The bottom few steps of my bulkhead stairs go beyond the wall of the basement. The problem is I would like to put a door in my basement at the bottom of the stairs. To do this I would either have to make the stairs steeper or build an enclosure around the bottom stairs.
The preferred solution would be to just make the stairs steeper and put the door flush with the existing wall, but can I do this and still be up to code?
I live in MA and found this document online: (MA Building Codes)
It says this is the 7th edition at the bottom of the document. I couldn't find a more updated version but if there is one please let me know.
It looks like the bulkhead stairs are currently compliant with all regulations in section 5311.5
Here are a couple exerpts:
53188.8.131.52 Bulkhead Enclosure Stairways. Stairways serving bulkhead enclosures, not part of the required building egress, providing access from the outside grade level to the basement shall be exempt from the requirements of 780 CMR 53 11.4.3 and 5311.5 where the maximum height from the basement finished floor level to grade adjacent to the stairway does not exceed eight feet (2438 mm), and the grade level opening to the stairway is covered by a bulkhead enclosure with hinged doors or other approved means.
The height of my stairs is a little over 7 feet. It doesn't exceed 8 feet.
This is in section 5311.5:
53184.108.40.206 Tread Depth. The minimum tread depth shall be nine inches (229 mm). The tread depth shall be measured horizontally between the vertical planes of the foremost projection of adjacent treads and at a right angle to the tread’s leading edge. The greatest tread depth within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than d inch (9.5 mm). Winder treads shall have a minimum tread depth equal to the tread depth of the straight run portion of the stairs measured as above at a point 12 inches (305) mm from the side where the treads are narrower. Winder treads shall have a minimum tread depth of three inches (76 mm) at any point. Within any flight of stairs, the greatest winder tread depth at the 12 inch (305 mm) walk line shall not exceed the smallest by more than d inch (9.5 mm).
The section defining the height of each stair is also in 5311.5.
Does this mean that I am exempt from that rule and can make the stairs steeper?