Understanding Your Building Codes For Outdoor Steps
There are some building codes that apply to outdoor steps in public buildings and schools, and other situations where outdoor steps might have contact with people or pets. While most municipal building codes won’t apply directly to private homes and businesses, many commercial building codes do regulate outdoor steps and other exterior elements of commercial buildings, such as front porches, ramps and porches, walkways and garages. Some building codes also regulate fire escapes and entrances, which are often necessary in certain buildings for emergency egress.
A building codes expert can help you understand your building code better and determine whether any changes or restrictions are needed for your outdoor steps. If you’re not sure what codes apply to your situation, you might want to call the building department of the city or county in which you live, or the International Building Code Council. They offer a directory of building codes for various jurisdictions, so it’s easier than ever to get the information you need. They also offer free informative videos on building codes and enforcement policies.
Be aware that not all building codes apply to all countries or areas. Building codes aren’t just for buildings and places outside of your home; they also govern outdoor steps. Always check with your local building codes before installing anything in your yard or on your porch. It could save you a ticket or fee at the end of the year if you were caught with unpermitted outdoor stairs. Take the time to learn more about your building codes before you make any plans for safety or aesthetics in your yard or porch.