Staircase from Kitchen to Garden


    I am considering removing an old wooden deck on a 1 family brownstone that enables access from back door (kitchen). I want to replace it with a simple staircase so we have garden access and expand the garden area where the old porch is.

    Looking for suggestions for an inexpensive way to do this. What are the fire codes for this?

    3 Replies

    1. Thanks – I will look into metal stairs to avoid the wood/fire code issue. Any suggestions for people who do this reasonably priced?

    2. I’d suggest two things: 1. don’t use a spiral stair, people trip on them, and they make carrying things harder; and 2. If you do a shallow deck, even 6 ft deep, it will improve the functionality of your staircase, and give you a perch for small table and chairs (unless you are only a few steps up from the garden, rather than almost a full flight.) Even a landing helps, if you don’t want to extend decking across the width of the building. Yes, build it of metal. You can put various kinds of pavers over the metal floor of the deck.

    3. Be careful here. No combustible construction (ie.: NO WOOD) is permitted within 3-feet of your lot lines, meaning that your existing deck might be illegal. Some examiners will approve “ipe” (aka: ironwood, so dense it won’t burn) within this 3-foot zone, but I’ve seen this go both ways!

      If cheap is your goal, look for a metal stair. Lots of guys around Brooklyn make these.