Doorways at the top or bottom of stairs?

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Posted by: from Red Deer
1/14/2020 at 7:13:50 PM

I live in Alberta. What is the code for having a passage door at the top or bottom of stairs? I have a bi-level house with a suite in the basement and I want to put in a privacy door to separate the two. The door would either go in the common entrance at the top of the stairs or at the bottom of the stairs, before the landing and entrance into the basement.

Also, could I place the door at the top of the stairs, make it a fire proof door and separate the units legally that way?

Doorways at the top or bottom of stairs?
Doorways at the top or bottom of stairs?
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Justin in Hillcrest Mines
Date/Time1/15/2020 at 10:44:52 AM

HI. Any door installed at the bottom or top of the stairs requires a landing either 1100mm or the at least the width of the stairs min in depth for 2ndry suites. Looking at your pics of the basement, this is what has been done. It does not look like you have the room at the top without creating more issues.

To note, by installing an additional suite you also are required to upgrade your fire separation to 1hr resistance and may also require an additional access to meet egress requirements. The best advice I can give is to contact your local building inspector before you start any major work as it could save you a lot of money and stress down the line.

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Date/Time1/15/2020 at 1:08:02 PM

A door is not permitted at the base of the stairs before the landing however a door would be permitted at the top of the stairs provided the door swings away from the stairs. The door need only be a solid core door - not fire rated. There are many additional requirements if you are going to have a legal secondary suite including separate furnaces, fire blocking of the furnace room, etc. In Edmonton there are show-homes where builders have constructed homes with secondary suites which allows you to see all that is required.

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