Improved solution to building safer stair railings.

Current IBC® and IRC® codes require guard rails to withstand a lateral load of 200 pounds, applied 36 inches above the nose of the stringer. This isn’t adequate protection for your stair railings or you. Imagine having a group of people on your deck stairs and someone trips and falls against the railing. Imagine if it were a large adult. Imagine if those were aging deck stairs prone to structural weakness anyway.

A newly redesigned adjustable stair bracket provides an innovative solution to this  stair rail  safety concern. It was designed specifically for stair construction and code compliant rail post support. The standard stair bracket was modified and tested for lateral load stair rail post support for cut stringers, angle stringers and for other applications. In more than twelve individual tests, all brackets withstood a load of 500 pounds applied 42 inches above the nose of the tread (an IBC requirement for non-residential applications), with some tests approaching 600 pounds before failure.

The National Safety Council shows slips and falls on stairs, result in 2,000 fatalities each year, making stairs the most dangerous area of the home. Once the hand grip or hand rail becomes unstable, safety is greatly compromised. This is particularly evident with persons over age 65. NSC statistics show that the leading cause of death and serious injuries for persons over age 65 are slips and falls.”

Secure hand and guardrails are critical for stair safety and there are many viable solutions for securing handrails. Unfortunately, this is not always the case for guardrails, specifically when they are attached to wood stairs. Guardrails are normally secured to rail post supports, which in turn are attached to a stringer. Some within the building industry have expressed concern that the standard installation methods used for rail post attachment fall short of meeting the lateral load capacity required by code. Products, such as the bracket evaluated in ICC-ES’s report for code officials and professionals in the construction industry: ESR-2295, helps ensure that current and future construction meets this requirement.

How do most code officials tend to test stair rail safety? Far too often, it’s a ‘tug and bump-the-rail’ test and if it seems solid, it passes. In some traditional construction, stairs are built with three or more cut stringers. Stairs may have both risers and treads, or treads only. The guardrail is normally 36 inches high for residential construction and is secured via posts bolted to the cut stringers. Often, the rails themselves are strong enough to meet code, but the attachment of the post to the stringer is the weak link.

An IAS accredited testing facility was engaged to test the load capacity of this traditional construction practice. A stair was constructed, with three 2×12 cut stringers and two 2×6 members for each tread, using dry, #2 Douglas Fir. Three 48-inch-long posts were attached using two 3/8-inch galvanized bolts. The top bolt was attached through the triangular cut portion of the stringer (normal practice) and the bottom bolt passed through the uncut portion of the stringer. A 3/8-inch eye bolt was attached 36 inches above the nose of the tread as the load point. The load was applied to each post and measured using a dynamometer. In each case, the bolt pulled through the cut, triangular rise/tread tip of the stringer at a load of just 20 pounds. As the load was increased to 50 pounds, severe longitudinal cracks were seen along the length of the stringers, breaking all triangular tips and resulting in complete failure of both the stringer and the rail post support.

All three tests consistently showed significant structural failure occurring at minimal loads and several reasons for the early failure were identified. The post acted as a lever against the stringer, magnifying the load on each bolt. A 20-pound pull at the guardrail level resulted in a 120-pound force at the base of the post and caused the top bolt to pull through the stringer. Once the top bolt had broken through, the bottom bolt was left to resist the entire load. The mechanical advantage was further amplified by the lower position of the bottom bolt, and the final 50-pound pull on the guard rail became a 1,200-pound force at the base. This was enough to twist the stringer and cause it to crack longitudinally.  The tests were conducted on isolated posts without railing. Often, a continuous rail is used, which can help to distribute the load to other posts, decreasing the load effects on the bolts at a single post attachment. However, the test was designed for worst case scenarios, which were correctly reflected in the above testing.” Guardrail failure is unnecessary and the consequences can be tragic.

The new ICC-ES evaluated EZ Stairs® rail post attachment technology which affords a simple and efficient, code compliant solution to this very serious issue.

Look up report ICC-ESR 2295.

EZ Stairs® has been voted ‘Hot Product’ of the year at the International Builder’s Show over and over.  The system has won awards for innovation in the construction industry. It is the only adjustable bracket system anywhere and can be used to meet all building codes for any interior or exterior (deck stairs, wood stairs and concrete formwork stairs) application and can now double as a code compliant rail post support attachment ICC-ESR 2295. See a 3D video demo of how it works.

Build Safe Stair Railings with Closed Posts.

Build Safe Stair Railings with Closed Posts.

 

Build Safe Stair Railings for Open Post Stairs

Build Safe Stair Railings for Open Post Stairs

Free Stair Calculator

Free EZ Stair Calculator TM is now available online at EZ-Stairs.Com and offers a comprehensive approach to building stairs from stair project inception through project completion.

EZ Stairs®, a revolutionary advancement in stair building technology and construction, unveiled its new free  EZ Stair Calculator TM  available to the construction  marketplace.  The EZ Stair Calculator TM  is being made available with the goal of simplifying a normally difficult process, in addition to eliminating mistakes.  The entire process one goes through in using this new industry tool is quick and seamless, thereby eliminating frequent mistakes experienced in building stairs.  The result is faster construction, and eliminating unknowns such as material delays and excess costs due to streamline construction process afforded through the system.

This is an interactive and intuitive program designed to answer virtually every question a stair builder might have.  The program takes the builder, in a user friendly manner, through the process step by step (five steps total) and provides a print out option showing the finished stringer with cut dimensions and a materials list.  This new, ‘Free’ calculating tool allows Professionals and Do-It-Yourselfers to get up and running on their stair projects faster than ever before.  At conclusion, in the final step five, users are provided a print out option that shows a side view of the stringer, the stringer end details and cut dimensions, in addition to a full materials list for the entire project.

For the Decking Industry’s use of the EZ Stair Calculator TM, full calculations are made for either wood or composite stairs, including a variation on treads utilized and suggested manufacturers to use in the construction process.  Go to EZ Stairs to access the EZ Stair Calculator TM and the analysis and specifics given for each of your stair building projects.

The award winning EZ Stair® System features patented, adjustable parallel brackets that allow skilled carpenters as well as the do-it-yourselfer, to build stairs of superior strength and structural integrity up to four times faster than conventional methods.  Build stairs: deck stairs, interior stairs (basement stairs and tongue & groove), as well as concrete formwork. This adjustable two stringer stair building system is of particular value in the Decking Industry due to substantially lower costs that result in builders using this efficient, streamlined technique as part of their basic design.

EZ Stairs® has been ICC-ES approved for both residential and commercial construction. The full report is available at the EZ Stairs® website and can viewed online.   For more information, please call Gordon Walker, President, EZ Stairs®, Inc. (949-643-9261) or visit the website: www.ez-stairs.com.

EZ Stairs, Inc. • 27068 La Paz Rd. #263 • Aliso Viejo  CA 92656-3401 • 866-693-9570

Building Stairs on a Budget: deck stairs, basement stairs, interior stairs and concrete stairs

In this age of economic downturn, it is more important than ever to save every dime possible on your building projects. One of the most expensive areas of construction is found in stair building. There are several reasons.

First, stairs are often considered the exclusive domain of the “stair specialist”. Many people consider such a project to be well out of their range of expertise, and they reluctantly call in the “specialist”. Needless to say they are usually horrified at the high price, and often feel that they have no alternative but to either accept the bid or put the project on hold.

Secondly, stairs are usually more difficult than most construction projects because there are some very specific guidelines which are required by code, and if you get the initial planning wrong, you could be faced with tearing out and building the stairs again.

The standard or traditional methods of stair building have usually consisted of the marking out and freehand cutting of multiple stair stringers. Next, the stringers are attached and aligned and then the risers and treads are attached. This is a very cumbersome process which takes a great degree of skill and often, even the “specialist” gets it wrong.

The good news is, you can use an engineered stair building system, otherwise known as adjustable brackets. The benefits are that they’re much easier to install and only a very minimal skill level is necessary- compared to traditional framing. This system consists of adjustable stair brackets, that automatically adjust to the exact rise and run you require. The brackets are approved as joist hangers which allow the stair risers to be used structurally, carrying the load across the stair like floor joists. This kind of system is very strong and it has been tested for stairs up to nine feet wide, using only the two outside stringers. This completely eliminates the need for any interior stringers. The outside stringers then require only 3 to 4 cuts each, and the risers and treads are simply attached to the brackets. If you make a mistake, simply readjust the brackets. This kind of system is very versatile and can be used for deck stairs, basement stairs, any kind of interior stairs, as well as cement stairs.

Engineered adjustable stair brackets will  build finished interior stairs, basement stairs, deck and porch Stairs.

How will you save?

1. Little or no wasted wood because additional center stringers are eliminated  and only three to four end cuts are required for each of the outside stringer.

2. Since you only need two stringers, time is saved by eliminating the need to cut and align additional center stringers. No center stringers, means no squeaks.

3. The Brackets do the work by equally adjusting to give you the exact rise and run, eliminating costly mistakes and simplifying the whole process.

4. The system is so accurate that finished interior stairs can be built by installing finished risers and treads directly onto the brackets, eliminating traditional rough framing and up to 80% of the finished trim work normally required with traditional stair building methods.

5. Once the two stringers are built, the rest of the stair goes together like an erector set. A once very complicated job has been simplified to the point where a person with only basic skills can easily build a stronger, accurate stair and get it right the first time. See a 3D demo of how it works.

 How much can you save?

For interior finished stairs, the “stair specialist” can easily save up to $500.00 per flight because most of the traditional “custom trim work” is automatically eliminated. For most two story homes, that means $1000.00 savings. The DIY, the savings are obviously greater.

An approved “Engineered Stair System” eliminates the need to cut stringers and is tested to be much stronger and faster than conventional construction. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a do-it-yourselfer, you will build fast, strong and accurate stairs, on a budget.

EZ Stairs® products allow builders to build stairs with a wide range of materials such as redwood, cedar, tropical wood, treated wood, untreated wood, vinyl, steel, and composites. This stair adjustable bracket building system allows for customized rise and treads configurations which can be adjusted to meet all building codes for any interior or exterior application- ICC approved. It is the only adjustable stair bracket system available anywhere. To help you figure out how many stairs you will need, the website provides a free stair calculator.

EZ Stairs® introduced the new patented adjustable dual-purpose exterior/interior brackets in 2003. In 2004, it won Pro Sales Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award for new product innovation in the construction industry. In 2005, it introduced its composite deck compatibility solution and was chosen for LBM Journal’s ‘Hot Products’ Award at the 2005 International Builders Show, and again voted one of the fifty ‘Hot Products’ at the 2008 International Builders Show.

For more information, visit the ez-stair.com website, or call 866-693-9570.

EZ Stairs® has been voted one of the ’50 Hot Products’ at the International Builder’s Show -several times. This stair adjustable bracket building system allows for customized rise and treads configurations which can be adjusted to meet all building codes for any interior or exterior application- ICC approved. It is It is the only adjustable stair bracket system available anywhere and can be used with a wide range of materials.
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