Remedying Construction Defects in Stairways

A Central Florida community found themselves facing significant fines over their failing stairways. The local fire department identified multiple code violations across their community, initiating fines until the stairs were fixed. With fines looming and the “life & safety” of residents at stake, the community sought our expertise to address these issues promptly and effectively.

Identifying the Challenge

This community’s stairways exhibited a range of structural deficiencies and code violations requiring immediate attention, including:

  • Cracked treads and rusted rebar
  • Structurally deficient stringers and brackets
  • Missing or rusted bolts 
  • Cracked and structurally unsound landings
  • Non-compliant handrails and newel posts

Many of these stairways were in such bad shape that the community had to shut them down completely to protect residents.

Proposing a Solution

Drawing on our extensive experience and knowledge of building code, we devised a comprehensive plan to address their unique needs and rectify the identified deficiencies. Despite the multitude of code violations, our team was able to formulate a plan to repair the existing stairways, rather than resorting to costly and time-consuming replacements of every staircase.

Executing the Plan

Our first priority was to shore up approximately 50 stairways across the community that were structurally deficient. Once completed, we began a series of repairs to address each identified issue methodically, including:

  • Bringing all components up to code, including treads, stringers, brackets and handrails 
  • Reconstruction of landings to ensure structural integrity
  • Implementation of waterproofing measures to enhance durability and longevity

Delivering Results

Within 5 months, we completed work on 12 buildings, totaling 122 stairways. The outcome of our efforts surpassed the community’s expectations:

  • Code Compliance: By swiftly addressing the structural deficiencies that posed “life & safety” risks, we relieved the community of the burden of fines and restored access to essential stairways.
  • Budget Efficiency: Our team discovered additional code violations once work began on the project. Despite expanding the project's scope to include these additions, our lump sum bid ensured that costs remained consistent, providing the community with financial predictability.
  • Cost-Effective Solution: A full replacement of all the stairways and landings would cost approximately $2.5 million to complete. Our repair and waterproofing solution brought everything up to code for less than 25% of the replacement cost.
  • Project Management: All project updates were communicated and coordinated through the community association manager to ensure maximum efficiency while causing minimal disruption to residents' daily lives.

Through proactive problem-solving, meticulous craftsmanship and unwavering commitment to client satisfaction, our team successfully remedied the construction defects plaguing these stairways. With a 10-year labor and materials warranty, this community can rest assured that their stairways are built to last, providing lasting value and peace of mind for years to come.