Skip to content
You are here > Home > Your Ministry > Ontario Building Code > Appeals & Approvals > Building Code Commission > Rulings of the Building Code Commission > 1995 > BCC Ruling No. 95-09-429

Follow us

BCC Ruling No. 95-09-429

Email this page

BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #95-09-429

IN THE MATTER OF Subsection 24(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992.

AND IN THE MATTER OF Article 9.8.3.1. of the Revised Regulation of Ontario 1990, Regulation 61, as amended by O.Regs. 400/91, 158/93, 160/93 and 355/94 (the "Building Code").

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Mr. & Mrs. D. Wright, Owners for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Randy Gardner, Chief Building Official, Town of Bracebridge, concerning whether the proposed additional handrail on one side of a stairway and improved lighting condition will provide sufficiency of compliance with the maximum rise requirements in Article 9.8.3.1. of the Building Code, at Wright Residence, 1 Moreland Court, Bracebridge, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. & Mrs. D. Wright, Owners
Bracebridge, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Randy Gardner
Chief Building Official
Town of Bracebridge

PANEL

Mr. Michael Lio, Panel Chair
Mr. Remus Tsang
Mr. Rick Florio

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF RULING

March 13th, 1995

APPEARANCES

Mr. John O'Byrne
Bracebridge, Ontario
For the Applicant

Mr. Mike Gooch
Building Inspector
Town of Bracebridge
For the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. & Mrs. D. Wright are holders of a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a single family dwelling (i.e. house), 1 Moreland Court, Bracebridge, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The rise of the wood stairs connecting the first and second floor of the subject house exceeds the maximum 200 mm height. The actual rise of the staircase in question is 208 mm.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with the technical interpretation of Article 9.8.3.1. of the Building Code. At issue is whether the proposed additional handrail and improved lighting condition will provide sufficiency of compliance with the maximum stair rise requirement of 200 mm.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Article 9.8.3.1. Rise and Run of Stairs

  1. Except for stairs to areas used only as service rooms, interior stairs within dwelling units and exterior stairs serving dwelling units shall have a maximum rise of 200 mm (7E in), a minimum run of 210 mm (8¼ in) and a minimum tread width of 235 mm (9¼ in).

  1. Except for stairs serving not more than 1 dwelling unit, interior stairs not contained within dwelling units and exterior stairs for buildings shall have a rise of not more than 200 mm (7E in) and not less than 125 mm (4E in).

  1. Stairs referred to in Sentence (2) shall have a minimum run of not less than 230 mm (9 in), or not more than 355 mm (14 in) and a tread width of not less than 250 mm (9E in).

  1. Applicant's Position

The applicant submitted that the rise of the staircase in question is 208 mm and not 200 mm. Therefore, the Chief Building Official determined the stairs deficient and will not issue an occupancy permit.

The applicant stated that a set of stairs built to meet the rise and run requirements of the Building Code would not fit into it's intended location in the house. The problem arose from the fact that the basement stairs were already in place. The placement of the lower basement stairway made it impossible to construct the upper stairway with the required rise and headroom.

The applicant submitted that the stairs are structurally sound and have been in use for two and one half years without any mishap or injury.

The applicant proposed that if the following work was under taken the stairway would sufficiently comply with the Building Code:

  1. addition of a handrail on the wall side of the stairs;

  1. improve the lighting in the area of the stairway by adding fixtures on the wall of the of the stairs; and,

  1. bevel the top corner of each tread nosing.

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The respondent submitted that the rise of the stairs is approximately 8 mm in excess of the maximum permitted rise of 200 mm.

The respondent does not have the authority to accept a deviation from the Building Code and the use of equivalents regulated by Section 2.7 is not applicable.

  1. Commission Ruling:

In favour of the Applicant. It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the stair shows sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code provided handrails are installed on both sides of the stair and improved lighting is provided of at least 100 Watts (incandescent) or equivalent on each run and to be activated in accordance with Sentence 9.34.2.3.(2) of the Building Code.

  1. Reason:

It is the opinion of the Building Code Commission that a small deviation (4%) in the maximum riser height can be compensated by installing an additional handrail on the wall side of the stair and by improving the lighting for the stairway.

Dated at Toronto, this 13th day, in the month of March, in the year 1995, for application number 1995-06.

Michael Lio

Remus Tsang

Rick Florio