Stair Headroom Detail

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By Before The Architect  Copyright 2008-2010


Power's corruption isn't a perverse pervasion peculiar to national government, be it borne there as with all others by monopoly interest and ignorant disinterest.  The caldron's of corruption simmer in guilds and authorities having jurisdiction right on down to your own backyard.  Before The Architect


            Comment:  Staircase headroom is not a common design problem in this dream home designer’s book with two notable exceptions, either of which can vex mightily: loft buildouts and story-and-a-half access to L2.  This one’s about the former – a garage loft buildout.  Additionally, there is the always lurking opportunity to pinch staircase headroom not at landing termini, but rather along the way.  Whatever, the best resolution of both determination and remediation is, for this dream home designer, section in elevation.

 Staircase Headroom Design Study, Section Detail in Elevation

1)      This first section detail – Garage-Foyer Stair Headroom Study, Section, Facing North – is meant to inform the dream home designer as much as both owner and builder about the dynamics of moving a staircase in an aggressive remodel addition

a)     Existing walls were to be razed

b)     New walls were to be added to enclose spaces for new functions

c)      Several changes in floor level were affected between spaces not originally open to one another

d)     Traffic patterns were to be majorly affected both

i)       By recoursing and

ii)    By creating anew

iii)  By redefining function of existing 

            Comment:  Staircase headroom design at the upper landing became a problem with an unusual solution; to wit, a minor tray of sorts recessed into the L2 ceiling.  This problem became a double problem when dimensions between levels shifted this way and that from one- at-distance report to the next.  Hence, there you see all the dimension statements to drain doubt from the minds of all.

Comment:  Altogether, this was one of the most disorienting of designing enterprises for Before The Architect, especially when the clients were no less turned around than the designers.  An inherent risk in remodeling at distance is inaccurate dimensions. 

How bad can it get?  It can get so bad that BTA resigns the design relationship.  Tried 4 times to get the perimeter of a house set preparatory to a major remodel and 4 times the homeowners blew it.  The dimensions trekked around the house from the same starting point and never got closer than a 15 linear foot gap between beginning and ending point, which point should have been the same. 

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