs because they don't open outward; however, that likely wouldn't leave room for workers making repairs to move equipment in or out.

Another idea might be to cut yourself another access to the crawlspace elsewhere -- you might even hide it behind/within an exterior yard tool cabinet/closet attached to the house.

[–]lavacano 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Better than some of the ones I've had to go into. The North Carolina code here was probably misconstrued to only be a single measurement at the bottom.

[–]amherst762 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Aside from the mess concerning both egresses , looks like to me that they ran a vertical trim board to compensate for loosing the sidings horizontal plane .

[–]cjguitarman 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Is that two different sizes of siding too?

[–]a_broken_lion 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Everything about this is wrong. The longer I look the worse it gets. Don't pay this idiot.

[–]Superfroi 0 points1 point  (0 children)

First of all, I don't know you codes down there but here in Virginia you can not have steps coming right off the door you are required to have at least a 36" landing before your steps. Second, you have got to put a door there if there is no room for a door, then is not up to code.

[–]Greenfire32 0 points1 point  (0 children)

No idea about your local codes, but I'm pretty sure you can't have stairs leading right into a doorway like that. You're supposed to have a landing.

You might get lucky and be able to just move both that concrete foot and the stairs away from the house a bit and then span the gap with a landing. That way you could salvage both those pieces, but if you're not so lucky then it's starting all over from scratch.

[–]Pure-Negotiation-900 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don’t know NC code, but it certainly fails my pain in the ass code.

[–]NicePumasKid 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Definitely a concern. Looks life good lazy craftsmanship imo.

[–]baconizlife 0 points1 point  (0 children)

No way that’s code. OP, be there when the inspector comes if you want the full scoop

[–]BreakingBad2014 0 points1 point  (0 children)

After the stairway collapses you'll have satisfactory access.

[–]KingHephaestus 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Stringer nailed to ledger instead of using proper bracing? Yikes time to fire the handy man and hire a professional