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There have been several references to a 6" minimum width on the small end of winder treads. I'm trying to figure out how or why this is required. It seems to me that stairs need to be designed for your walking position in relation to the handrail. An arbitrary measurement of 6" could mean that the stair climber may transition from a 7/12 to a 7/16 as they hit the winder section. Stairs are rhythmic and any discrepancy in either rise or run constitutes a tripping hazard in a continuous sequence. A "typical" adult is centered about 16" from the handrail when climbing or descending a stair. Why would a code not take into account a persons position rather than an arbitrary measurement that doesn't account for handrail position and the travel lane?
Does anyone have pictures of how a 6" minimum short point of a winder is handled when you have an open mitered skirt? How does this effect even baluster placement that has to be 4"? Do you just fudge in the odd one? I knew an insurance adjuster that investigated stair accidents. The company would not be liable for a stair that had an odd step in the sequence. The break in cadence would cause tripping, as we all know. Won't the 6" short point require a longer total run in both straight sections? In ordinary homes, the space allowed for stairs is often cramped at the minimum, if that.
Lucky for me, I don't run into winders very often and prefer to avoid them on a main stair. The last set I did kept the travel lane the same with the winders coming to a point. This, of course, depends on the placement of the rail, which was approximately 6" in from the point. I've never had an inspector measure any parts of my stairs. I'm pretty sure they would notice if I had to allow the bottom step to stick 6" into a doorway just so I could get a 6' short point on the winders. Can someone help me make sense of this?
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