Stair Replacement to Code

4 Replies

I purchased a 6-plex that was converted from a home. One of the units has a bedroom where the attic used to be and the stairs to the bedroom are not up to code. I am afraid that bringing them up to code will be nearly impossible or very costly. My questions:

1. Does anyone have any experience installing spiral staircases in a small space? What is the cost (I do not care about aesthetics, just want them up to code)?  How is the permitting done/can it be a DIY project, etc. 

2. Should I leave them as is? I read that if I were to sell the house without changing the stairs, I would be "grandfathered in" and not have to bring them up to code. What are the pros and cons of this approach?

I'm sure this issue comes up a lot in flips, so I'm hoping there's a solution that makes sense and won't cost me a fortune. Thanks in advance!

They're grandfathered in, leave them alone. It will cost you a LOT of money to bring them to code, if it is even possible and will require walls to be moved I'm sure. Once you dump probably $5-10k into doing it, the property will be worth the same amount as before.

I must say I know very little about stairs, but did the stairs meet code at some time? Because bad stairs are dangerous. Seriously, as in deadly dangerous if someone falls down them and hits their head. Are they too steep, the stairs the wrong height or worse, various heights, or too shallow to fit a foot? All very dangerous. This is a situation where I would be inclined to forgo the rental income rather than risk someone coming home drunk and breaking their neck. Just IMO.

@Bryan Devitt thanks for your response and sorry for the late reply! Update: I did receive a quote for $2700 (its a very small space). I'm also not within city limits so permitting should not be very hard...

Would you replace them for this amount? 

Originally posted by @Jennifer Jackson :

@Bryan Devitt thanks for your response and sorry for the late reply! Update: I did receive a quote for $2700 (its a very small space). I'm also not within city limits so permitting should not be very hard...

Would you replace them for this amount? 

 Do you feel it would add $2700 in value to the space? I have seen some that it would add the value but it is rare. I couldn't give you an honest opinion without seeing what it is like now and what it would be like after. If they're currently so bad that people wouldn't want to use them then it would be worth it