Lowering stair rise for elderly ?


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Old 06-06-16, 06:48 AM
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Lowering stair rise for elderly ?

Does anyone have any suggestion to lower the stair rise of my front yard porch stair ? The stair is bricks with granite treads with 8" rise. I'm looking for a way to lower to 7.5" to help my elderly parents walk up the stairs a little easier. I'm thinking about maybe adding one of those anti-slip treads, but those are usually very thin (.375 is the thickness I can find.
 
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Old 06-06-16, 07:00 AM
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I have built sleeper stringers to set on top of the existing stairs, which can often add an additional step or two to the run and lower each rise by 2" or so, depending on the needs. By doing it that way the rise can be decreased as much as you desire while still keeping each step equal in height which is a code requirement.

Basically it is building a new wooden stair over the old one, temporarily, or for as long as needed. It can be removed anytime since it rests on top of the existing stairs it is only fastened a minimal amount.
 
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Old 06-06-16, 07:07 AM
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Do you have the room necessary to increase the run? By decreasing the rise, you're going to need an additional step or two. Previous owner did something like this in the stairs from the garage into the house and allotted for the extra run by taking the landing at the bottom, but I'm not sure this staircase meets local code any longer as a result.
 
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Old 06-06-16, 08:22 AM
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I do have room to increase the run, but i'm trying to not make any structural changes.
 
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Old 06-06-16, 08:47 AM
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Huh? How are you going to change the rise without structural changes? I seem to be missing something here....
 
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Old 06-06-16, 09:00 AM
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If it's built like X suggested it would be removable.
 
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Old 06-06-16, 09:01 AM
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What I had in mind was placing an anti slip rubber carpet or one of those "welcome" sign carpet on the ground leading to the first step. IF the carpet is .5 inch thick, wouldnt that in effect lower the first step rise to 7.5 ? I would subsequently place one of those anti slip tread on each stair tread.
 
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Old 06-06-16, 10:12 AM
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Your math fails after the first step and this also creates a code violation.

Your first step would be 7.5" but each subsequent step would have the same treatment given to it and therefore would remain 8". This difference is also not allowed by code (I believe all the rises have to be within 3/8" of each other).
 
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Old 06-06-16, 11:06 AM
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I see only two options, either build a semi-temporary staircase as X has described or total demolition of the existing staircase and rebuild from the ground up. There is nothing that can be added to the existing stairway that will decrease the rise of the individual steps.
 
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Old 06-06-16, 11:26 AM
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ok, i see what the problem with my math is. Adding a 1/2 inch rug will bring me closer 1/2 inch closer to the next stair tread, but it will also mean 1/2 inch higher from the tread below (cancels each other out) so in the end it didnt do anything.
 
 

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