Structural report on External Stairs, Escape Stairs

Modern buildings will often incorporate them internally but can save on internal space by adding them outside.

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 Modern buildings will often incorporate them internally but can save on internal space by adding them outside.

Stairs dedicated to means of escape are compulsory for buildings over a certain number of occupants. Older buildings were perhaps built before these rules applied but still need to comply nowadays so will add an external staircase.  External stairs for fire, means of escape of simply access are often located somewhere unobtrusive, so can be overlooked when it comes to maintenance.  

As a means of escape,  it is important they are structurally fit for purpose both in real terms but also since statutory bodies require confirmation of this to enable the building to be used.  Insurers, similarly, may only provide cover if the means of escape meets required standards.  Alternatively, you or your tenants may have concerns over the safety of the stair.   The key step is achieving these certifications or reassurance is a survey of the structural condition of the stair, which can only be carried out by a structural engineer such as Structures-Made-Easy.

Structures-Made-Easy have carried out many such surveys on external escape stairs, on modern building but also on older and historic buildings.  Our in-depth general experience of older buildings is essential on many inspections where an escape stair takes support from the original, older building.  Our familiarity with the type of construction helps guide our inspection of the connection between the two structures and look for common problems.  As well as the direct support from the main building, there may also be access walkways across roofs, balconies, balustrades and so forth that will also need investigation.

For the stair itself, we will assess whether the size of the beams and columns themselves appear adequate, then go onto to inspect all areas of the stair and surroundings for distress in any form.  This might anything from a loose bolt supporting a balustrade to a stringer having rusted too much since the last painting.

We will visit the property to inspect the structural condition of the stair and surrounding structures.  With our experienced and informed eye, we can also judge the structural health of concealed elements such as the foundations based on what we can see above ground.

We will then produce a detailed written report on the structural condition of the stair, describing any issues that may exist and giving options for how the problems could be repaired and the root cause addressed.  We can also give a very crude guideline on the cost of those repairs.  Our report will effectively be a structural health check for the stair and will provide the expert opinion required by the authorities, your insurers or yourselves.

If you would like to discuss further please feel free to contact us using our email support@structures-made-easy.co.uk or call us on 0207 965 7376 .

Case studies

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Acton 02 Ealing West London W3

Domestic conversion and extension.

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Chiswick 01 Hounslow West London W3

Domestic conversion, extension and loft conversion.

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Acton 01 Ealing West London W3

Domestic refurbishment and extension with internal alterations including Chimney removal

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Brent 01 London NW10

Domestic ground floor side extension to outrigger of a terrace house.

 

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